John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band (Apple, 1970)
The paradigm of the psyche-scouring rock confessional.
Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers): "An NME writer called Steven Wells got me into it. He used to go on about the lyrics and of course we'd just written Motown Junk: 'I laughed when Lennon got shot'. This changed my mind.
Lennon's use of words to betray, to hurt, to make you think, to stimulate, to educate, is just amazing. The album is so pure - this rejection of every kind of bullshit idea. Listen to the song God, just that line 'I don't believe in Zimmerman'. We live in this sacred cow society where Bob Dylan is a demi-god even though he's made desperately shit albums year after year. If Lennon was around today he'd still be backbiting, which I can relate to. We covered Working Class Hero on our new record [Send Away The Tigers]. I think it's the greatest dissection of fame and class and line, 'You're still fucking peasants as far as I can see,' is incredible, so full of vitriol."
Without this, no... Ian Curtis, Kurt Cobain, Thom Yorke, Conor Oberst