I welcome my friend, and author, Eden Baylee to A Writer’s Life blog. On her own blog Eden shares her love of music and writing every week. Here, Eden reveals how music inspires her, both in and around her writing life. Does her muse choose a different beat? How is music important to her creative process. Terrific coincidence or not, and on random play, two of Eden’s top ten picks came through my home speakers this past week — well before she sent me her choices. Here is what Eden had to say about coming up with her favorite top 10 album list. Let the music play:
As an audiophile, I love all kinds of great music. It inspires me and elicits feelings and memories like few things can. Despite its importance in my life, I never write with it—I can’t. The reason is because I’m also a logophile—a lover of words and a full-time writer. Lyrics distract me; my mind ultimately gravitates to the song, and I forget what I’m writing.
My first exposure to music was on a small reel to reel audio tape recorder—Alvin and the Chipmunks singing I Want to Hold your Hand by the Beatles. I played the song over and over because I loved it, hit the rewind button so many times that the tape eventually snapped. It was the end of that song—I was five at the time.
Since then, I’ve surfed a musical wave lasting more than four decades. The delivery of music has changed more than any other form of art in my lifetime—from cassette tapes and eight tracks to 45s and LPs to CDs and now—the digital age of MP3s and MP4s. I’ve embraced it all.
It almost seems too easy to listen to music on my laptop by pressing a few keys, but that’s what I do with my earbuds on. The quality of sound is pristine, but for me, there was something magical about vinyl. I loved the set-up of a turntable, the ritual of playing a record, and even the sometimes scratchy sounds of a much-loved LP. I still own all one hundred and thirty of my 45s!
The following ten albums are the ones I go to when I have to decompress. I can’t do much of anything, let alone write when my mind is agitated. Each album harks back to a different time in my life. Whether good or bad, the music made an indelible mark on my psyche. Here are the albums that made My Top 10 List of Favorite Albums That Help Me Create.
Into the Music: Van Morrison (I play “And the Healing has Begun” daily — over eight minutes of musical bliss.)
Golden Heart: Mark Knopfler (This is one of two things I fought over during a break-up.)
Kind of Blue: Miles Davis (The man never blew a bad note.)
Dark Side of the Moon: Pink Floyd (The album is just plain sexy and makes me feel outside of my body.)
Remixed and Reimagined: Nina Simone (She has numerous great albums, but this remixed one with club DJs gets me jumping.)
Beckology: Jeff Beck (This 3 CD set inspires with an excellent variety of virtuoso guitar.)
Phantom Blues: Taj Mahal (This is the second thing I fought over during the break-up mentioned in #2.)
Nashville Skyline: Bob Dylan (Reminds me of New York because I listened to this a lot when I lived there.)
I am Kloot: I am Kloot (Terrific trio from Manchester, England I discovered when I first started writing full-time.)
Blue: Joni Mitchell (Sheer poetry to music.)
Thank you very much, Eden.
Please discover these albums if you are unfamiliar with them. I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of I Am Kloot before and will be listening to that very soon.
Eden Baylee is one of the most passionate friends I’ve ever met — throw in a wicked sense of humor and she is an intoxicating presence — her state of mind is charismatic and inviting, as is her writing life; her passion runs in many enchanting and very humbling directions. She is a fearless supporter of other authors and right now Eden is directing her most welcome attention on Indies Unite for Joshua — please help Eden, and a huge group of caring individuals, support author Maxwell Cynn’s son in his fight against leukemia (by clicking the highlighted link).
Eden Baylee’s first novel is called Fall Into Winter (please find out more about Eden’s book, read the great reviews at Amazon, buy it, and fall . . . by clicking the title). Her next novel will be published soon.
Eden writes erotica, provocative stories incorporating all her favorite things: travel; culture; and sex. Sometimes there’s romance, sometimes not. Sometimes there’s a happy ending, sometimes not. What is consistent are the multi-dimensional characters who grow and change as the stories progress. Sex is the backdrop, and a very important element in their evolution.
Eden left a long and distinguished career in banking to become a full-time writer. As a fraud consultant, she honed some important skills that have helped her make the transition, the most important one—perseverance.
She lives in Toronto, Canada with her extremely good-natured and tolerant husband whom she sometimes refers to as “Ramone.”
Please Follow Eden on Twitter @edenbaylee.
Check out Eden’s website and blog. Find her author page and hit the Like button on Facebook (click the highlighted links).
If you would like to see and compare Favorite Album Lists: my own Top 10 List is HERE.
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Thanks so much for asking me to write on this Justin. There were so many great albums, and it was hard to narrow it down to only 10! Darn, just realized there’s no BEATLES! Ha!
Music inspires. You inspire me. Strangely enough, I didn’t have any Beatles albums in my top ten list either 🙂
Your list was wonderful too — music certainly unites people!
Thanks again, lovely.
Also, wanted to thank you so much for your kind words and adding Indies Unite for Joshua here. Hope you know it means the world xoxo
It is so amazing to see how music has influenced our lives. I myself can’t live without music. I even play it at night when I go to sleep. Eden your selection of ten is fantastic. Reading your post makes me think how sad it will be when in the next year to two they are no longer going to make CD’s. Everything will be digital. There is something about having an LP, or a CD…
Hi Savannah, it is kind of sad, but I suppose things are always moving forward. Hard to keep holding on to the old … though I do have all my 45s…oh well, do as I say not as I do!
Savannah, I agree. That’s the fun part — seeing how music is an influence, how we remember moments in our lives, what becomes our favorite song, band, singer. Thank you for commenting here. What do you like to listen to?
Hi Eden! Hi Justin!
Great post Eden! I have to agree with the majority of your choices, and yes, I think I would have added a Beatles album, and I’m a huge Queen fan….I’d need to add one of their’s….really Justin – only 10? Do you understand how many years we’ve been listening to music *grin*
Eden you certainly get points for reducing your choice to only 10. I don’t think I could have done it 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
Hi Barb, thanks for your comment. I agree 10 was difficult, but it did force me to think about the ones that are my mainstays — thank goodness for variety and I love Queen too!
It is tough, Barb, to choose only 10 albums. And there are so many I have as runners-up. I do appreciate you commenting here . . . always. What Beatles album would you place on your list?
This is great.
E, you know what a music freak I am. All of these records explain your art because they’re literate, lyrical, melodic (for the most part) and atmospheric.
Joni Mitchell (love her) and Bob Dylan are writers and poets who just happen to be famous musicans. if they wanted, they could be equally as well known as writers.
Nina Simone, Miles Davis…oh God, they are their own instruments.
Great choices. I think we’re brother and sister or long lost kindred souls. Brilliant.
You are brilliant, and your knowledge of music is fantastic, so I’m thrilled to see you here. Yes, I love poets, poetry, and songs that tell stories. I’m a fan of Leonard Cohen too, and he is in my top 20 somewhere.
Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment,
I agree with Eden, Lance: Brilliant. Fun Fact: My partner’s kindergarten teacher was Joni Mitchell’s mother, who built a great educational foundation to launch from.
Nicely eclectic collection of tunes–some of which I’ll now have to investigate, because others are also on my list of faves. My challenge: I want to immerse myself in sound when the music plays… So I can’t allow the distraction while I’m writing, otherwise I’d end up transcribing lyrics.
Tmycann, I agree with you. I’m the type of person who always tunes into music where ever I am, and even sometimes ignore who I’m talking with at the moment because of it.
Appreciate your comment and coming to visit me here on Justin’s great blog 🙂
Hello Tonya, and welcome; I always love your opinion on the writing craft and I can’t wait to read your upcoming novel, Dust to Blood. I am so on the other side of the creative debate about writing while music is playing in the background . . . One of my favorite bands, Texas, is hitting a good high vibe right now (the Red Book album) . . . I know authors who listen to the same song or album on repeat throughout the writing of a story or novel. I use the music as a white noise wall that breaks the real life sounds (Kipling playing with Zippy usually) from breaking my concentration.
I love your variety of tastes Eden, and some great choices. I love what music does to your senses and how it is directly connected to emotions and memories. xoxo
Hi Jess,thanks! Agree that music is an integral part of who I am, makes for meeting some wonderful people like you and Justin too!
That’s the key I like to hear, Jessica; how music connects to emotions and plays with memory walls. Thank you for taking the time to comment here. I really appreciate it. Your poetry collection, Threads of Life, is so great (please find at Amazon, peeps).
Thanks for a terrific post! I don’t listen to music nearly as much as I used to or as often as I should. Music does influence my writing if I listen while I write, and many songs inspire me to write. Usually, I avoid listening to music while I write for the same reason you do; the lyrics distract me. Occasionally I can listen to music without letting it distract me from my writing, but other times, the mood of the music influences the mood of my writing too much even if I don’t get distracted.
Hi Rebecca, Great point about mood being influenced by music. I thought I could listen to jazz or instrumental and be fine to write, but even that distracts me. I need complete silence – I’m anal that way. 😉
Thanks for coming to visit me here on Justin’s great blog.
Moods while writing are very important when channeling any important encounter, inner thought, of a character. I find certain music is capable of putting me in a happier or sadder trance state and I fall into it willingly. Thank you very much, Rebecca, for stopping by. I love your writing life.
I love Eden, and I love every single one of her music choices. Miles Davis is one of my all-time favorites. It’s great to see her here on your great space, Justin!
Hi Amberr, great to see you hon!
Go Miles! And yes, Justin has a fab spot here. I might just decide to move in 😉
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love Miles, and I hope to keep it that way hehe. I know you are also passionate about music, Amberr, and I appreciate you stopping by. I hope you are gearing up for a full and musical spring.
Interesting collection, Eden. I love music and used to listen as I wrote, but more recently have found myself getting distracted by the lyrics, so I tend to write in silence now and enjoy the tunes later. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Jane, thanks for you comment. I ‘m like – need total silence for writing, and then some ‘music time’ just to give myself a break.
Jane, I’m trying to think of some great music to listen to while creating incredible crime/suspense novels like your terrific first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder. I always think the music of The Clash works for any background music and keeps The Muse satisfied.
Ha! Charity, thank you, appreciate your commenting.
Hi Charity — do you listen to music while writing? Barry White, Dusty Springfield, or perhaps, Luther Vandross . . . something rich and sexy?
Great music! Now try Electric Light Orchestra. And, seeing you like Pink Floyd, try Atom Heart Mother and also Meddle.
Hi, Dan nice! Yes, ELO definitely , and will check out Atom Heart Mother and Meddle too, thanks for commenting here 😉
Very great choices by Eden, Dan. I love ELO, and they pop up on random play frequently. I love the earlier albums you mention as well . . . This weekend may have to be a Pink Floyd marathon.
Love hearing about all your music, Eden! You’re such a rock chick :). I’m a HUGE Floyd fan. Have been since wow, 70s. Vinyl time.
Some new bands to search out — love that.
Rock on, Thin Mint.
Yay, another Floyd fan – you’re so cool, Rachel, but I knew that even without the music! Thanks for visiting me here.
Thin Mint . . . yay. I love rocker chicks (does anyone remember a group called Spider with Holly Knight? She wrote the Tina Turner hit Better Be Good To Me and it’s a better version than Tina’s and hers is stellar) . . .
Since there appear to be many Pink Floyd fans here, give Polka Floyd a shot: http://polkafloyd.com/ Initially it’s weird, accordion and all, but quickly it may turn catchy and fun. The site has streaming samples. I have both albums. No, I’m not advertising for them, I’m just telling fellow Pink fans that Polka Floyd is fun.
Ha, Dan, that is quite funny. I would have never thought Polka and Pink Floyd could co-exist in the same sentence! Thanks for turning me on to them. Will see what they are about.
Hi. Enjoyed this very much.
Hi Chris, thank you 😉 Really happy to hear that and so sweet of you to drop by Justin’s excellent blog.
Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!
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thank you for your encouraging words, April. I am hit and miss with the “writing” of blog posts of late . . . busy July! I plan on getting back to the meat and potato writing life full tilt soon enough. Hope you have the best summer.