I was in the car today when “Kings Of The Wild Frontier” came on the radio. Adam Ant was my first musical hero, I thought he was awesome. I guess I was about 8 when I started buying his singles.
Other bands from that era that impacted me in a big way include the Human League and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the latter making me very aware of branding within music.
From there I found rock then metal. Queen. Def Leppard. Poison. Metallica. All the big names of the era.
When I hear any of the above today, I am immediately taken back to those days. At times, I will even get a lump in my throat and feel a real sense of maudlin. I have tried to work out what the hell that is all about, presumably it is lamenting lost youth!
It got me thinking about the last time that I heard new music that really moved me, excited me. I cannot think of anything beyond my 20s that has had any kind of impact beyond, “yeah, that’s quite cool”. Nothing that made me stop and LISTEN and inhale those sounds.
In my 20s, bored with how rock had turned grungy, I explored different kinds of music. TLC caught my ear, of all things. Next thing I knew, I was exploring that kind of music, which lead me toward Imani Coppola, Missy Elliot which, in turn, made me find rap and hip hop.
Rap and hip hop was my nemesis. As a rocker, it was illegal to like rap or hip hop. So it was very much a surprise to me that I really enjoyed Eminem and Kid Rock. Eminem continues to release great music; for me Kid Rock has not.
The final band on the list that hits my emotional core is Blur. I was very late to that party – I had zero interest in the floppy haired doubled snared pop music of the 90s. But then I heard the song “Tender” and realised that there was a genius hiding there somewhere. After all, this song made me cry for some absurd reason. It still does. I immediately bought every Blur CD and was hooked.
That was in the late 90s. I have been wracking my brain to see if any other music or bands has had a strong emotional impact on me and the answer is a resounding NO. I wonder why we lose that? Is it merely that, as a young’un, music is new and exciting and, as we age, it becomes commonplace? Or is it more to do with those raging hormones making us more passionate toward, well, everything!
It is a real shame. There isn’t much in life more satisfying than finding music that truly moves your soul. The amount of times I would drag people toward my stereo to MAKE them listen to the latest bands I had “discovered”. These days, I hear of a new Def Leppard album coming out and I am ambavilant. Very little interest. The 15 year old me would find that unbelievable.
What about you? What are your musical experiences? And, if you are in early middle age / late youth (my preferred term!), do you still find music that hits you right in the heart?