10 albums that changed my life, by Buckcherry’s Josh Todd

Buckcherry: Josh Todd second from left (Image credit: Earache Records)

"Buckcherry is unique, complex, simple, passionate, explosive, original and always a good time," says band frontman Josh Todd, and he should know. For 22 years he's led the Californian mavericks, and for 22 years they've delivered the kind of thoroughbred rock'n'roll that only comes from those with a lifetime devotion to the cause.

Todd would agree. "Buckcherry has been my love, my pain, my passion," he says, "and I’m so proud of what we have accomplished."

Buckcherry's latest accomplishment is ninth album Hellbound, described by Classic Rock as "Stuffed with killer material" and "the party-rock album of 2021." 

Below, Josh Todd reveals the 10 albums that got him where he is today. Hellbound is out now.     


The first album I ever bought was… Toy Dolls: Dig That Groove Baby

“It was the first album I ever bought with my own money. I went to this independent record store and I loved punk rock; I’m from Orange County, California, so punk rock was really big back then. I think I saw some sort of video footage of Olga [Michael Algar], the Toy Dolls singer, and he was just this really lanky, skinny guy – he was almost like a cartoon character, and I just thought he was so interesting and cool. I could tell you the exact tracklisting of that record, I’ve listened to it that much!”

The album that reminds me of high school is… AC/DC:  Back in Black

“It has to be Back in Black. Once I got into major label rock kinda stuff, AC/DC were the band that I thought were awesome. You could dance to them, you could party to them – the songs had real groove. It was just so powerful, even down to the way they recorded the songs. I would take that record everywhere, it was always in my back pocket; I’d take it into parties and change up the music all the time!”

My favourite album of all time is… Minor Threat – Out of Step

“It’s gotta be Minor Threat’s Out of Step. It just happens to be the record that was really pivotal in my adolescence; I was going through a lot of stuff as a kid with my personal life and there was a lot of dysfunction around me. That record really helped me get through a lot of stuff.”

The album that defines metal is… Metallica: Kill ‘em All

“If a kid was to ask me what metal is, I’d hand him a copy of Kill ‘em All. I mean, that was always metal to me. I’m not a massive metalhead, but I really enjoy metal that almost sounds like it’s punk rock. I really like some of the early Slipknot records and the early Metallica albums, because they feel like they were just a group of guys that really believed in what they were saying and doing, just really feeling it. There was a lot of honesty in those records and I liked it.”

The album I’d break the speed limit to is… Rage Against The Machine: Rage Against The Machine

“The first Rage Against The Machine record has a lot of dynamics and they really know how to finish a song. They’ll start one place and finish somewhere completely different, and that’s one of the great things about Rage: their songwriting template. They have this way of getting a verse/chorus going and then finishing with a completely different outro that just makes you wanna rip the roof off the place.”

Nobody will believe I own a copy of…Yaz: Upstairs at Eric’s

“I’m a big fan of Yaz [Yazoo outside North America] and Upstairs at Eric’s was a big one for them. My sister listened to Prince, Billy Idol and Yaz back in the day, when I was listening to a lot of punk. I would sneak into her room and look through her records, and I came across Yaz. Upstairs at Eric’s is a fucking amazing record, but it was a bit off the beaten path for me; I was listening to all these punk rock records, so I didn’t tell all my friends I was getting into this type of music! But that’s when I started getting into Prince, Billy Idol, The Time and all those records.”

The album that’ll make you smile is… Lionel Richie: The Definitive Collection

“I’ve been going back and getting really old school; I just went through this big Lionel Richie phase, because I was in a cab and heard a Lionel Richie song and was just thinking, man, there was this period of time where he just couldn’t lose. And so I just went and got all his greatest hits and I’ve been digging on that. I listen to a lot of old school funk like Bill Withers and stuff like that.”

The most underrated album is… Love/Hate: Blackout in the Red Room

Blackout is a great record. It came out in a time when it was kinda overshadowed by Guns N’ Roses’ success, but it was a really great record. Jizzy Pearl is an amazing singer, Love/Hate was great live – I saw them many times prior to the record’s release – and the songs are just really great. This album is completely overlooked and it’s so unfortunate.”

The album I want played at my funeral is… Prince: 1999

“Ugh, that’s awful. I don’t want a funeral, but I’d probably want the whole 1999 record played. I love it. I think it’s one of the best records Prince ever put out. I’d want people to just, like, have a nice time and dance.”

The album I want to be remembered for is… Buckcherry: Black Butterfly

“Well I know the record we’re gonna be remembered for is 15; it’s a good record and I’ve really enjoyed playing it live, but Black Butterfly is my favourite record. I love the title of the record and I think it’s more of an alternative record for us, and as far as my wheelhouse went, we kinda hit all the genres of music I grew up with and put it all together. It was pretty cool."

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.