The Killers, Foals, Phoenix: 39 Artists On The First Albums They Ever Bought

You never forget the first album you bought, did you? And we've been asking our favourite artists to share their memories of their first musical purchase with us. Check out what LPs The Killers, Foals, Metronomy, Phoenix and many more first got their hands on.

  • You never forget the first album you bought, did you? And we've been asking our favourite artists to share their memories of their first musical purchase with us. First up, Courtney Barnett, who bought Nirvana's 'Nevermind'. "I was about 10 when I bought it," she said. "I loved it. It’s probably the thing I’ve listened to the most in my life."

    Photo: Jenn Five / NME

    Added: 13 Feb 2014

  • Yannis Philippakis – Pixies, 'Death To The Pixies'. "I bought a few on the same day, but it was all grunge stuff-three Nirvana albums and a Pixie cassette. This is a Best Of compilation that came out a few years after they first split up. I met Kim Deal years later at a festival in Brazil and made friends with her over email."

    Photo: Amy Brammall/NME

    Added: 17 Apr 2014

  • Alisa Xayalith – Hanson, 'Middle Of Nowhere'. "I saved up 13 New Zealand and bought ‘Middle of Nowhere’. ‘MMMBop’, bitches! When we played South by Southwest in 2011, I actually me Taylor Hanson at a hotel where we were doing press. I went and got a photo; he had no idea who I was."

    Photo: Press

    Added: 28 May 2013

  • Dee Dee Penny – Hole, 'Live Through This'. "Around middle school I started developing my own interests – I'd come from quite a controlled upbringing, with no MTV, but my parents could only keep me on lockdown like that for so long. When I heard Hole for the first time I had to go and buy the record – I saw a bit of my shy, introverted self in Courtney I guess."

    Photo: Press

    Added: 10 Oct 2011

  • Brandon Flowers – The Cars, 'Greatest Hits'. "The song ‘Just What I Needed’ made me buy this album, because I figured, ‘Hell, if they’ve got one like this maybe there’re even more?’ And they had better songs than that, like ‘Since You’re Gone’ and ‘Heartbeat City’. The way they were able to marry guitars and keyboards must have had some sort of influence on The Killers."

    Photo: Ed Miles/NME

    Added: 08 Nov 2013

  • Chrissie Hynde – The Beatles, 'Meet The Beatles!'. "My whole life changed when I heard it. Everything became about the music, and that’s stayed with me since. I’m sure I started smoking because of The Beatles. All those English bands had bad teeth and cigarettes- that’s what I wanted."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 23 May 2014

  • Ray Davies – Ray Charles, 'In Person'. "Like a lot of musicians, I stole the first album I owned. This one used to belong to my manager. Then I bought a guitar compilation record called ‘Teen Scene’, then another of honky-tonk organ by Big Bill Doggett."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 30 Apr 2014

  • Gary Numan – Unknown album, Hank Williams. "It was a Hank Williams Jr album and I bought it for my mum. It was the first thing I ever bought with my own pocket money and I was very proud to be able to buy her something."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Nile Rodgers – John Coltrane, 'Impressions'. "I can’t remember nor knowing about jazz. It was almost like religion. I didn’t like religion, but I loved music! But when I was able to buy my own records I bought this. The first Chic song I ever wrote, ‘Everybody Dance’, is all based on McCoy Tyner’s piano playing here."

    Photo: Tom Martin/NME

    Added: 28 Jun 2013

  • Matt Berry – Mike Oldfield, 'Tubular Bells'. "I wanted it and I couldn’t afford it. I would’ve been working on the till in Tesco in Bedford and I would’ve been 15 at the time. I remember telling people that I wanted it and they didn’t remember what it was because it wasn’t the name of a band."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 11 Mar 2014

  • Katy B – Amy Winehouse, 'Frank'. "When I was 14, I fell in love with Amy. You know how you feel a connection with some artists, like you actually know them? With her, it was like she knew me back. I didn’t get much pocket money so I begged a friend whose brother had a record shack in Camden to buy it using his discount. I stood outside, petrified he’d find me out and shout at me."

    Photo: Dan Kendall/NME

    Added: 25 Aug 2012

  • Tinie Tempah – So Solid Crew, 'They Don't Know. "I kept asking my parents for it all the time, but they refused to buy it for me. Then one day, I was at the airport with my family and our flight was delayed, so my mum gave us all money to buy food. I used the money to buy the album instead, and it was the best soundtrack for a family holiday ever!"

    Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

    Added: 07 Jul 2012

  • Jono Ma – Sly And The Family Stone, 'The Best Of Sly And The Family Stone'. "I’d gotten into Nirvana and when Kurt died there was a lot of press about the 27 Club. I remember reading about Hendrix and via that I watched the Woodstock film. There’s a moment where Sly And The Family Stone play ‘Dance To The Music’, this crazy, explosive rock-soul track. I was completely fascinated."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Marky Ramone – The Who, 'My Generation'. "This had a huge impact on me. From a technical level, they were doing more interesting stuff than the Beatles of The Rolling Stones. The Who’s songs were a lot more complex. A lot of that was down to Keith Moon. I learned to drum by trying to copy his style but I couldn’t understand how the hell he did half the stuff he was doing."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Angel Haze – Train, 'Drops Of Jupiter'. "I don’t care if they’re ancient and not considered cool, ‘Drops Of Jupiter’ rules my life. If I want to feel like I’m in the middle of a forest surrounded by water, I listen to that song. I bought it from iTunes for £16.99, which says a lot, ‘cos I was poor as shit. I had to have those songs, even though that was my lunch money for a week."

    Photo: Caitlin Mogridge/NME

    Added: 25 Aug 2013

  • Damian Abraham – Run DMC, 'Raising Hell'. "I don’t even know how I earned the money to buy this- probably by scratching lottery tickets- but I was really into rap at that time. It had the Aerosmith collaboration [‘Walk This Way’] and they seemed so cool."

    Photo: Ben Cannon/NME

    Added: 28 Aug 2011

  • Tom Fleming – Take That, 'Take That And Party'. "I bought ‘Take That And Party’ when I was 10 from a Toys R Us store. It’s totally full of bangers, that album. I think you have a really skewed idea of what masculinity is when you’re a kid - you have WWF wrestling and then Take That all greased up and you just think, 'That’s what grown-up’s look like, yeah?'"

    Photo: Emilie Bailey/NME

    Added: 16 Feb 2012

  • Game Of Thrones actor Finn Jones – The Doors, 'The Best Of The Doors'. "A friend had just moved into a new apartment and there was an unused record player he didn’t want. I went straight to the charity shops in search of vinyl. I picked up ‘The Best of The Doors’. I was 18 years old, and Jim Morrison had a big influence on me at that time."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Miles Kane – Oasis, '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?'. "I heard them on the radio and watched Oasis on Top Of The Pops. I remember going to Woolworths to buy the CD. It was around that time that my mum bought me my own Alba CD/Tape player. It was the starting point of me buying my own music."

    Photo: Jordan Hughes/NME

    Added: 24 May 2014

  • Lars Ulrich – Deep Purple, 'Fireball'. "I remember wanting that album so bad that time seemed to be in slow motion as the guy behind the till handed it to me, and me bolting home to listen to it. I got so hooked on buying records I got this paper round – this horrible fucking 3am to 6am grind – just so I could buy more, more MORE!"

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 10 Apr 2014

  • Alexis Taylor – Prince, '1999'. "I bought it on cassette from Our Price, and my dad took me into the shop to get it. My brother already had it, but for some reason I needed my own copy."

    Photo: Press/Brian De Ran

    Added: 02 Apr 2014

  • Brett Anderson – The Sex Pistols, 'Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols'. "I saved up money from my paper round to buy it. It’s a perfect blend of brutality and intelligence, which still makes it one of the greatest records ever made. The Sex Pistols were a huge influence on Suede, like they were on so many bands."

    Photo: Dan Kendall/NME

    Added: 27 Feb 2013

  • Conor Oberst – Simon Joyner, 'Room Temperature'. "When I was around 13 I started going to a local record store in Omaha. They forced local bands on you there, and this was the record Simon Joyner had out when I discovered him. It’s a straight-up guitar and voice, folk style. A mix of someone who was into folk like Leonard Cohen, but coming from the perspective of a punk-rock kid."

    Photo: Press/Butch Hogan

    Added: 01 May 2014

  • Example – Michael Jackson, 'Off The Wall'. "Someone had given me an Our Price voucher when I was eight, so I bough ‘Off The Wall’ on cassette. It’s still probably my favorie album of all time. I could moonwalk from the age of 11 to 16, but I’m not nimble enough for that now!"

    Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

    Added: 19 Aug 2012

  • Slash – Led Zeppelin, 'Led Zeppelin'. "This was the first album I actually bought. I’d already stolen an Aerosmith record, but if you want to keep it legal, yeah that was it. I was 14, and I’d heard it around the house because my parents were in the music industry, but I needed to own it myself. It seemed like only by having my own copy could I make it part of my own identity."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 03 Jun 2014

  • St Vincent – Tripping Daisy, 'I Am an Elastic Firecracker'. "I was 13 and it had a really weird cover – it looked like a guy with no skin, which was scary. They were a Dallas-based band, which was where I was growing up. It was psych-rock, kinda psych-pop. The surviving members of Tripping Daisy ended up starting The Polyphonic Spree, and I later got to play with them."

    Photo: Derek Bremner/NME

    Added: 29 Jun 2014

  • James Bagshaw – Nirvana, 'MTV Unplugged'. "This introduced me to Nirvana, even though it was at the opposite end of the musical spectrum from where they usually reside. My brother bought an electric guitar and I had a little half-size acoustic – he was listening to ‘Bleach’ and the earlier stuff and recommended this to me."

    Photo: Jordan Hughes/NME

    Added: 09 Jun 2014

  • Steve Lamacq – Electric Light Orchestra, 'A New World Record'."I was quite late to buying albums because I used to splurge all my money on singles, so the first one I can remember buying was ‘A New World Record’ in my first year at big school. It’s like a weird sci-fi odyssey, but it was perfect to do your homework to."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Thomas Mars – The Police, 'Greatest Hits'. "I’m not proud of it being a Greatest Hits but I loved The Police. I remember it was a CD and as a birthday present I got a portable CD player. It was the only CD I had for about six months. The sound was amazing. I loved all these songs but I couldn’t really relate to The Police."

    Photo: Jenn Five/NME

    Added: 27 Aug 2013

  • Ian McCulloch – David Bowie, 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars'. "On cassette, £2.49, with the price sticker on his knob – I had to really go some to peel it off. We were too skint for a turntable and our tape player go infested by paper lice that preferred plastic."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 21 Mar 2014

  • Danger Mouse – George Michael, 'Faith'. "I bought it for ‘I Want Your Sex’ after seeing the video when I was eight, because I couldn’t believe people could get away with singing such rude songs. I don’t have that cassette any more, but I still think George Michael is a great songwriter."

    Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

    Added: 30 Mar 2012

  • Anton Newcombe – Isaac Hayes, 'Black Moses'. "This was the first time my mum had actually put money in my hand and been like ‘Alright, little man, which record do you want?' There was this big display in the record shop and I saw a picture of this guy with all the gold chains on and thought it was amazing. I was totally sold on the power of his image."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 13 Mar 2014

  • Kevin Parker – Various Artists, 'Batman Official Soundtrack'. "I would have got it from a terrible CD shop my mum took me to. It was just all these artists – I didn’t know who they were. There’s a seal song, U2, The Flaming Lips. At that stage I didn’t even know what an album was, I could just picture Batman being a badass and wooing Nicole Kidman."

    Photo: Pooneh Ghana/NME

    Added: 21 Jul 2014

  • Jimi Goodwin – The Sex Pistols, 'Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols'. "My dad was really musical and we got into punk together. When I saw The Clash, they did ‘White Riot’ and my dad has to get me out of there as the seats were getting ripped up. I’d tell my mates, who couldn’t believe it. I was dead lucky because my dad was so passionate. He passed it onto me."

    Photo: Press/Matt Norman

    Added: 09 Dec 2013

  • Joe Mount – Ash, '1977'. "I bought a pirate copy of this from some man on a bridge in Dublin on a family trip to Ireland. I think when it was released it cost the same price as a tape cassette did in 1977- £7 or something. I got min for £5, so that left me £2 for sweets. ‘Oh Yeah’ and ‘Girl From Mars’ are indie-pop gold."

    Photo: Roger Sargent/NME

    Added: 12 Feb 2014

  • Danny Brown – Kid 'N Play, '2 Hype'. "I bought it in a gas station. I saw their video and it was like they owned their whole thing, with Salt-N-Pepa, Kid ‘N Play and Hurby Luv Bug. That production Hurby was doing, that just appealed to me as a kid. I was still in elementary school."

    Photo: Press

    Added: 06 Mar 2013

  • Mark Foster – Ace Of Base, 'Happy Nation'. "It was a cassette tape and I’d ride around on my bike, going to the pool with my Walkman, thinking I was so cool. I’d play it over and over again. The melodies on it are so strong. It was music that made me feel good."

    Photo: Andy Ford/NME

    Added: 14 Jul 2014

  • Bradley Wiggins – The Prodigy, 'Exposure'. "The Prodigy were like punk for me and my mates. Keith Flint was this outrageous, rebellious character and the rest of the band looked like they didn’t give a fuck either. I was a big fan."

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 04 Aug 2014

  • Jamie Reynolds – Michael Jackson, 'Bad'. "I rollerskated down to the local garage for it-I was very much into my Bauer Turbos. At school we had Friday performances. Me and my mate worked on a Michael Jackson dance to give it at a large assembly. We ended up doing [Chuck Berry’s] ‘Riding Along in My Automobile’. It was easier to remember."

    Photo: Press

    Added: 03 Feb 2014