Songs and memories, part one.

I was listening to an old episode of Wil Wheaton’s Radio Free Burrito podcast. He did an experiment where he put his iPod on shuffle and commented on the memories that certain songs created. I decided to try the same on this blog post. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do that with every song that came up as a lot of them don’t generate many memories for me. The following five are out of the first 36 that my iPod picked. Considering that’s out of 16,132 tracks total I suppose that’s not a bad ratio. If I dug deep enough I probably could have come up with memories for the others that I came across but I didn’t want to spend all day on this. This served me well as a blog post idea. I’ll do more but I’m not sure with what regularity—once a week? Would that be too annoying?

I know that I didn’t supply links to YouTube videos or how to buy the songs on Amazon or iTunes. I figured at this point people can figure that stuff out for themselves. I’m doing this as my writing experiment, not to advertise the music.

“Videodrones: Questions”
This track, from the Lost Highway soundtrack, really only serves as a lead-in to “The Perfect Drug.” So I don’t have any memories for this track in particular but this soundtrack in general served as my sort of “dark music” when I was a teenager. I remember trying to write a newsletter for my friends and in the only issue I managed to get out I wrote a review of this album track-by-track. I wonder if I still have that newsletter kicking around somewhere…. I doubt I’ll re-post it here. I do remember writing that this collection is best listened to in the dark. I just wished I made it all the way through the movie.

This is a Tubeway Army song but the recording that came up in this experiment in particular is a live recording that was a bonus track for the album The Pleasure Principle. I got this album as a high school graduation present for a friend of mine. I think I gave it to him at my graduation party. I only think that because I remember him, another friend and I snuck off to my car to listen to the album in my car. This is one of the few times I bought an album for myself after I bought one for somebody else. I was aware of the song “Cars” but it was always one of those albums that I thought I’d “get around to someday.”

“One Vision”
Another live recording, this time from Queen’s Live at Wembley ’86. This had to have been the third or fourth CD I ever had. I remember in middle school a teacher discovered I was getting into punk rock. He taped a bunch of albums for me. I didn’t have much to record for him in return but I think I offered to do so for this one. Yes, I know this was illegal but this was in the days when we all justified it to ourselves with the argument that we weren’t making any money off of it. It was also before digital distribution so it wasn’t exactly as widespread as it is now. Besides, I’m sure he has the CD by now. Incidentally, I’ve been getting into the cover Laibach did lately.

Theme from “The Mission”
I have this on the Pure Moods collection that came out in the early nineties. I don’t know how well-known the Pure Moods series is now but I remember the first one being quite popular. I also remember my high school drama club staying in the teacher’s lounge after school hours to work on programs or something and somebody kept putting Pure Moods on in the background. I haven’t really listened to this collection in a while. I remember really being into the styles of music it represents at the time. Maybe it will inspire me to make a new age album. I hope not.

I remember at the time the Wonderful album was hailed as Adam Ant’s comeback album since the eighties. The truth is that he had another album just a few years earlier titled Manners & Physique but I guess people chose to forget that one. This song came out as a single right as I was going through puberty. As I usually imagine myself performing my favorite songs in a made-up cover band, I’m pretty sure in my fantasies I dedicated this to the girl I had a big crush on at the time. By the way, I think this album was one of the better-produced of his discography up to that point but not my favorite in terms of the songs that are on it.


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