As any adult of sufficiently advanced age will probably say; the music of your youth makes an indelible mark on you that isn’t easily erased. Every old geezer like me has at one time or another gone on and on about the stuff they listened to back in the day, boring to tears any youth within earshot. Music isn’t better or worse today than it used to be (except boy bands, ’cause what the holy hell was everyone thinking? Even as a kid in the target demographic, that stuff was just shit), it’s just different.
The reason music imprints on the young brain is simple (in my own uneducated, opinionated and unscientific research): as a teenager you have for the first time: lots of disposable income AND endless amounts of time, hence you listen to a lot of music. Lots of it over and over again, and it served as the backdrop for all of those memories that old folks like me love to retell over and over.
I can understand this, and since my tastes in music have broadened considerably (a necessity since I have children, but also from my own choosing) since I was a teenager, and I mostly listen to other things now there is no reason for the following fact:
I still can hear the tape artifacts from my own copies in the songs I hear today that are perfect. It drives me absolutely nuts. Let me explain: There was a tape *pop* in my copy of Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits that messed up a line in Only the Good Die Young and when I hear that song today I can tell when it’s coming, and in fact the very moment when it used to happen. I haven’t had that tape in over 20 years, probably. WHY DOES MY BRAIN DO THESE THINGS TO ME? Or, you might ask, why am I listening to Billy Joel now? Well, good question and it has mostly to do with my Xbox Music Pass that gives me unlimited access to every damn thing for $9 a month, so there’s very little friction to finding these old things and putting them on for a play once in a while.
So that’s how I know it’s still happening, but that doesn’t explain the WHY it’s happening. There’s no reason for me to remember that imperfection. I was a Billy Joel fan sure, but no more than any other band from back then, there are other song defects I can recall in a similar vein that have no reason to be in my brain.
Anybody else experience this? I sometimes expect songs to be played in the same order from my favourite mixed tapes as well. Unrelated artists, completely random selection of songs, and my dumb brain needs them to be played in the same order as I remember them to be on a tape I haven’t seen for 20 years. Imagine what I could do if I could clean out the garbage in my head like that stuff? Well, probably nothing all that new but it might save you from reading stuff like this post.