Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 58: Jakob Samuel

Jakob Samuel first made a name for himself as the drummer for the Swedish melodic metal band Talisman, fronted by American singer Jeff Scott Soto. Later on in his career, Jakob was the lead vocalist for bands such as The Poodles and Kryptonite. On 3rd September, he released his new solo album “CoExist”. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson checked in with Jakob to hear what five albums changed his life.

Peter Gabriel “So” (1986)

“There were so many important songs on this album for me. ‘Sledgehammer’, ‘Don’t Give Up’, ‘Big Time’ and ‘Mercy Street’ have inspired me both melodically and vocally, but most importantly, lyrically. Deep, honest and engaging lyrics with a twist. Really strong songs made with golden work gloves. It would be hard to beat this even today.”

Rainbow ”On Stage” (1977)

“This is a band on fire! Such an unbelievable energy and know-how that it floors me. One can notice that they are unbelievably eager to demonstrate what live music and individual performance can be. A bunch of top musicians that outperforms most and with a collection of songs that has become a blueprint for the genre ever since.”

Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack (1973)

“There’s been numerous versions of this masterful musical but the one, in my opinion, that is outstanding is the film version with Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson that came out in 1973. It has vocal performances that in my opinion are unrivalled and with such a feeling that I get goosebumps just thinking about it. The casting is fantastic. This was a landmark for me and it started my interest in musicals.”

The Police “Synchronicity” (1983)

“This was a band that was constantly in motion. It’s hard to pick just one of their albums but I think this one is their crowning moment. I was 14 and unhappily in love when it was released. A formative period of time in my life obviously. Stewart Copeland’s drumming became a recurring source of inspiration for me as a drummer. My admiration for Sting’s songwriting skills and vocal style has constantly followed me through the years. One song that became especially meaningful for me from that album is ‘Synchronicity II’ and, of course, ‘Every Breath You Take’.”

The Poodles “Metal Will Stand Tall” (2006)

“It is obviously this album that fundamentally changed my life most of all. It was the success of The Poodles that suddenly enabled me to write songs with anybody I wanted to write with and it is something I have taken advantage of ever since. I was well-prepared as an artist and composer for this album and it is probably this album that many will associate with me, just like they associate many other artists with their breakthrough albums. Even though there are other albums in my back catalogue that I personally like better and feel are better made, I am very proud of how we made ‘Metal Will Stand Tall’. It is a time capsule for a special time in my life.”