Over many years of my life, probably when I was around 5-7 years old, I was exposed to so much great music. I remember the pops and snaps in the playback, the texture of the vinyl and the worn album covers, the anticipation of putting the album on, and the engagement when you were listening, as if the limited life-span of any one side of an LP made you listen more intently. It was like the awareness that the music would soon end kept you more involved with it.
And almost 30 years later I remember so many of the lyrics.
There were Christmas albums, the albums we put on when older relatives came over, the albums that were put on when my Mum's friend came around for a glass of wine on a Friday afternoon. There were albums that reminded my parents of their parents. There were albums that were there to entertain my older brother and I.
I remember the cool car on the front of The Carpenters "Now and Then", the stars on the cover of Willie Nelson's "Stardust", the cartoon cat on the front of Cat Stevens' "Teaser and the Firecat", the Bee Gees "Greatest" from 1979, and the unforgettably funny pose on the cover of Neil Diamond's "Hot August Night".
These were all albums I feel I know very closely, though don't have in my collection these days. They are memories from when I was little. And those memories are SO CLEAR I'm sure they'll be with me for a lifetime.
Spin the clock forward 30 years and I have two young boys of my own. What will they remember of the music of their early years, as I do of mine? There are no album covers easily accessible and suitably strong for little hands to explore. I'm worried the CDs will scratch beyond repair if I leave them out to be touched. And in truth, most of what I play back these days is digital, so the artwork will flip side to side as it's streamed through Apple TV or my phone.
The way things are right now, I'd be surprised if my kids would have the faintest idea what any of the artwork looks like from the albums I regularly play, let alone what the album title or song titles are, or even still what the artists look like!
It makes me want to do something about it. I just need to work out what...
Paul Doolan provides online keyboard recording sessions for bands and solo artists.
Want to add keyboards to your track? Learn more now.