I've become aware of this happening a lot for me lately! Just last night I re-purchased an album I had on limited edition vinyl back in 1988 - Poison's Open Up And Say... Ahh! Listening to the album fully through today, I can still remember 95% of the words and have clear and happy memories of the times when I was younger, listening to the album through headphones as it span around on the record player, pops and clicks a plenty from the dust I didn't clear.
Around a week ago I head an interview on the radio with Iva Davies, founder and frontman of Icehouse (formerly Flowers), speaking about a live album they have released which covers a lot of their early material including their 1987 album Man Of Colours. In between the discussion, hearing some of those songs again on the radio I was taken back to the white cassette I had and how I must've nearly worn the tape through on many of the first seven tracks (there were 10 on the album)!
There must've really been something connecting with me in around 1987-1988. I still love much of the music of that era, and albeit almost 30 years on still listen to it with high frequency.
Aside from listening to music at that stage of my young life, I also played computer games. A lot. On a Commodore 64. I played them, and put a microphone in front of the mono speaker on our TV to record some of the better game soundtracks!
One of my favourite games was the System 3 classic Last Ninja. While I liked the first game, and the music in the third and final game was brilliant, the gameplay and music of Last Ninja 2 remain most notable to me.
Fortunately, as with Icehouse, what is old is new again! Matt Grey - the composer behind Last Ninja and many other classics of the time - has for some time now been working on his Kickstarter project Reformation, in which he remakes using modern techniques and sounds the original soundtracks to many of the games he worked on back in the day. Samples of his progress have been posted to Matt's Soundcloud page. It's like all the original magic is there, but with more modern production values, more kicking bass and drum tracks, and a lot more fullness. Great stuff.
Somewhere between then and now I've even created some modern nostalgic music myself. I composed an 8-bit inspired game soundtrack back in 2010 for the highly successful iOS game Shadow Candy Sugar Rush. It's hard to shake those nostalgic sounds!
Amazing what music and the memory can do together.