My parents had a great music collection and the tunes were always playing in our house. Whether it was The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie or Donna Summer, Blondie or Billie Joel, music played in the car and on my dad’s stereo at home.
Around the time I turned twelve, my parents gave me an old record player. It was big, with a wood-grain base and had a big plastic cover. I found a place for it on a shelf in my room, and then began asking for my own collection of 45s.
In case you’re not old enough to know what a 45 is, it’s a record single, so one song on one side and one song on the other. My mom had an extensive selection, which I recently inherited. It was a great way to have a variety of songs, without committing to the entire album.
As I got older, and CDs became the way of the future, they created CD Singles, which used to mainly feature one song, with multiple remixes or versions of that song. They stopped being a thing once people started to digitally download music, much like CDs themselves.
Overtime I grew my music collection and had a mix of records, 45s, cassette tapes and CDs (singles and full albums). Now everything just lives on my computer, my phone or my iPod.
As I showed my kids some of my old records, they were pleased to see that I used to like Strawberry Shortcake, Disney and Sesame Street. Showing them the music I used to listen to made them see me in a new light, I think. More relatable, somehow. Like the “old days” when I was a kid actually happened and I wasn’t always just a mom.
While they may not have heard of Culture Club or George Michael, they recognized Michael Jackson (probably thanks to their Halloween dance-a-thons and Thriller.
I have to laugh at the collection we have, between Musical Youth (Pass the Dutchie) and The Village People (Macho Man, YMCA, and more), Debbie Gibson and INXS, I’m happy to have been exposed to such a variety of music.
It does make me sad to know that my girls won’t have something like this to pass on, since music exists now online. Digital collections of music are not tangible and for the most part private. You don’t exactly walk around showing your favourites from your playlists to your friends. And when you get tired of something, does it just get deleted?
Will you ever be able to go back and appreciate, or laugh at the music choices of your past if they aren’t even there to remember?
With music spanning over six decades and four audio formats, that was one of the best parts of going through the collection from my parents’ house; there were a lot of “look at this!” and “who bought that?” moments.
So, in honour of the evolution of musical preferences, today’s Music Monday pic is dedicated to dancing in my living room to the Blondie’s Heart of Glass.