I remember sifting through my father’s album collection as a teenager and the cover of Roger Waters‘ Amused to Death immediately caught my attention. A decade ago, album covers had so much importance and careful attention was placed on providing listeners with a complete audio visual experience.
Needless to say covers were crucially valued in their ability to capture audience intrigue. To me – the photograph of a chimpanzee watching Stanley Kubrik‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey was wonderfully bizarre and I couldn’t wait to hear its contents.
But aside from it’s visual appeal, this album was the single-most influential album of my lifetime. Musically, it was the beginning of a journey into the stranger, darker, heavier side of the art form. Often fans of this style might attribute their passion to Black Sabbath or other classic heavy metal bands but, to me, Roger Waters was producing the darkest content in the industry.
With its odd soundscapes and intermittent ‘noises’ disguised as music – the album explored social and political themes that challenged moments in history. Not only did it cause me to listen, it caused me to think, and perhaps that’s why I am a journalist today.
Amused To Death, Roger Waters, 1992. Chosen by journalist Lilen Pautasso.