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Five Albums That Changed My Life: Jim Florentine of ‘That Metal Show’

VH1 Classic

Jim Florentine has one of the coolest gigs on television. The comedian moonlights as a co-host on VH1 Classic’s ‘That Metal Show‘ where he gets to hang with some of our favorite musicians. Florentine didn’t just get the job because he’s a funny dude, he’s also a hard rock and metal connoisseur with decades worth of knowledge to boot. In October he’ll be releasing ‘Cringe ‘n’ Purge,’ a CD/DVD of one of his hilarious stand-up performances. Noisecreep asked Florentine to give us a list of the five albums that changed his life and here they are in his own words.

‘Blizzard of Ozz’ and ‘Diary of a Madman’
Ozzy Osbourne (1980, 1981)

“I remember being a young teenager and being heartbroken that the original Sabbath had broken up. I was a huge Ozzy fan so I was really rooting for his solo music to be on par with ‘Heaven and Hell’ which was out six months earlier than ‘Blizzard.’ I also remember going to an import record store in Sunrise, Fla. an ordering the album from England before it was out in the States. I saw the cover and thought at first Ozzy was a chick. I went home and put in on my turntable and heard the opening chords to ‘I Don’t Know’ and it changed my life. I also throw in ‘Diary of a Madman’ because that came out pretty soon afterwards and I remember I couldn’t go to school in the morning unless I listened to the title track because I was so miserable being stuck in a private Catholic school with a bunch of rich yuppies. Plus, none of the girls wanted to have sex with me because I had “Ozzy” written on my knuckles in magic marker!”

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‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’
AC/DC (1976)

“My two older brothers turned me on to AC/DC when I was a teenager and it’s no surprise that I gravitated towards songs like ‘Big Balls,’ ‘Love at First Feel,’ and ‘Problem Child.’ I loved Bon Scott’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics and the hard rock sound coming from the rest of the band. I would stare at the album cover for hours and wonder who would stay at a sleazy hotel like that. I guess I have come full circle because as I am writing this, I am staying in a sleazier one right now!”

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‘Ace of Spades’
Motörhead (1980)

“Here’s another album I bought in that import record store in Florida. I first heard of Motörhead when I saw one of the guys in Saxon wearing their shirt on the back of the ‘Wheels of Steel’ album. Then I found out they would be opening for Ozzy on some of the ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ tour. The first time I saw this cover I thought they were Mexicans! I was thinking this can’t be good. I thought the record was going to be in Spanish until I flipped it over and saw song titles such as ‘Bite the Bullet,’ ‘Shoot You in the Back,’ and ‘Jailbait.’ I then knew it had to be good. Without any filler tracks, this is the greatest Motörhead album of all time.”

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‘Rock Until You Drop’
Raven (1981)

“When I was a kid there was no way of hearing music beforehand on the internet, or even radio, if it was metal. I saw the cover to this record – with all the equipment on top of them – and figured it must be good. So I took a chance with my hard-earned dishwashing money to spend $16 on the import for this. This record introduced me to what would be labeled later on as thrash metal. This album still sounds just as fresh today as it did back in 1980 and I miss their original drummer Rob “Wacko” Hunter and the helmet he wore on stage. I think he was the original special ed!”

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‘Kill ‘Em All’
Metallica(1983)

“Growing up in Old Bridge, N.J., I used to hang out at Johnny Z’s record store called Rock N Roll Heaven. Every Friday I would take my paycheck down there and he would turn me on to all these cool new bands. I already had the ‘No Life ’til Leather’ demo cassette so I had an idea what they sounded like. I had an advance copy of ‘Kill ‘Em All’ because it came out on Johnny Z’s label, Megaforce Records. I turned the whole neighborhood onto this album before it was even out. Ironically, I just came back from seeing the Big 4 show at Yankee Stadium with 50,000 people and if it wasn’t for this record, I would have been home watching YouPorn.com, as usual.”

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