First Exposure: Richard Johnson (ex-Enemy Soil, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Drugs Of Faith)
I'm not sure what the first grindcore record I ever heard was. I'm thinking ... "Harmony Corruption" by Napalm Death comes to mind. I loved it. Well, having said that, my least-favorite song on that record is "Unfit Earth." I got into death metal before grindcore, so that might have helped at the time because of the influences on that album.
Their reputation preceded them for me. I remember going over to the import section at Tower Records in Northern Virginia and finding a copy of "From Enslavement to Obliteration" on vinyl, with that classic sticker that said something like, "'I want to be in the biggest band in the world, and you don't do that sounding like Napalm Death.' - Joe Elliot." I flipped the record over and looked at the photos on the back and thought, "Wow. These guys look really extreme." And I put the record back. I only knew about them at the time I think from seeing Dan Lilker wearing their shirts in Nuclear Assault band photos.
The record still holds up, yes. Besides the obligatory "Suffer the Children" I'd love to hear "If The Truth Be Known" in a set today. They brought back "Vision Conquest" I noticed several tours ago, which I thought was a nice touch to a set, so to speak. I don't know that the album inspired me musically in a specific way other than them being Napalm Death and doing that for me. The record that really had an impact on my playing and how I write was "Utopia Banished." A huge impact, I would say.