My entire life is mapped out and plagued from memories tied to certain bands and particular records. There are few moments in my young life that I can’t identify (or label) with records or bands. Which is why, no matter how much artist changes, good or bad, usually bad, I cannot stop being a fan.
I’ve tried. Really, I have. There are some bands who continuously get worse, yet I still listen because well, I loved it once. I’m not like most people. I don’t just listen to music, I have passionate love affairs with my record collection. Weird? Maybe a little, but I’m kind of obsessive.
As I grow older, the music I loved in all the different phases of growing up, still sounds wonderful to me. Even when I know better. An old record is like an old photograph. It tells a million little stories that no one other than myself and those from the past can hear (or see).
Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends got me through a fair portion of high school and yet, as I listened to it the other evening, I realized how generic the lyrics were, how simple the actual music was, how hilarious my young self must have been to identify with this. Yet”¦I still sang along and it felt right. I remember the long dark drives on country roads, feeling lost, feeling as if I belonged, the general feeling of feeling.
I’m much older now, but the memories and time frame attached to this record are poignant. Taking Back Sunday has evolved and released three records since this one, and I’ve bought and loved two of them. If asked my top favorite records TAYF would most definitely make that list. But not because it’s particularly great, but just because of the memories.
This happens often. I have personal debates. Is this record actually any good? Could I love it if it were just released today? What are these memories with out the soundtrack?
I cannot fully answer any of these questions, but I’m fairly certain, that bands like Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, Spice Girls, Senses Fail, Brand New, and From Autumn to Ashes, could never have worked in another time. These bands aren’t meant to be classics, these bands were meant for the here and the now and that’s why it worked.
The music is good in its own right, but my personal experiences and childlike fondness morphs these bands into so much more. They will always be a part of me like they’ll always be a part of music history. And who can argue with that?