I’m listening to online radio* in the background while working on an assignment and every so often I flick to the browser to check some detail of the current song (year published, album cover…) and I saw REM’s Monster staring back at me. Followed an impulse; recalling when someone had lent me this very cassette, and searched for “REM Monster cassette” in google images.
And got struck by a small bout of nostalgia of those internetless times where getting your hands on music meant talking to people – maybe someone in another class, exchanging cassettes. Many a friendship were forged atop lending/borrowing a Metallica/Nirvana/REM album, discussing related stuff. Exchanging copies of Metal Hammer and KERRANG! Waiting for the new Sepultura CD to arrive on our shores, feeling the disappointment after finally getting my hands on the new Metallica album, Load. Incredulous when I entered the classroom to be greeted by “Max Cavalera has quit Sepultura,” (“It’s not possible! He founded the damn band!”). Super-happy upon getting my first walkman; (years) later getting on the cutting edge with a portable CD player (oh how those buggers ate through batteries).
I could taint this post by going on to point out differences with current music consumption, but I won’t. Instead I’m gonna keep the happy jumbled memories of listening to beloved music on tape, savour that first time I put Chaos A.D. in the CD player, recall how when I first heard “Get In The Ring” it stopped me in my tracks and those albums became the quasi-soundtrack of my life for a few months. Long hair, black T-shirts, I-can’t-believe-Cobain-killed-himself, oh when will the new album come to the local record shop…fond memories…
*AccuRadio – “Sir Tetley’s Tunes” channel, in case anyone’s interested