A happy Friday to you all. Let’s talk about albums, today, why don’t we?
With the delivery of music so different now than even a decade ago, it seems that fewer people are able to truly enjoy a complete album for an extended period of time (like weeks or months, not hours or days). It’s natural that we all have less time available to do so as we get older, but it seems that even the younger music fans are so bombarded with new artists and songs that album appreciation is becoming a lost art.
I want to share with you a few albums about which I have wonderfully fond memories.
John Schneider – yes, the actor – released several country albums in the early ‘80’s. I had one of his tapes. I’m not going to bother looking up the name of the album, but it did have the song, “I’ve Been Around Enough To Know” on it. This is the first tape that I listened to so much that I did wear down the recording of the song to a point that its sound quality was somewhat compromised. I’d listen to it over-and-over-and-over. I listened to the entire album, mind you, but that song just got me. If I heard it now, I’d probably know every word to most of the songs on there.
The Cure/The Smiths were a stable of my teen years (and early 20’s) and they are both, still, two of my favorite bands of all-time. For me, the joy of album listening peaked with albums like Disintegration. I’d put the CD in my portable CD player, lie on the floor, turn all the lights off and close my eyes getting lost in the album. I’d never fall asleep, but I’d find that middle ground where I’d be so lost in a netherworld that my mind would drift to fantasy with no light or sound but the album.
With The Smiths, I would spend hours listening to and reading the lyrics wishing some of the songs moods more accurately fit the words. When you are deep in depression, you want to go deeper, and reading Morrissey’s lyrics were a great way to get to a lower plain.
A decade ago albums by The Shins, Elefant and Air would flow through the airwaves for weeks or months on end. Even the Killers and Interpol became albums I’d know and love front to back. (Yes, before they were big the arrogant music snob says.)
I grew up listening to a records and 8-tracks as well as tapes so Elvis, Marty Robbins, Porter and Dolly all had albums that I listened to for years. My personal physical music collection is only in the 3,000 albums range (not including the digital music I have). But in recent years the number of albums I have bought have nosedived. It’s rare that I’ll get into an album and listen to for more than three or four listens. Local Natives, Yuck and Beach House are notable exceptions.
Now, when I listen to an album (which isn’t very often), I’m usually writing or working or trying to entertain the kid. There isn’t the time to allow an album to take over my life. Maybe that will happen again. Maybe it won’t. But either way, I’m glad I had the relationships I had with albums when I was younger. I just hope that kids today are still able to appreciate the impact a complete album can have on their lives.
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