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Many of today’s young adults might find this hard to believe, but a long, long time ago, before the internet shrank the world; before i-pods, Playstations or the X-box vied for the younger generation's attention; before BluRay and DVDs; before Personal Computers, video players, Sony Walkman’s or CDs, teenagers found entertainment in the shape of flat round objects called ‘records’. 


Music was different back in those pre-MTV/music video days, aside from the fact that you could actually hear the words (in most cases at least), the most important things about a song were the music, lyrics and overall sound.


Along with childhood favorites, many (if not all) of us have songs which affect us in ways that few others do. They bring back memories and emotions (not always good ones) from an important time in our lives. To this day I can remember the first time I heard one which affected mine.  


As the middle child in a house with seven children, I’d always been aware of music, but I never really got excited about it until I was nearing sixteen.  I was in the kitchen doing the washing-up (this was 1977, the pre-dishwasher era) with the radio on as background noise. All of a sudden I heard the most amazing rock guitar intro. I remember leaving a splodge of bubbles on the dial as I cranked up the volume. I couldn’t believe my ears. Even before it was over I knew I had to buy it.


Afterwards, the DJ named the song. It was Queen’s, Tie Your Mother Down (from their A Day at the Races album) That was the day I fell in love with music. I started buying records and listening to the radio all the time.   Singles and albums by ELO; The Boomtown Rats; Abba; Cliff Richard; David Bowie; The Sex Pistols; Boney M; The Stranglers; 10cc, and many others found a place in my collection, though Queen was always my favorite band.


My life changed as a result. Little more than a year later, in addition to my day job, I was working five nights a week as a pub Disc Jockey in London.  Some of those pubs were less than savory. Some had strippers. Some were less than savory AND had strippers… but that’s a story for another time. Suffice to say that my (mostly good) experiences during my time there had a profound impact on my life, and would probably never have happened had I not been absent-mindedly listening to the radio that day.


How about you?


Did music have an impact on your youth?


What was the first song in the soundtrack of your life?



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( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 7th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
There are several songs that bring back particular memories every time I hear them, like holidays. Some I associate with certain people. Some albums that I link with different books.

I guess "Bang the Doldrums" by Fall Out Boy would be a major one on my life soundtrack, though - it always makes me think of my first 'real' boyfriend (I'm still with him at the moment, in fact *g*) It has a lovely line in it - "Better off as lovers, and not the other way around" - so often people talk about being better off as friends than more than that, and I love how it flips that on it's head. The song came out over the summer when I started talking to Stewart a lot more, and we got together in the autumn - I kept thinking that we were better off together than just being friends.

That's a rather sappy story, sorry ;-)
'Rest Of My Life' by Less Than Jake always makes me think of an evening on Tiree with my family a few summers ago, just because my brother and I were stood outside singing it. It's a song that I know will be with me whenever I get to a crossroads in life.
'Drops of Jupiter' by Train always makes me think one of our family friends, who just has such a bubbly personality, even if she seems to not know where she's going a lot of the time.

I'll stop there, but there are so many little stories I could share relating to songs. Music has such a big impact, I think.
Nov. 7th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Me too, though sometimes it can open doors in our memory that were best left closed :)
Nov. 7th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
Other than someone who is actually deaf, I am the least musical person I know. I think I have a gene missing. I am not merely ungifted in terms of playing and singing music, I just don't pay much attention to it. I went to college not owning or even wanting any kind of music-playing system. My roommate used to turn her turntable off when she left our room, even when I was sitting there. When I protested, she said, "You're not really listening." She was right. For me, a song is mostly the lyrics. Words now, I love words.

Nov. 7th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
I've always enjoyed good lyrics. They make a song more memorable I think :)
Nov. 7th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
I have always loved music and various tracks have inspired some of my stories.

The first one that stuck with me, that I can recall in an heartbeat, is Julia's Dream by Pink Floyd. I also like the classics and Gregorian chants, as well as recordings of very old instruments.
Nov. 7th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
I like some most music, I even went through a Gilbert & Sullivan stage once. I think one of the reasons Moulin Rouge evokes so much emotion (at least in me) is the clever use of all those great songs from years ago.

Thanks for sharing :)
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Nov. 7th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
Those are great songs :)
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(no subject) - jongibbs - Nov. 7th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 7th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
This makes me remember another piece of music that has had a tremendous impact on my life--Tchaichovsky's Violin Concerto in D Minor. The first time I heard the opening stanzas of that piece of music, my whole body felt it. To this day, all I have to hear are a few notes and I'm back in that moment.

And you know what I just realized? In my WIP, there is a very gifted musician. Her music effects people the way Tchaichovsky's Concert does and did me--and I never realized I used that feeling in the pages of this book until just this moment.

Thank you!
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(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Nov. 7th, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Nov. 7th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 7th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
Music never changed my life, but oft times it was a wonderful, necessary escape.
Nov. 7th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
Escape is good too :)
(no subject) - peadarog - Nov. 7th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 7th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
What was the first song in the soundtrack of your life?
Oh, that's hard but I'm going say My Sharona by The Knack. At least the first in my teen years.
Nov. 7th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
I remember that one. Great tune - shame about the second album :(
(no subject) - maryjdal - Nov. 8th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 7th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
I was a Mod--a devotee of Britain's second musical wave. It started with the Clash and the Sex Pistols, the Jam, Elvis Costello. Next thing you knew, in came the Ramones, and a slew of American bands that turned Mod into punk. It was a heady time for music, and I was right in there with my zippers, mini-skirts and tiger-print spandex. My friends had a band, "The Offenders." Yeah, we were stupid kids, but we had some fun.

But what song could always bring me to tears? Queen's "We are the Champions." I was always battling some demon living inside my head. That song would come on and I'd tear up. Strangely enough, it grew to encompass "We Will Rock You", because of course they always played together.

(Ok, I never said I was normal!)
Nov. 7th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
News of the World wasn't Queen's best album by a long shot, but it had those two great songs (and Melancholy Blues too ) :)
Nov. 7th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
I can't point at any one song as being a "first song" I grew up listening to pretty much everything Motown put out during the 60's/70's. I remember seeing The Beatles and The Jackson Five on The Ed Sullivan Show very clearly but I don't remember Elvis. And yeah, I watched American Bandstand and Soul Train every Saturday morning.

Even today I listen to music from the 60's/70's/80's more than the music produced today. I dunno, it just doesn't do much for me. I find it mindboggling that British female artists like Joss Stone, Adele and Duffy are doing more to keep alive the Motown R&B tradition than American singers I call "One Name Wonders" like Beyonce, Rihanna, Ashanti, Ciara and their ilk who are all so generic and sound-alike it's sad. Their success in the music field is due more to marketing than any real talent.
Nov. 7th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think a lot of great acts from the 60s and 70s (and to a certain extent, even the 80s) wouldn't even get their foot in the door today because of their looks (or lack thereof).

Nov. 7th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
"Hard Day's Night" and "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles.
Nov. 7th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
I remember seeing the Yellow Submarine movie. I wonder if it's stood the test of time.
Nov. 7th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
I've got a thing for my Dad's favorites, like Hank Snow and Chet Atkins. It brings back memories of him, and he's been gone for almost a decade. No life changers, but there are a few I hate because they are linked to sad or miserable times and a few I love that bring back good times. Naturally.

Funny but this happened yesterday. My sister, in a wicked mood, dedicated Billy Idol's "White Wedding" to me and my husband. It was big when we got married.

Hadn't heard it in years, but yesterday I went in for an MRI. They put music on through earphones and asked me to choose the station. (It helps with the noise level of the MRI machine, which is ear-bustingly loud.) I picked a classic rock station, and you have to know the first song they played. Heh, heh.

You're not supposed to move, cough, ect. during the procedure, and I had the hardest time not giggling.
Nov. 7th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
I hate it that some of the great songs make me sad because I don't want to listen to them :(
Nov. 7th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
I have so many early pop music memories.

The Police were an early influence. I loved everything from Man in a Suitcase to King of Pain. Still do, actually.

My dad was a huge Beatles/Paul McCartney fan so there was a lot of that and The Who and he I remember him loving Toto. Fleetwood Mac was played pretty heavily as well.

My mom listened to a lot of soul like The Temptations.

Michael Jackson's Thriller album came out when I was in kindergarten or first grade, and of course that was huge. I had one glove and a red leather (cheap pleather, actually) jacket. My older sister loved Madonna, Olivia Newton John, and Stevie Nicks' solo stuff.
Nov. 7th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
I quite like Sting on his own - especially Russians. Thriller was (and is) a great album :)
Nov. 7th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
I started out writing a reply to this, but it grew quite long, *g* So I shall post it over on my lj, and say here that the two songs that I remember most vividly from the years I spent on stage were played during the first ever paying gig: we were 17, our regular lead guitarist got a job that afternoon, so introduced this guy he knew from school to take his place. The old community hall had one electrical outlet we could plug in to, and the group that were running this had set it up so two bands and a disco machine were using it (the disco machine had to be left running, because it was supplying the strobe lighting)

Ok, you can probably imagine the problems we were going to come up against. We tried to tell the organisers (a church run and sponsored dance for the local youths) this would overload the system. These well meaning adults insisted it would be fine, and it looked good. *sighs* Halfway through the first song the microphone cut out; the new lead guitarist looked at me and said, do you know any Led Zepplin? I nodded, Right he said, follow me ... and launched into the lead to Black Dog, while I did my best to put the rythym in. I did know some Led Zep, I'd just never played those two songs before, lol.
Nov. 7th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Singing in public and not knowing the words - every singer's nightmare :(
(no subject) - eneit - Nov. 8th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 7th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
I don't remember the first, but "Miracles" by Jefferson Starship reminds me of an old boyfriend. Culture Club and Cyndi Lauper remind me of the time period when I first fell in love with my husband.
Nov. 7th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
I don't think I know Miracles, but Culture Club were good :)
Nov. 7th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
I remember wandering around Toronto (and, occasionally, Tasmania) with one of the first Walkmen blasting various tapes. Unlike with records, you were "forced" to listen to the whole song-list, in order, because the price you paid for mobility was not being able to just skip the needle from groove to groove. Though you could also either A) rewind and replay until the tape eventually thinned and broke, or B) learn what songs were on the other side "behind" the songs you liked, and just keep rotating that section over and over.

As a result, I have a lot of songs floating around in my head even now that most other people have completely forgotten, or never got to hear at all--the "C" to "Z"-sides. Stuff like "I Love You, Miss Robot" by the Buggles, or "Modern Love is Automatic" by Flock of Seagulls, or "Pull Out the Pin" by Kate Bush. And a hell of a lot of Pat Benatar: "My Clone Sleeps Alone," anybody?
Nov. 7th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
You know, I actually liked The Buggles. I can't really remember much about A Flock of Seagulls except the weird hair. Did they do I Ran?
(no subject) - handful_ofdust - Nov. 8th, 2009 04:37 am (UTC) - Expand
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