Scott Stapp: the 10 records that changed my life

Scott Stapp
(Image credit: Napalm Records)

They stay with you, the songs you hear growing up. And sometimes, when you'e a musician, they pop up when you're least expecting them.    

For former Creed singer Scott Stapp, whose third solo album The Space Between The Shadows is out now, those songs can still force their way into his current work. 

"I can hear it come out sometimes, without any planning," says Stapp. "For example, there's a song Gone Too Soon on my new record. Without me knowing it or intentionally doing it, the guitar work and the vibe has a very U2 sound to it, and they were a big influence on me growing up. 

"It wasn't intentional, and it wasn't planned, but subconsciously, I guess that influence is inside of me, and it came out. How I approach choruses is at times very heavily influenced by U2. 

"And I think the pop sensibility in the rock songs that I write is also very much influenced by Def Leppard. You might not hear their sound, but the way they craft their songs rubbed off on me."

Below, Scott picks the 10 records that changed his life. 

Scott Stapp's The Space Between The Shadows is out now.

The Beatles - Yesterday

"This was that was the first song that I ever sang in front of an audience. I was nine years old. It lit the fire under me to want to be a performer and a singer and a songwriter. Because of that song, that performance, and the crowd's reaction. The reaction was good enough – right there, in that moment – to teach me that this was what I wanted to do."

Def Leppard - Photograph

"When I heard this I was around the same age: nine years old. I was at my friend's house and saw the video come on in MTV. And in that moment – watching the video, hearing those guitars, hearing the voice, the presentation – I remember thinking, "I want to do exactly what that guy's doing, and I love rock'n'roll."

AC/DC - Back In Black

"Continuing on with the rock, and the power. When I heard AC/DC's Back In Black it just hit me with something, and continued to perpetuate this feeling in me of a passion for rock'n'roll and all the elements that go along with it."

The Doors - Riders on the Storm

"When I was around 18, I was heavily into The Doors, and this song in particular. I loved the vibe, and the feeling, the way the band presented themselves, the way Morrison performed and and presented himself as not only a singer and a performer but a poet. 

"I think that definitely had an impact on me, especially early in my career." 

 Pink Floyd - Mother

"Around the same time, every night for probably a year, I would put my headphones on and this would be the song that I would listen to. Over and over again, until I fell asleep. 

"There's some magic in that song that soothes my soul and brings a peace over me. It continue to show me – without me knowing it – the power of music over your emotions, and over your inner being." 

U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name, With Or Without You

"Song were more important to me than albums, but The Joshua Tree was different. When I heard that album front to back I didn't take it out of the cassette player in my car for probably two years. 

"I really felt that this guy and this band had written these songs about my life, and about how I was feeling, and what was going on in my brain. This guy's saying everything that I'm thinking! How does he know this? What's the connection? 

"The epic nature and the grandeur and the anthemic quality of these two songs definitely influenced me as I started to I create songs. I've never gotten there, but it definitely planted that seed in me in terms of what to aspire to, and how I approached lyric writing, and how important I felt lyrics were to a song. 

"I've spoken with many different artists, and some don't feel lyrics are very important. They feel it's more about the melody and the music, and it doesn't matter what words you use if the melody's right.

"But not for me. I believe it's a combination of all of it: the music, the melody and the lyrics are all equally important." 

The Rolling Stones - Under My Thumb

"There's just something something about this track and this band. It just has an attitude and a vibe that's so rock'n'roll, and that the really personifies the attitude and ego you need to be a live performer."

Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven, When The Levee Breaks

"The sheer beauty and genius of Stairway to Heaven is such that I can't listen to the  song enough to ever get tired of it. And then When the Levee Breaks. The sexiness in that drum groove, and when guitars come in. Both made me want to capture that same vibe and feeling in my own way at various times in the music that I created."

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.