It could’ve been the first time you heard “Dark Side of the Moon”, or the first time you turned on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, but everyone remembers when and where they were when they listened to their favorite album of all time.

It may be something you realize right away, or it may be a record that grows with you from your teenage years into aduldthood.

But today is Record Store Day, and here are some local politicians, city officials, entertainment and art personnel to discuss their favorite albums of all time.

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Bart Blatstein, owner of The Showboat Atlantic City and developer of The Playground.

Artist: Led Zeppelin

Album: Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

Age when I heard it: 16.

Why I fell in love: “‘Stairway to Heaven’ is one of the classics of all time and one of the best examples of rock. Everything about it – the tempo changes, ‘Stairway’ was almost like a short story or short film. It’s great.”

Why it’s still my favorite: “Songs remind you of times and bring back memories and times and events, of course, and it’s great times. It was the high point of rock. Although rock will never die – well as long as I’m alive, it won’t die with me. (This album) holds up to my kids these days. It’s just a classic.”

Mayor Don Guardian

Artist: Nina Simone

Album: I Put A Spell On You (1965)

Age when I heard it: 13

Why I fell in love: “She was a classical pianist and then she got into R&B and soul and jazz and she’s very much a blues artist. As the civil rights movement got nasty, she became a great protest leader and you can hear that in her songs. She’s one of my favorite artists.”

Why it’s still my favorite: “There was this social unrest of the South and the whole concept of civil rights with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the bus boycott with Rosa Parks. It was a time you were living history and you knew it and she just kind of made you understand it and you knew what was going on. That’s the best part of her career.”

Mark Giannnantonio, president and CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel

Artist: Rush

Album: 2112 (1976)

Age when I heard it: 12

Why I fell in love: “It was just a great album, I liked their music and I thought they were incredible musicians through my whole childhood until today.”

Why it’s still my favorite: “I liked all of Pink Floyd and Zepplin and Rush hit a sweet spot for me with their writing and their ability to play instruments with just three guys. Any chance I get I try to see them — I’ve seen them about seven times — and my son loves them and plays the riffs now.”

Jim Wood, chief executive officer of Meet AC

Artist: The Bee Gees and others

Album: Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (1977)

Age when I heard it: 23

Where I was: My apartment in Claremont, California.

Why I loved it: “The album came out during the peak of the disco era. I’m not ashamed to say that I loved to go disco dancing whenever I had the chance. We had a blast!”

Why it’s still my favorite: “Every time I hear a song from that album it immediately lights me up, gets my feet moving and places a huge smile on my face because it reminds me of all the great times I had with my friends dancing the night away.”

Jim Wynkoop, general manager at Boardwalk Hall

Artist: The Beatles

Album: The White Album (1968)

Age when I heard it: 13

Why I loved it: “[The Beatles] had long broken up when I had heard it ... but listening to the White Album on a good stereo in my friend’s room was the beginning of a life long love of the Beatles music which is still going strong. I remember where I was when I heard John Lennon had been shot. And, I was fortunate enough to see Sir Paul McCartney live for the first time last summer.”

Why it’s still my favorite: “In light of where I was in my music appreciation at the time, I had never heard anything like that before, and it became a basis for much of the music I still love today. If you are feeling a little down I challenge you to flip on Helter Skelter and not get yourself pumped up, or not sing along with Paul to Blackbird or John to Julia. They were getting tired of each other by this point, but the music created was unbelievable. This record is nearly 50 years old, and it still resonates.”

Lori Herndon, president and CEO of AtlantiCare

Artist: Billy Joel

Album: Piano Man (1973)

Age when I heard it: 14

Why I loved it: “I was in ninth grade when it came out. My friends and I loved it — I listened to it on an 8-track player.”

Why it’s still my favorite: “It reminds me of my teenage years. I got to see Billy Joel live in 1976 at Bucknell University. I have seen him several times since and still love his music.”

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Contact Staff Writer Maxwell Reil at 609-272-7258 or at

I’ve written for multiple publications including Levittown Now, Passyunk Post, Philadelphia Neighborhoods,Temple News and JUMP Magazine. I’ve covered arts, entertainment, business, music, sports and local government. Experienced in videography.

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