Music We Love: Ben, Owner of Blacktop Records, Shares His 5 Favorite Songs

Music We Love: Ben, Owner of Blacktop Records, Shares His 5 Favorite Songs

Meet Ben Andress, owner of Ontario-based record label, Blacktop Records. Here, Ben tells us a little about himself and shares his top five favorite songs.

Tell us about yourself: This year marks the 12th anniversary of Blacktop Records. I grew up listening to my father's music collection and daydreaming about being a rockstar at 5 years old. After many failed attempts, I decided to start Blacktop Records by myself in my dorm room basement during my first year of college. It's neat to see the label go from feeding 500 brown paper lunch bags through a home computer printer to releasing CDs, vinyl and cassette for artists such as Wheatus, Lisa Loeb, Green Jellÿ and MC Lars.

1. "Devil Inside" by INXS: It's funny -- I'm not a fan of saxophone but Kirk Pengilly kills on INXS' Kick. One of the best albums from the 80s in my opinion and more than likely the best band to come out of Australia. I think I've listened to Kick just as much as Petty's Full Moon Fever. There's just something about the desperation in the vocals or the odd chord structures... and that damn saxophone. It's enchanting. Cool trivia is that [acclaimed director] Joel Schumacher directed the music video for this song.

2. "Zombie Zoo" by Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever. To this day, this album is in my top ten island albums. It's such a precise record. [Electric Light Orchestra lead singer] Jeff Lynne did a beautiful job bringing these songs out of Tom Petty and helped create some of the best stadium anthems ever. "Zombie Zoo" is the closing track on the record and is filled with interesting vibes. The vocals are chilling and the lyric content is a little different than what the laidback Petty usually croons about. Cool trivia is that Roy Orbison contributes backing vocals to this track.

3. "Innuendo" by Queen: No other band has the ability to write songs as magically as Queen. The leading track on Mercury's last record with the band is an epic masterpiece. This song is like a sophisticated jigsaw puzzle -- it's beautiful and showcases the magic of Queen.

4. "Five Long Years" by Colin James: Another saxophone-driven song for a guy that hates saxophone. Colin James' self-titled debut record is filled with angst and wonder. The production value is timeless and man does Colin sure know how to write a hook. Super catchy song by an underrated Canadian artist.

5. "Get A Haircut" by George Thorogood and the Destroyers: Over the decades, one thing still blows my mind. How the hell does George Thorogood get that sharp guitar tone? Jesus. My speakers smoke every time The Destroyers play on my stereo. This was the first CD I ever got. My father got it for my 7th birthday and to this day I swear he got the album for me just because he wanted it.

Honorable mentions: "Let Go" by Cheap Trick. "We Are The People" by John Mellencamp. "The Boy In The Bubble" by Paul Simon.

Loving Ben's taste in music? Connect with him and Blacktop Records on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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