The Thread of Music

Music from any age never dies, but only gets better. There is a thread stretching all the way from the age of Beethoven to the age of Adam Lambert and other modern pop stars, and it will never be broken, only singed, burnt, drenched and changed colors with the passing of time.

When I was spending my early childhood in the 90s, the 70s and 80s were not far behind and were still considered “fresh” and a part of contemporary, mainstream radio. They are the songs that would often hit the air waves and shaped my overall perception of music. They are why I have a liking for music from different eras and can appreciate the different cultural trends. The era of animal named bands, disco and the silky pants, the rise of electric rock, the big hair of the 80s, and the boy bands. Radio stations played more Beatles hits during my early childhood than any other time, since the Fab Four’s era was less than 30 years gone and adults still could fondly remember the “good ole days”. The last time I heard “Judy in the Sky”, a song with hidden meanings and probably a nod to “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, on the radio was when I was about six and I haven’t heard it on the radio since, only through a curious search on YouTube.

As we have gotten deeper into the 21st century, older music has moved over in favor of newer hits from younger artists. The early 2000s seem so far away now, mainly because I’m way past a kid now and am continually adapting to the changing sounds and trends. A lot of it has to do with the way listening to music has evolved, from cassette tapes to CDs to iPods, and now to Pandora and Spotify. I remember when the NOW! series was at number 5 in 2000 and rocking out to “Kryptonite”; now it’s past 54 and I don’t really seem to care anymore, but the concept is still strong with many.

I was born at the beginning of the 90s, so of course I got a taste of the music my parents used to listen to, until my generation, the millennials, started to develop and break off from the pack, throwing out a few rules laid out before them. I appreciate music from all genres and eras, because they give me a peek into what the culture was during those times.

Back in the first house I remember as a child, my mom used to have an 8-track player/record combo lying on the kitchen counter. The technology of 8-track tapes had gone out of style by the mid 90s where I was at but mom still had a whole collection of them and would play them in the afternoons or evenings. I remember for a short while my mom playing the song “Secret” by Madonna on the old 8-track while holding my then only baby sister and dancing and singing to her.

MC Hammer, Nirvana, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Whitney Houston. Those are a couple of names that kicked off the decade that saw the rise of the Internet and personal computing. Pretty mild songs for the most part, some a little rebellious, many packed full of soul and R&B.

Then the late 90s came, the time that I like to call “my awakening” as well as the segway to the new millennium, artists like Britney Spears, N*Sync, The Backstreet Boys, and Smash Mouth carving out the image of my true childhood that I remember the most. The time between me being a kid and listening to long gone songs such as “Every Morning” from Sugar Ray and then getting into the modern days of Rihanna and Taylor Swift seemed to last a long time.

If I could and had the time to do so, I would lay out my entire life in the form of a soundtrack. It would be interesting to see the changes in the world’s and my musical taste. I like to think the music I grew up on in the nifty ninties could only be described as a blend of the 70s and 80s before it driven by a rebellious culture shifting teen generation, while music today really has no identity – it is a product of all music that artists have created and nurtured since the earliest methods of recording music were invented.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Papa Loves Mambo.”

What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?