Regular readers will know that music has always been an important part of both my and my sons’ lives. Although I make an effort to keep up with current releases, the ability to listen to anything in my collection with a couple of presses and swipes on my iPod means I increasingly find myself digging back into the archives for something to listen to when I am in the car or when I am chained to my desk at the office.
Have I become some old fuddy-duddy stuck in the past? Undoubtedly there is an element of that. But the music of my adolescent and young adult years is more than just a comfort blanket to cling to. Great music is all about triggering emotions and personal associations. Familiar songs are bookmarks to memories and events of my past, as I have occasionally explored through my Classic Albums series.
But the arrival of the MP3 player has fundamentally altered the way we listen to music. While I still listen to albums, I am equally likely to put my iPod on shuffle and see what it throws out at random. Or I will dial up one of the 100-plus playlists I have created via iTunes, most of which are based around specific years, genres or other more esoteric themes. In effect I, like many others, effectively use my iPod as a portable jukebox, picking out selections of tracks to suit my current mood.
Which is where the idea for this new regular series – which I am calling the Nostalgia Jukebox – comes from. In forthcoming posts I will dig back into the history of music and produce lists of thematically-based tracks which take my fancy on a given day. These are not intended to be ‘top 10’ lists or anything particular meaningful or serious, but they will be reflective of my personal tastes and my mood at that particular moment.
To earn a place in my Nostalgia Jukebox, a track need only fulfill two simple criteria: it must be at least 20 years since the song’s original commercial release and it has to be in my iPod library. Simple enough.
I’m not entirely sure where these random peregrinations will take us but let’s give it a go, shall we? Watch out for my first selection over the next few days.