The 10 records that changed my life, by Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer

A portrait of Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer

The first album I ever bought was…

Kiss - Alive! [Casablanca, 1975]

“I bought it the day it was released when I was seven. I had already been exposed to the first three Kiss albums because my older sister had them, but I wanted to be the cool kid and get it first. It was definitely a life-changer; I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve spun that record.”

The best album artwork is…

Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast [EMI, 1982]

“Oh wow, man! That’s a tough one, but it’s got to be a Maiden record. I may as well go for my favourite one, The Number Of The Beast. Those early Maiden records are just so badass. I just love ’em all!”

A kid asks me what metal is. I hand them copy of…

Metallica - Ride The Lightning [Megaforce, 1984]

“It was just so groundbreaking and it’s still very relevant. The Number Of The Beast is my favourite album of all time, but Ride The Lightning is definitely up there. It certainly defines metal, there’s no doubt about that.”

The album that makes me break the speed limit is…

Slayer - Reign In Blood [Def Jam, 1986]

“Well, I have to admit, there are actually a lot of records that make me want to break the speed limit because I don’t like following rules any-fucking-way. But the intensity and overall aggressive nature of Reign In Blood just takes over me.”

The album I wish I made is…

Pink Floyd - The Wall [Harvest Records, 1979]

“Probably for the overall darkness, I would have to go with The Wall. Comfortably Numb is just such a great song, especially [David] Gilmore’s solo. That guy can make you cry with just three notes. That’s some real grown-man shit right there!”

The album I want to be remembered for is…

Iced Earth - Incorruptible [Century Media, 2017]

“I’m just going to say Incorruptible – the new one. I know that might sound pretty cheesy but I really love this record. I am very proud of it and it’s very impassioned, with a new energy in there.”

Nobody would believe I own a copy of…

Michael Jackson - Thriller [CBS, 1982]

“I got it quite a long time ago because it was such a masterpiece of production. I think the song Thriller is actually pretty cool. I’m not really much of a Michael Jackson fan, but that song has a dark thing to it you wouldn’t expect from a pop artist like that. It’s phenomenal.”

The album I’d have played at my funeral is…

The Highwaymen - Highwayman [Columbia Nashville, 1985]

“I don’t know if I’d want the whole album played, but I’d like the song Highwayman with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. The lyrics blow my mind, even though they didn’t write the song. It would be perfect to be played at my funeral, for sure.”

The album that reminds me of school is…

Alice Cooper - School’s Out [Warner, 1972]

“The best day of school was always the last day of school, and playing Alice Cooper’s School’s Out was like a ritual for me. I would crank that shit as soon as I got home – that was like a mandatory thing I did. I would put my speakers out the window and just crank it up!”

The first album I had sex to is…

Queensrÿche - The Warning [EMI America, 1984]

“The one that really became the soundtrack for me and my girlfriend was Queensrÿche’s The Warning. We would just go all night long with that album spinning on the old-style automatic turntable. It would play over and over, which happened quite a bit with The Warning, ha ha ha!”

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