5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons

(Credit: Pedro Gomes/Redferns)

Name  Dan Reynolds

Best known for  I’d like to be best known for being the dad to four really rad kids. I have four wonderful children that I love. I have a nine-year-old girl who has been all around the world with me, right at the beginning of the onslaught of Imagine Dragons, and has been a road warrior in a tour bus. (In the beginning, it was just a van, then the tour bus.) Then I have twin four-year-old girls, and I have a two-year-old little boy who’s about to turn three. I think that’s my number one priority, just to be a good dad.

Current city  Las Vegas, born and raised third generation, which is pretty rare. Most people are transplants. All my family’s been here for a long time. This city was established by the Mormons and the Mob, and I happen to be on the Mormon side of it. I’m not Mormon, but my family is Mormon.

Really want to be in I really love Vienna. I spent a lot of time in Vienna over the years and something about the culture, the people, the food, the architecture…I think I’ve always wanted to live in the past…. The thought of a cold future that’s metallic and steampunk–all those video games that show the future–seems like hell to me. I love the idea of old architecture, crumbling buildings that are really old and long meals at night. I like a slow living.

Excited about I can’t get too much into detail on, but I’ve been making a video game for two years. I started taking coding courses four years ago. I’ve been learning C# and Unity. I’ve always wanted to do it since I was a kid. I was like, “Why am I not doing it?” I’ve been drawing all the art and making music and creating a video game over the last two years. It’s been a lot of fun. That’s what I’m most excited about right now.

My current music collection has a lot of  Paul Simon, Graceland. I listen to Graceland every day. Any playlist I have, any time I listen to music…I always end up back at Graceland by Paul Simon.

And a little bit of  Maybe rock, actually. It’s funny because everybody is like, “Imagine Dragons, rock band.” I really don’t listen to a lot of rock.

Preferred format  Definitely streaming. I have vinyl. I grew up on vinyl because my dad had an amazing vinyl collection, but I’m not the vinyl crusader, that’s like, “I only listen to vinyl. It better be vinyl.” I stream everything. The second LimeWire and Napster existed I was like the first kid who was illegally streaming music.

When I was young I made mixtapes. I would sit next to the radio with my cassette player and hit record and make mixtapes off the alternative station here in Vegas, which is Mix 94.1. I don’t know, I guess I consume in a lot of different ways, but whatever is the way of the time, that’s most easily accessible, that’s what I do.

Credit: Brittany Nguyen

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without:

1
Tea for the Tillerman, Cat Stevens

 

 

I’m going to have to go, first and foremost, with Tea for the Tillerman, Cat Stevens, because this was really my youth. The first song I ever cried to was “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens. I remember lying in bed and having my feet over my head. I was in middle school, I was feeling depressed and…I don’t know. This was when the music really became transformative to me. I listened to “Father and Son”…I listened to it 10 times on repeat and just cried in my bed, and felt heard and felt connected to somebody I didn’t know.

That whole record, like “Wild World”, “Hard Headed Woman”…I just really connected with Cat Stevens and his mentality. Even as I’ve grown up and studied Cat and his life and how he’s walked away from everything and pursued his spiritual journey, I just really connect with his honesty, and whether I agree with everything he says or not, I love that he lives his truth and it’s really rad.

2
Graceland, Paul Simon

 

It’s just one of the best records of all time, in my opinion. It’s so effortless, nothing else sounds like it, so melodic. You can hear every word he says, which as a lyricist, I appreciate and love. That whole record is just filled with fantastic songs.

3
Nilsson Schmilsson, Harry Nilsson


Harry Nilsson is my dad’s all-time favorite artist. That’s why I probably heard more of him than anybody growing up, but it’s a record that I still listen to, to this day. I feel like Harry was one of the most underappreciated artists of all time. He was just a jack of many trades. He would do “Lime in the Coconut,” but then he’d sing a serious song that would make you cry, and then like “Early in the Morning,” “Gotta Get Up,” “Without You.” It was like he did genre hopping for fun.

4
DAMN., Kendrick Lamar

 


I love Kendrick, just as a human also, on a human level I think he’s a really good person. I love that he leads with his heart and he speaks his truth. I think DAMN. is one of the best records of our time, and I think he’s one of the most prolific and important artists of our time.

5
Nevermind, Nirvana

 


While I say that I don’t listen to rock, I really listened to Nevermind. I’m a child of the ’90s. Nothing made me feel quite like this record. I don’t know if anything ever will because I also just identified with everything about this at that time period of my life. It was one of those records that just meant so much, you felt like you were friends with Kurt. You know what I mean?

I think that’s why his death has impacted people for so long…even these young kids who don’t know anything about Kurt and weren’t raised on Kurt, they can still look at pictures and videos and interviews. He just was so approachable and real, you just felt like he was very disillusioned with all the things that you would want him to be disillusioned with. His heart was always in his music, and there was so much pain in his voice always, and it felt really palpable and real.

IMPACT

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