Monday, September 15, 2008

Songs Lost to Technology

Since I wrote last week’s Search Engine Fiction prompt, I’ve been thinking about Lake Geneva and I can’t do that without Bob Seger blaring in my ears. Lake Geneva to me means windows wide open, hair flying everywhere, hot nights and cool stars, and Bob Seger blaring on the 8-track with ‘Still Like That Old Time Rock and Roll’, ‘We’ve Got Tonight’, or ‘Turn the Page’ . Then it got me to thinking about how music in the history of my life has been lost because of the changes in technology.

There are songs which only exist for me as records. Elton John, John Denver, Carol King, these are record artists. Rumours and Hotel California were record albums until my sister recently sent me CD’s (what a treat that was!). And what about Jesus Christ Superstar- how many hours did I spend pouring over the cover? In my life those songs belong on LP’s.

Then there were 45’s. They are the exclusive technology for the Jackson 5, the Partridge Family, and the Archie’s. Didn’t we love that little red transparent Archie’s 45? I think it came from a cereal box if I remember rightly. 45’s with the ‘A side’ we all knew, and the surprise packet ‘B side’.

And then there are the 8-tracks. Bob Seger, of course. The Rolling Stones, Queen, and Billy Joel. Those big fat tapes you had to push into the slot with a bit of muscle until you heard the click. After 8 tracks went the way of the dinosaur, cassettes took over. Cassettes to me mean John Prine, Mango Groove, Lauren Hill, The Boss, and Oliver Mtukudzi.

I’m only just entering the world of the CD. With me I’ve brought Corinne Bailey Ray, Jimmy Dludlu, and Nora Jones. We’ve hardly gone far along our CD path and my children are teaching me how to pile a million songs on one CD in MP3 format. I’m not taking to it easily, but I’ve been like that with all of the others too. I had an 8 track player when there grew to be people who would say with a screwed up face, “What’s that?” It’s hard for me to leave music technology behind because, unfortunately, I end up leaving all of the old songs and their accompanying memories behind too.


Anonymous said...

I had that red Archies single. This post struck a chord with me because so many of my musical memories are associated with LPs rather than CDs. I still have all my records. Although I rarely play them I just can't give them up. They were very significant to me at the time. It seems sad to think that our children will have completely digital musical memories.

Lauri said...

I'm so glad that memory was true. I find nowadays some of those memories are wonky.

What I miss are those big album covers. Especially the double ones that fold. With lyrics and pictures. An MP3 player just does not fit the bill....

Karen said...

Oh, how very true! I have many of the albums from my childhood, and no way to play them. I'd love to just go out and get them on CD so I can listen to them again, but many aren't available on that format, so I'm stuck just looking at the cover and trying to remember all the songs.

Even if I did have all the right equipment to play them, I don't know that I would, for fear they'd become damaged and unlistenable (ooh, new word??? LOL!)

Albums were wonderful, because you could really look at the covers and the artwork. Not only that, but the lyrics were printed in a size that can be read by the human eye. WITHOUT bifocals... ok, I can't read much of anything without bifocals, but you know what I mean.

For me, 8tracks meant Jethro Tull and Donna Summer (the only 8-tracks I could afford for the longest time) Then the deck got stolen from my car and that was it for me, musically (unless I wanted to listen to the AM radio. Bleh.

Cassettes weren't trustworthy, since I had many tapes gobbled up by hungry tapedecks. But my husband had a Yes tape that became one of my favorites to listen to on long car trips.

Now I have classical CD's in my car and an ecclectic mix of them near the computer. Music feeds my muse, so I don't go too long without it.

Great post, Lauri. You rock. And roll...

Karen said...

By the way, there's something for you over at my blog...

Lauri said...

Thanks for your lovely comments at your blog.

You are so right about the lyrics on the CD. I thought it was for people like me who want to sing with the songs but really shouldn't. They'd been listening to me for years with the LP's and I think they said - 'This is really enough now' but didn't want to be rude, so they made the writing so tiny no one like me could read it.
BUT what they didn't know is if I don't know the words -I just make up anything! Like for years I sang- I believe in Malcolm ( after the Malcolm Softpaws cartoon) but I've learned recently that it is I believe in Miracles (which makes a bit more sense).