I’m not young. I’m old enough to know better, and to explain to my kids why I choose to do it anyway. You know how that answer goes, though….age, experience, I’m your father….search your feelings…you know it to be true, ect. One of the drawbacks of being older (other than everything, goddamnit) is that you tend to have a particular, nostalgic fondness for the music during your formative years. For me, those years were the 80’s and early to mid 90’s. I tend to work around younger people, and am horrified at how culturally stunted some kids are…it’s like they never heard any of their parent’s music, ever. Then I remember…I really hate Janice Joplin, Carol King, and most of The Doors and some (not all) of the Beatles thanks to my dumb-ass parents, since those were the artists in normal rotation, depending on who was controlling the record player at the time.
Yeah, I’m old enough to have handled and played records in a non-ironic, non-hipster, non-DJ way. You know, the old fashioned way. Hell, my first music player was a tiny 7″ record player. Admittedly, my first album was something from Sesame Street. Thankfully the tape-cassette walkman came into fashion not too long after that, and I managed to scam a bunch of tapes off of Columbia House, or whoever it was that wanted me to tape a penny to this mail in card and select a bunch of music. I did that, twice, and never paid more than two pennies for a bunch of tapes….age verification wasn’t a real big thing back then, and they really couldn’t enforce a contract with a minor. So, score some free Cars, ZZ Top, and the like.
So, moving this along, a friend hooked me up with a collection of the top 100 pop hits of each year of the 80’s…1980-1989. That’s 1000 songs. More than 1000, since he felt there were some omissions that he couldn’t let slide by, which is awesome. The bad part about all this is that while I can hear a song and say “Holy shit, I loved that song”, I couldn’t tell you who the artist was or what the name of the was for over 90% of the songs that I enjoyed from that decade. I can recognize Duran Duran, The Cars, and most David Bowie songs that were popular during the 80’s. A few other bands that had a very distinct sound, or were especially big names for a while (Jackson, Madonna, Lauper) are easy as well. Everyone else….big goddamned shoulder shrug. SO….I now have the unenviable task of listening to the entire collection and rating these songs so they become part of my library. They may have all made the top 100 for that year, but that doesn’t mean I like all of them.
This is still going to take me a very long time. Wish me luck.