Monday, July 29, 2013

Musically, I Never Left the 1990s

I was getting my hair cut at a place in our mall this weekend when a song began playing over the speakers that I hadn't heard in awhile.  "This was the very first album I ever bought, on cassette tape!" I thought to myself.  As the song was "Forever Your Girl" by Paula Abdul and the album was released in 1988, I didn't mention this aloud to the lady cutting my hair, who I am sure was maybe 2 months old at that time, if she had even been born at all yet, ha.  I probably bought the album in 1989, when I was nine years old... almost 25 years ago.  (This was *before* Paula Abdul was on American Idol, for those of you who are in your 20s still!)

Although 80s music is fun, and I have a long list of 80s soft rock songs that bring back memories of long vacations in the family station wagon, I don't own 80s albums and stick them in my car's CD player the way I still do with some 90s music.  Those songs are more for listening to on Youtube for fun or enjoying them on the radio when I happen to hear them (or for long drives to Florida!).  My cassettes of Paula Abdul, New Kids on the Block, Bon Jovi, and Guns 'n' Roses are long gone.  In fact, while classifying the 80s soft rock songs as "sentimental," I would only refer to these four examples of late 80s music as "lame" (well, Bon Jovi isn't *totally* lame - I'd actually still go see them in concert if I had the chance!;). 

But for some reason, 90s music is still cool.  A lot of it is still enjoyable, and I will still listen to it whenever I can manage to pry the Tonic CDs or Little House on the Prairie audiobooks from my CD player (and hey, one those Tonic albums is actually a 90s album, anyway!).

Okay, so some of the 90s stuff I used to listen to is just awful to me now.  Like Pearl Jam - ick.  And Nirvana - grating.  (Here's where I get to admit that I cried when Kurt Cobain killed himself, and then went on to write a research paper on the subject the following year in high school.  Go ahead and make fun of me. ;)  And then there is the 90s music I never liked back then either, even though everyone else did, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Smashing Pumpkins (although somehow some Smashing Pumpkins songs are less irritating to me at this point).

 So here's my little list of albums I bought when I was a teenager that I still like and at least occasionally listen to 15-20ish years later...

1. Stone Temple Pilots - The Purple Album (1994)

2. The Toadies - Rubberneck (also 1994)

No, I don't listen to this with my kids in the car.  I don't listen to any of these with my kids in the car, actually.  These are for kid-free speaker blasting drives by myself.

I had a Toadies bumper sticker on my car - seriously.  How many people do you even know who had a Toadies bumper sticker?  That's right - one.  How many people have even heard of the Toadies who will be reading this?  I have no idea!  I bought this album because I heard one of the songs from it on MTV and then heard the whole album played at Fellini's Pizza while eating there with some friends, and apparently I thought, "Whoa, I need to buy this album."  Back in the 90s, we actually had to buy whole entire albums just because we liked a song or two on them.  But this time, I had actually gotten to preview the whole album and made an educated decision. ;)

3. Spacehog - Resident Alien (1995) and The Chinese Album (1998)

I actually got to see Spacehog in concert in Atlanta at the Cotton Club soon after this second album was released.  If anyone wants part of a bootleg recording made from inside a shirt pocket on a handheld tape recorder on one of those tiny answering machine cassettes, let me just go dig that out of a closet for you...

4. For Squirrels - Example (1995)

5. Deconstruction (1994 - apparently that was a good year)

6. The Cure - Wish (1992)

I also had a couple live Cure albums and a remix album called "Mixed Up."  Such beautiful sadness.  I liked sad music, generally.  Isn't that all they made in the mid-90's anyway? ;)

And, of course... Tonic - Lemon Parade (1996).  Except I didn't own that one as a teenager - I bought it when I was 30.  Somehow I missed it back then even though I knew it existed.  Whoops.

Oddly enough, if I think back, I would have to say my most favorite musician in my teen years was Beck.  I had the albums Mellow Gold, Odelay, and One Foot in the Grave (which was my favorite one even though it was released on a smaller label and was virtually unknown... I tended to like those kinds of albums best, it seems, as evidenced by #4 and 5 above).  Yet, I don't have any Beck albums any more other than One Foot in the Grave, rarely listened to any more.  I don't know why, but they just didn't stand the test of time for some reason.

So, there's my randomness in musical taste.  I don't really like much new music - maybe because I don't get a chance to ever listen to any, ha.  Or maybe because it all stinks because it has that auto tune junk in it... either way, I just stick with a few known favorites when I get in the occasional mood for something non-Tonic and non-children's music/audiobook/etc.  Truly, the CD that I have heard most lately would be The Sound of Music soundtrack, at my children's request.  Even the 1 year old can sing some of the songs.

So, what was the first album you ever purchased?  What kind of music did you like growing up, and do you still like any of it?  Do you ever break out any of the old albums from 20 years ago?  Or am I the only one?  Feel free to share in the comments!


Carrie said...

The first cd I ever owned was a single of Mariah Carey's Hero. I got it with my CD player I got for Christmas in the 8th grade. Along with the soundtrack to the lion king. I remember the following summer I checked out the huge boxed set of the best four Disney movie soundtracks and listened to them over and over and over and over. Aladdin, beauty and the beast, little mermaid, and the lion king.
I had some boyz2men, and more Mariah Carey. I listened to very few bands in the genre you listed but I'm betting my husband has heard of every single one. I then was just very eclectic. Some pop stuff, and then mostly went straight to nerdom with loving Harry connick, jr, and big band singers and crooners. Also plenty of movie soundtracks thrown in and Andrew Lloyd webber.
I don't get to listen to CDs much anymore. I did by another copy of Aerosmith big ten hits or something like that about five years ago. But mostly I just listen to contemporary Christian radio station bc it's kid friendly.

Erin said...

Carrie, I also owned the Mariah Carey single of Hero - but on cassette, ha ha!