Vinnie Paul: The 10 albums that changed my life

Vinnie Paul
(Image: © Will Ireland / Getty Images)

Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul picks the top 10 records that have influenced him throughout his life – from AC/DC and Kiss to experimental artist Enigma.

The first album I had sex to is...

AC/DC – Back In Black (Atlantic, 1980)

“Oh Lord, that was probably to AC/DC. The first chick I had sex with, everybody at the party gangbanged. There were about eight of us and I was number six. That was back in the day. We were in the back room, and when Johnny would get done, Jimmy would go in, and they would do a high-five and ‘It’s your turn, bro!’”

The first album I ever bought was...

Kiss – Alive (Casablanca, 1975)

"Kiss – Alive – that record meant the world to me. It was crazy, as soon as I heard it, it was the album that made me wanna play drums. Peter Criss’s drum solo on there is insane. You could hold the 12-inch album up and look at them on there and just go, ‘Wow, this is so cool! Look at these dudes, with the fire and the make-up…”

I break the speed limit to...

Slayer – Reign In Blood (Def Jam, 1986)

“You can’t not drive fast when you’re listening to this record. You gotta be careful when you put that on in the car, because you will get a ticket. That record is timeless. In 1983 when Metallica came out, thrash metal was a whole new thing for us. Those bands were definitely an influence on us.”

The album that should not be is...

Peter Criss – One For All (Megaforce, 2007)

“This is a tough one to answer. I guess the Hot In The Shade album by Kiss [1989] didn’t turn out so good, did it? I’ll tell you an album that was really a bummer, though: the last Peter Criss solo album. It was a total turn for the worse, ha ha!”

The album I wish I made is...

Ozzy Osbourne – Diary Of A Madman (Jet, 1981)

“It was produced by one of my favourite producers, Max Norman, and the fuckin’ sound of that record was incredible. It was very influential; it took metal into a more modern, heavy direction. Lee Kerslake played drums on this album, but Tommy Aldridge played on the tours – and Tommy’s one of my favourite drummers. He’s still going full blast!”

The album I want to be remembered for is...

Pantera – Cowboys From Hell (Atco, 1990)

“All the albums are great, and I’m really proud to be a part of all of them, but I think the one that people will never forget Pantera for is Cowboys From Hell. Every fan knows that song. For the picture of us all in that bar, they took the photos of us individually and placed them on there – if you look closely you can see that they cut the headstock off Dime’s guitar.”

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

Judas Priest – Painkiller (Columbia, 1990)

“If you wanna hear a pure fuckin’ metal record, listen to Painkiller. That, plus British Steel, is what metal is all about. When those records hit, man, they were fuckin’ slammin’. Priest write great songs, and they’ve got probably the most badass singer - in the fuckin’ world – the Metal God himself, Rob Halford – and their image is totally fuckin’ metal.”

The album I want played at my funeral is...

Guns N' Roses – Appetite For Destruction (Geffen, 1987)

“I’d really want to choose an album that was a goddamn good time, like fuckin’ Guns N’ Roses. I’d want people to celebrate what we’ve done and the fact that we’d had a great life. I wouldn’t want my funeral to be a sad, sappy thing. I’d have the whole album, but Paradise City and Welcome To The Jungle would give off a positive vibe.”

No one will believe I own a copy of...

Enigma – Love Sensuality Devotion: The Greatest Hits (Virgin, 2001)

“I love Enigma, man. Everything they’ve ever put out is just the most soothing and mind-relieving music I’ve ever listened to. After listening to Slayer and being part of Pantera and Hellyeah, when you get in your bunk at night you don’t wanna put on Reign In Blood and try to go to sleep. If they toured, they’d probably be sold out everywhere.”

The best album artwork is...

Pantera – Far Beyond Driven (EastWest, 1994)

“That album cover really became a trademark staple for Pantera. The first idea was a drill bit going into an asshole – pretty hardcore. We wanted to take this thing to another fuckin’ level, which we did with the music. The label wouldn’t let us use that cover, so we said, ‘Let’s put it right in the dude’s head.’”

Pantera – Far Beyond Driven album cover