I suppose I can credit my love of music to my parents. My mom played guitar and sang to me every night. My father always had music playing from his extensive record collection. My mom was in glee club in high school, and my dad worked at a radio station in college. If reading was the number one thing they taught me, music was the second.
Unfortunately, I have no musical talent whatsoever. I can play a little piano, but that’s it. Can’t even sing, really, thought I do at nearly any given opportunity. I was in chorus in grade school but couldn’t hack it when I got to high school. I once tried to teach myself harmonica…another failure. I just haven’t got it.
However, I have excellent rhythm. I can notice the smallest changes in a beat. So, when Kevin became interested in making music when we were teenagers, I became his second set of ears. It was as close to the making of the music as I would ever get.
I saw this thing on the socials about albums that have affected you. I found this to be cool for two reasons. First of all, I am always on the lookout for new tunes. Also, I love hearing what songs and artists really mean something special to people. Then I saw a comment on one of these threads from my aunt, about how she didn’t even take into account the records from her youth. I did not, either, as I sat there thinking about what albums have influenced me. So yesterday while I was cleaning, I stumbled upon my CD collection, and gave it a once-over. It brought back some fine memories, and a list of songs I now need to add to my Spotify playlist.
Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrissette was the first CD I ever owned, given to me by my Aunt Moe on my 12th birthday. I recall her being concerned about the language and my mother not actually caring, which was a surprising turn of events. I listened to it so much that it stopped playing after a while, and that’s around the time I picked some copies of No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom and Harvey Danger’s Where Have all the Merrymakers Gone? at a recently opened used record shop in neighborhood. I had heard one song from each album on the radio and had ten bucks burning a hole in my pocket. The No Doubt album got a lot of play, but the Harvey Danger one goes on my all-time top five list, easy. There is not a song on that record that I don’t still know the words too, and I have most of it saved on a Spotify playlist that I listen to regularly.
Somewhere along the way I stumbled onto The Wallflowers and Bringing Down the Horse. I was amazed years later when I discovered that the lead singer was Bob Dylan’s son (who is my number one lyricist of all time.) I played that one until I accidentally left it on the deck during a rainstorm and it got destroyed.
The last records I recall making an impact on my youth were So Much for the Afterglow by Everclear and Dizzy Up the Girl by the Goo Goo Dolls. I discovered the former as I also discovered my depression, and it spoke to that in a way I could not yet find the words for. Then came our hometown boys, whose songs on the radio I had liked. I got that record for Christmas when I was seventeen, I think. That year was a turning point for me, and is pretty much the age I consider my childhood to have ended, and Dizzy helped me deal with that.
I have another Spotify playlist called Twentysomethings, which has a lot of music I listened to in my 20s, and I think I will have to give that a browse next. I enjoy listening to songs I used to love because they remind me of people and things I used to love. Circumstances weren’t always great but music was always on my side, and I am glad I had that friend in those lonely times.
You know what would be great? If you, dear reader, left a comment with some tunes from your youth that you loved. I think that if I got enough, I could make a pretty killer playlist.