Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Funny How Musical Tastes Change (and Don't)

I grew up, both physically and musically, in the late 70's.  My musical diet was a steady dose of FM rock radio.  I started out loving the Beatles and Elton John as a middle school kid and moved on to the other classic acts of the era.  I remember a friend of my father gave me a box of cassettes one day and my world changed over night.  In that box was:

Led Zeppelin IV
Rod Stewart - Gasoline Alley
Yes - Close to the Edge
Ten Years After - A Space In Time
Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick
The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet

This music set me off. A 14 year old who thought KISS was the shit was taken in new directions (Thanks Beep!). I was off and running on my life long musical exploration.

All throughout high school I kept on listening and my list of favorites kept growing. All the Zep, Pink Floyd, The Stones, early metal from Black Sabbath, Rush and the rest were added to my collection. I dove head first into punk with the Clash and of course my life long musical obsession with Bruce Springsteen took hold around 1978.

During my college years I relocated to California where I soaked up the west coast rock along with the exploding new wave scene. I listened to all kinds of music, even extending to country out of my love of Southern Rock such as the Marshall Tucker Band. Naturally, country rock acts like The Eagles and southern California artists such as Jackson Browne had a place in my constantly growing record collection.

As I've progressed in years to my current total of 49 I have listened to all kinds of new artists and genres. I love the alt-country sounds of Uncle Tupelo and their progeny. I have become a fan of Bluegrass over the past few years and can finally appreciate the music in its purer form that I loved on Workingman's Dead. Newer Blues artists like Matt Schofield are next to John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters on my record shelves. About the only thing that I have no taste for is Heavy Metal and it's offspring (hair metal, thrash, etc.). It just doesn't do it for me. Houses of the Holy? Still love it to this day. Master of Reality? No more.

My current fixation has been on the 60's and early 70's. I recently finished David Browne's excellent new book on 1970 "Fire and Rain". It looks at this pivotal year in the music of Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor and The Beatles and the albums they released. A great read. It got me pulling out those albums and others this summer.

What I guess this whole ramble is about is that this era produced music with a timeless feeling that I don't get from so many of today's artists. As I've gotten older and my tastes have changed I can appreciate so much more that I didn't "get" when I was younger. Could I have loved Sweetheart of the Rodeo at 17? Probably not. Now? Love it! So that is what I guess I am getting at. The journey never ends. And if the journey is this much fun I hope that it never does.

No comments:

Post a Comment