Lzzy Hale reveals her favorite albums that she can’t live without. The Lead singer of the hard rock band Halestorm shares her top 5 albums. Lzzy Hale has been a popular figure in the rock music scene ever since she co-founded the band with her brother Arejay in 1997. Twenty-six years later, the band’s success has propelled her to household name status across multiple genres such as hard rock, heavy metal, alternative metal, post-grunge, and alternative rock.
Halestorm’s breakthrough came when they released their sophomore album “The Strange Case Of…” which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 in 2012. The album’s lead single “Love Bites (So Do I)” won them a Grammy for Hard Rock/Metal Performance. Their fifth album, “Back From the Dead,” which was majorly centered on the band’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, was also a massive success, as it went on to top Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart.
Lzzy Hale has been upfront about how much she respects other musicians, and she openly credits her ’80s rock influences for shaping her into the artist she is today. She has expressed her admiration for bands like Alice Cooper and Cinderella. According to her, these were the bands that helped her embrace her uniqueness during her high school years. The influences these bands had on her didn’t just stop at her playlist but also deeply impacted her musical style and stage persona. Halestorm’s sound echoes the ’80s rock sound. To do this, she blends the sound of that era with her unique modern twist, a fusion that has made Lzzy Hale a rock goddess in her own right.
Which music albums does Lzzy Hale listen to?
- Madonna, Ray of Light (1998)
- Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell (1979)
- Jeff Buckley, Grace (1994)
- Heart, The Road Home (1994)
- Tom Petty, Wildflowers (1994)
Madonna, Ray of Light (1998)
Madonna’s “Ray of Light” album, released in 1998, was a critical turning point in her career. It was her seventh studio album, and she decided to do things differently on this album. Unlike her previous albums, she opted, this time around, for more electronica and techno-pop. In doing this, she added elements of ambient, trip-hop, psychedelic, and Middle Eastern music influences.
On this album, Madonna had a broader range and a fuller tone to her sound, thanks to vocal training for her role in “Evita.” Many music Critics regard “Ray of Light” as Madonna’s most adventurous record, as well as one of the greatest mainstream pop albums of all time.
The album received universal recognition. These recognitions were to commend the innovative production by William Orbit and also Madonna’s exceptional songwriting skills. The album debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 and reached number one in 17 countries, selling over 16 million copies worldwide. Singles like “Frozen” and the title track “Ray of Light” were international hits.
Why Lizzy Likes Maddona, Ray of Light: Lzzy Hale calls this album a “curveball.” According to her, she finds a sense of comfort and empowerment when listening to it. She also loves how Madonna went on a journey of self-discovery throughout the record. Speaking of the album, Hale said: “One of my most worn out albums… I don’t know why, but it makes me feel good when I put it on”.
Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell (1979)
Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” album was released in 1979. it was their ninth studio album and the first to feature vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced original singer Ozzy Osbourne. Unlike what the band is known for, i.e., doom-laden sound, the band is more melodic on this album, with Dio’s powerful vocal range taking center stage.
“Heaven and Hell” was so good that it brought Black Sabbath’s career back on track, reaching number 28 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and number 9 on the U.K. Albums Chart. The title track and songs like “Neon Knights” and “Die Young” are regarded by many as all-time Heavy metal classics. The album’s success re-established Black Sabbath as a leading force in heavy metal and has since been cited as one of the best heavy metal albums ever produced.
Why Lizzy Likes Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell: Lzzy Hale has a special liking for “Heaven and Hell” because of its raw power and the way Dio’s voice was introduced to the Black Sabbath lineup. She appreciates the dark, mystical side of the album, yet she enjoys how dynamic it is. Hale’s respect for the album is crystal clear when she talks about it, “It’s just timeless. Every time I listen to it, it’s like the first time. It’s magic.” Hale says.
3. Jeff Buckley – “Grace” (1994)
Masterpiece is a big word to describe an album, but it fits Jeff Buckley’s “Grace.” Released on August 23, 1994, the album initially struggled with poor sales and reviews. That’s in the past, as the album has undergone a remarkable reevaluation over time and is now celebrated as one of the greatest ever-crafted albums. The only studio album Buckley released during his lifetime, “Grace” is a fine blend of original songs and covers, including a haunting rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Buckley brings diverse musical elements to the album that are even more solidified by his ethereal vocals and Middle Eastern-influenced guitar figures, creating an unmatched sound in indie music at the time. The album is very intense, and to catch a glimpse of that, all you need to do is to play tracks like “Last Goodbye” and “Lover, You Should Have Come Over.”
His lyrics discuss true love, mortality, and the search for Grace amidst life’s trials. Buckley’s passionate performance and production quality have lifted “Grace” to legendary status. It features a range of instruments, including guitars, keyboards, dulcimer, tabla, and harmonium, which Buckley learned to play due to his love for Qawwali music. The album eventually influenced countless artists, with Lzzy Hale of Halestorm citing it as life-changing.
Why Lizzy Likes Jeff Buckley’s “Grace”: Lzzy Hale describes “Grace” as a spiritual record that changed her life. She finds Jeff Buckley’s voice comforting, stating there hasn’t been a voice like his since his passing. For Hale, the album is a source of inner peace. She says: This would be a very spiritual record for me. If I’m stranded somewhere, and I need to find my inner peace… (It’s) Jeff Buckley’s Grace.”
Heart’s “The Road Home” (1994)
The Road Home Album is a live acoustic album released in 1994 and is the fourteenth album overall by the rock group Heart. The musical Versatility the Wilson sisters show on the album is impressive. The album was well received, with the major compliments being on how energetic the performances were and the intimate atmosphere of the live performances. The public reception was positive, as the album allowed listeners to experience Heart’s music in a new way. It also showed how good their songwriting skills were and how powerful their delivery could be.
“The Road Home” is that album that captures the very essence of what the band stands for. With a fine blend of rock, folk, and acoustic elements, the album’s sound comes across as authentic and passionate.
Why Lizzy Likes Heart’s “The Road Home”: For this album, Lzzy likes how raw and genuine the acoustic renditions are. She appreciates the emotional depth and the stripped-back arrangements that allow the songs to shine in a new light.
She says this is one of her favourite live albums and influenced her eventual style behind the mic with Halestorm. Hale says, “This meant a lot to me as a 15-year-old as I was just starting to find my voice (as a singer). Heart’s live version of ‘Crazy On You’ just gives me goosebumps… and the beautiful thing about Ann Wilson’s voice, that it’s a little gruffer… made my dream of being a tougher singer… it made that dream a little less impossible.”
Tom Petty, Wildflowers (1994)
The “Wildflowers” album was Tom Petty’s second solo studio album. Its release on November 1, 1994, was particularly significant because it was his first release after signing with Warner Bros Records. it was also the first of three collaborations with producer Rick Rubin.
The album is majorly credited to Petty, but the Heartbreakers played a significant part in the creation of it, with all members participating except drummer Stan Lynch, who Steve Ferrone replaced.
The album has a fine blend of heartland rock, folk, and blues. Initially intended to be a double album, it was trimmed down to 15 tracks. The omitted songs would later be released in various forms, including the 2020 re-release “Wildflowers & All the Rest.” This expanded edition included outtakes, demos, and live tracks.
“Wildflowers” was a successful album. It sold over 3 million copies in the U.S., peaking at number eight on the Billboard Top 200. Singles like “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and “You Wreck Me” became hit songs. Rolling Stone ranked it at number 214 on their Greatest Albums of All Time list, and it was certified 3× platinum in the United States.
Why Lizzy Likes Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers”: Lzzy Hale loves the “WildFlowers” album, and according to her, it influenced her musical journey. The album helped influence her songwriting skills as she found Petty’s honest and raw storytelling refreshing. Hale often refers to the album’s title track, “Wildflowers,” as a source of inspiration. She is a fan of how simple the lyrics are. Hale says, “I don’t know what it is about (Wildflowers), but no matter what mood I’m in, I can put that on and immediately just be in a better mood. I just don’t think you can argue with Tom Petty.