Monday, March 28, 2011

Face The Music

In the 8th grade, the highlight of my week was spending the weekend at my mother's. I would watch NBC's "Friday Night Videos" and based on that, make a tentative decision on what cassette I'd be buying the following day. I'd get up early Saturday morning, take a shower, and tell my mom that I was off to the mall.

It was about a two-mile walk to the shopping center. My strategy was to go on streets that were less traveled; I enjoyed the relative quiet of these side streets. The second half of the walk was adjacent to one of Winona's lakes. It got mighty cold there in the wintertime. I sometimes felt like Bryan Adams in the "Run To You" video.

Once I hit the mall, all was well. I'd head for Face The Music and take a look at the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart before browsing through the latest cassettes. The music store obviously played music while I was there, but it generally wasn't from works that I was interested in getting. There was one time, however, when they played New Edition's new one.

Many times, getting a recording was a crap shoot as there was no way of knowing if the songs on it, other than the hits, were any good. I once asked myself, which was better, excitedly walking to the mall wondering which of the dozens of works that were available that I'd purchase or the walk home, when I had picked one out and would be able to listen to it once I got back. I decided that the walk home was superior.

One winter afternoon, I strolled to my mom's with Tina Turner's "Private Dancer" in my pocket; "Better Be Good To Me" is probably my favorite track from it. This tradition continued for a number of years. On one sunny 1986 day, I bought both Madonna's "True Blue" and Wham's "Music From The Edge of Heaven".

I mentioned in my last post that I had been watching the BBC miniseries "Electric Dreams" (about a contemporary family who live without modern-day devices).

In the 70's episode, the 12-year old said that he was impressed with records, that it was nice to have something physical to look at and read while one is listening to the music. He mentioned that this isn't the case when one downloads music by computer. I feel the same, though am more than fine with CD's. The main positive of buying a compact disc is being able to play it in the car. I know that it's possible to listen to downloaded music in one's vehicle, but am not quite ready to make that jump.

Last Tuesday, for the first time in quite a while, I bought a CD on its release date: Duran Duran's "All You Need Is Now". I had been listening to a number of tracks from it on YouTube over the past couple months, and when I saw that it was being released with several more songs on it on March 22nd, I knew I wanted to buy it. I never thought as a teenager in the 80's that I'd still be buying new music by the band in my forties.


Narkissos said...

oops! friggin internet died on me!
hey tommy, never heard about electric dreams until now...enjoyed the video.....thanx for sharing....:)
"i'm not alone, being followed" (seriously! I feel like i'm being stalked)

Rocketstar said...

I loved those days of actually going to the store and buying new cassettes and albums. Now we sit here, buy and download it in minutes.

So how woudl you rate/classify the new Duran Duran?

SilverNeurotic said...

I still love buying cd's, downloading them off of Amazon just isn't quite as fun than picking up cd's at random and contemplating whether they are worth the investment.

For the past few years, most of the music I've bought has generally been older stuff but in the last few months I've bought three new albums by artists I didn't listen to previously. The one, Mumford and Sons, definitely made me remember the excitement of listening to REALLY good music for the first time.

Thomas said...

Glad to hear you liked the video, Fay. I'm looking forward to watching the 1990's episode sometime this week.

Don't even get me started on "Being Followed". One day last week, I couldn't get it out of my head and was singing the last seven syllables of the song, where Simon goes "La la la la la la la", to Zoe.

I'm really diggin Duran's new one, Rocket. Many thought their third album (released in 1983) didn't really follow the spirit of what came before.

They sought to recreate the sound of those first two albums ("Rio" and "Hungry Like The Wolf" were on the second) on this one and I believe that they've mostly succeeded.

Here is one of my favorites from it:

Thomas said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Silver. I'll give those guys a listen.

I couldn't get this one out of my head this afternoon as I was trying to take a nap:

Rocketstar said...

I fully hear the 'old Duran Duran' in this tune, interesting.

Phats said...

YES WHAM!!! I love it haha I remember true blue too. I sadly don't buy CD's much anymore I did buy a Christmas Album I mostly download now. This was a good story.

Do you ever watch the Simpsons? They did an episode where they did a reality show where they had to travel back in time and live it was quite funny.

Phil said...

But did you walk to and from the store when you got your Duran Duran cd?

Thomas said...

Phats, glad to hear that you're familiar with the music from that era. I do watch The Simpsons from time to time though I haven't seen the ep you mentioned. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Phil, it would've been cool if I had. Back in the 80's, walking to and from the mall was good exercise, but also something I had to do if I wanted to obtain a cassette. These days, living on the outskirts of a city that has over 100,000 residents, it's just not practical.

ExtraO said...

I don't really have a preference - downloaded or physical... but like you, I do need the disc to listen to it in my car.