There is a music revolution happening in our home right now. We have postponed acquiring a vynil record player (and, consequently, starting a vynil collection), because, at the moment, we would have no place to put it where it would be out of our two-and-a-half-year-old’s reach. Simply said, it would have no chance to survive. A classic CD player system is a little less delicate in handling, so it’s still rather safe from a toddler’s innate sense of curiosity. So we are sticking to CD’s, but have decided to challenge ourselves and put some serious thought into every new purchase.
I insist on owning a proper collection of music albums. iTunes simply does not cut it for me. I once had an iPod and gave it up fast. There is something special about pulling out a CD from your collection and putting it in the player. This little act of putting on music is one of those physical and emotional experiences we need and which the touching of a smart phone screen can not provide. It prepares you not only for hearing the music, but for really listening to it. There is another bonus to a wall of CDs in your home, too, just as it is with a wall of films on DVD, or with owning a library: people who come into your living room look at it and so easily and naturally strike a conversation about music. As one great proponent of reinventing the art of film and DVD posters was arguing in a piece I was reading a while ago: What’s the alternative, pull out your laptop to listen to some music or watch a film? Exactly my point.
Our collection contains our favourite musicians and albums to a large extent, naturally, especially that my husband knows good music, but we have also started to take the recommendations of some of our closest music lover friends (the number one in-the-know person being my brother), or to even take a chance now and then – we have not failed once so far and it’s wonderful to see how your music tastes can widen by just being open to trying new things. Probably the biggest surprise of all for both my husband and I, two sworn non-Beatles-fans, was that we have been listening to some of their music lately. Maybe it helps that their music always puts our son into an alone-playtime mood which allows us to catch our breaths in the evenings, if only for half an hour. But anyway, we’ve been currently listening to the Beatles Anthology and I am enjoying some of their songs more than I had thought I would.
As for the rest of the music that has been playing in our home lately, some of which we have just discovered for the very first time (in all honesty, this first time thing is mainly referring to me, because I am the one who has some catching up to do with good music, like in the case of jazz musician Robert Johnson, for example), I have gathered here a selection of not just our favourites, but of some of the arguably best albums (and in some cases, not the most obvious choice for the respective musicians, like Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain instead of Kind of Blue, or The Who’s Tommy instead of Who’s Next) of all times.
The Who – Tommy / The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street / Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain / Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited / David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars / The Clash – London Calling / Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run / The Libertines – The Libertines / The Beatles – Rubber Soul / Frank Sinatra – In The Wee Small Hours / Patti Smith – Horses / U2 – The Joshua Tree / The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead / Van Morrison – Astral Weeks / The Pretenders – The Pretenders / Simon and Garfunkel – Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme / Radiohead – The Bends / B.B. King & Eric Clapton – Riding with the King / Paul Simon – Graceland / Amy Winehouse – Back in Black / Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication / Joni Mitchell – Blue / Robert Johnson – The Centennial Collection
photo by me