Okay, I'm officially old. I'm watching a Time-Life informercial on the "Classic Soft Rock Collection," pretty much songs from the 70s and early 80s. Geez, I know EVERY SINGLE SONG, and ALL THE WORDS TO EVERY SINGLE SONG they have played so far. They are showing clips of the original videos, and I'm having a serious flashback. But seriously . . . in the 70s (aaahhh, a Doobie Brothers song . . .), there weren't nearly as many different genres of music played on the radio, and Top 40 music was what most people listened to. It was the early days of FM radio, which meant they played a lot of music and very few commercials - those were the days - and pretty much everyone in your general age group knew and loved the same songs and artists. Yeah, we bought albums by our favorite artists - for me, Three Dog Night, Linda Ronstadt, Chicago, Fleetwood Mac, Doobie Brothers, Cat Stevens, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Boz Scaggs, Kenny Loggins/Loggins & Messina, and Gino Vanelli, and tons of others I'm sure. But there were lots of one hit wonders that had really great songs and then disappeared from the music scene. They are just playing one great song after another (ahhhh, Waiting by Foreigner is on). The Cars, Phil Collins, the hits just keep on coming . . . along with the BIG hair and spandex and leather. Hee hee.
Now the weird thing about this infomercial - aside from the obvious - is that most of the people they have talking about how great it is (you know, those generic couples that are supposed to look like they are really loving the music) are WAAAAAYYYYY too young to remember any of this music from the 70s. Lord, I was a teenager then, and these folks look not even 40. Maybe it's botox . . .
My point is, a lot of this music is just so great, and you don't hear it much any more, except on American Idol where it may be mangled beyond recognition. Or on the Oldies station. It's amazing how a song can transport you back to a particular time in your life, sometimes to a particular day or event. Music is a very powerful thing, a tangible piece of memory that gets ingrained in your soul. (Ahhhhh, Bread - Baby I'ma Want You - a classic.) See what I mean? I can remember exactly what was happening in my life, exactly where I lived, where I worked, who I was in love with, etc., when that song was on the radio (I actually had an eight track of Bread - but that's another issue altogether).
With the eclectic, often weird varieties of music out there today, I wonder what this generation of teenagers and young adults will flash back to when they hear their own "oldies?" So much of it is sad, angry, unpleasant, misogynistic, and just plain raunchy . . . I'm not sure I'd want to walk down that memory lane.
Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the music out today, and I listen to a much wider range of stuff these days, from classical to alternative to blues to jazz, and so on. But a lot of it just makes me uncomfortable - or bored. And it's hard to sing along with in the car. I mean, where's your modern day Bohemian Rhapsody? Singing along in the car used to be a bonding experience - or a way to practice your skills where no one could hear you.
Yep, I'm old. But I still like my music loud . . .