Deep Thoughts

Sudden wave of nostalgia

I’m sitting here trying to do some work, listening to music. ABBA. Yeah, I know, I know. I’ve been completely obsessed since I saw Mamma Mia! in the theater.

Anyway, I’m clicking around in iTunes from one ABBA song to the next looking at the album artwork. Then, all of a sudden, i get this unexpected flash of nostalgia. Remembering flipping through my parents vinyl records. Putting them on the record player and placing the needle on the black vinyl.

Getting a record back then just was more exciting than it is these days. Everything from going to the record store and buying it to taking it out of the case and placing it on the record player.

One click in the iTunes store, or Amazon is really convenient for sure. I just miss the process it used to take to get music to come out of my speakers.

Oh well, it’s one more of those thing that our kids won’t understand when they grow up. The pain, agony and inconvenience it took us old timers to enjoy music.

13 replies on “Sudden wave of nostalgia”

That is exactly how I feel! And I think I am one of few who still want my music on CD. Original CD’s. I want the grafics and lyrics even if I rarely read them… It brings some kind of extra dimension to the album.

CD can not really be compared with the vinyl. But some how I try to hang on to what’s left of the old feeling, I guess.

Here in sweden I think the vinyl is having a little come back!

I feel like it’s something people say but don’t mean. I don’t miss vinyl in the least. It got scratched, it skipped, and they took up a crapload of room in your room. Plus you can’t play them in your car . . . but CDs, I agree there. I also miss the pure joy that was creating a mix tape.

@Peter M:
I agree, I also like holding the clover art, reading along with the lyrics, etc. I hope the vinyl record doesn’t disappear completely…

I’m not saying I want to go back, I’m just saying that we don’t appreciate music the same way anymore when we can click through an album in a few seconds, skipping from one song to the other. There was a lot more invested, not necessarily money, but time as well, in the process of listening to music. I just think that sometimes we take things for granted too much and don’t fully appreciate tunes in the same way. Buying an album or a tape was more of an event a decade or two ago. Now, we can’t even be bothered to go to the store to buy music, we even get upset when we have to click more than once to get something to download.

In any case, I get nostalgic about other things besides music. Doesn’t mean I want to go back in time though. It’s more of a pleasant memory of the past, reminiscing about how things used to be.

When you got a record for christmas, birthday or by having saved enough money to buy one, that record really mattered. Even if you only liked two songs, you still listened to the entire album because getting an album was an event! I even felt that when I got older and had enough money to buy a couple of records a month. Now a song is so disposable, it’s a clip on YouTube, background noise to a commercial, a phone signal etc. I’ve heard of artists (ok, just Marit Bergman to be honest) selling subscriptions of their music, I think you get a song each month.

Is the album as we know it dead? Even the downloadable kind?

Well put Jonas. It’s all, as you say, background noise. And with the ease of self publishing these days, there’s even more noise for people to sort through, giving you less and less time to really listen to something by giving it your full attention.

Music these days is consumed differently than before due to ever evolving technology.

Less attention and less time, yes! That’s what I meant with “even if you only liked two songs, you still listened to the entire album”: You learned to love even the songs that didn’t immediately hook you. I’m feeling much more impatient now and seldom listen to albums all the way through. I don’t think it’s just because albums have become worse even though it certainly can be a reason.

I even remember getting a CD and listening to the tracks I really didn’t care for that much over and over again, trying to like them. Trying to understand why the band put them on the album and often actually ending up liking those tracks quite a lot after a few listens.

I still work that way! I allways try to get whole albums (if I don’t buy them) and really listen to all songs. Giving them time to grow. Thats what I like with music. When you find an album that you didn’t get from the start and then after a while the pieces falls together and you find yourself not able to stop listening to it!

It can also go the other way round… and it sadly does quite often.

I started a sentance in my post before this about the vinyls comeback in sweden. I have heard through vinylplayer manufacturers that the business is going up again. More and more people buy new players for their beloved old vinyl albums! It is not totaly gone yet!

I also agree with you about the fact that, especially the youth, does consume music in a very fast pace. either they don’t care or they don’t listen to it like we used to do, or does. One thing that I’ve noticed is that when “they” listen to older music like led Z or black sabbath or just our early music they seem to listen to it with more patience. Is that because the music was harder to digest before or what?

Oh so many things to respond to….

Ally – I too mourn the days of the mixed tape! I found some the other day from high school where I named the two sides and created album art for it. Bummer. I create playlists like a crazy person now. And it is still my goal to recreate all my old mixed tapes as playlists… one day it will happen…

I too used to listen to albums straight through while pouring over the liner notes. It occurred to me recently that I used to know every musician’s name, details about the band, their tours, all kinds of trivia and background info. Now I barely know the names of songs beyond “track 7”. I think a lot of it is just not having the time to *sit* with music like I used too.

I distinctly remember preordering Pearl Jam’s Vs. album, picking it up the day it came out, going straight home and when I put the CD in, I couldn’t get past the first 30 seconds of “Go” because it was just soooo gooood. I think I listened to that first 30 seconds about 10 times before I listened all the way through the song.

I work with teens and trust me, they are CONSTANTLY listening to their iPods. Constantly. I think they are just as passionate about music as we were but its just a different delivery method. They get exposed to music through Myspace the way we used to through the radio or MTV. The musican’s Myspace profile is just like what liner notes used to be. And when I think back to all the pictures of bands I had pasted together on my school binder and how I would copy lyrics onto my book covers, its not much different from kids who’s favorite bands and songs are all over their Myspace pages.

hard to believe I forgot to add something…

I’m with you Pete that self publishing has made a TON of stuff to sift through but I can’t imagine only being able to listen to artists that record companies decide are good and worth promoting. I’d rather sift through a mountain to find a few diamonds than to have only a small pile a shit.

And do you remember taking me to these tiny music shops in Stockholm when I was looking for some obscure Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson albums?

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