Baby Boomers Guide to the Beatles Songs of the Sixties
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A tight spiral groove wore with repeated playing, gathered particles of dust or even globules of gunk, the soft surface was susceptible to scratches and abrasion, and the thin disc could be distorted by exposure to heat. As well, an old stylus or one inevitably encased in a small ball of fluff didn't function well.
Yesterday: what would it really be like if the Beatles had never existed?
Parties, with all those sticky substances and frenetic dancing were not good for records, and subsequent sober listening revealed distressing crackles and other surface noise. Worse, needles often jumped into a different track or endlessly repeated a short burst of sound, or, sometimes skittered wildly across alarmingly warped records. Admittedly my LPs invariably were poor quality pressings to begin with but I began to despair of them, and no amount of special sprays actually resulting in more clogging or cleaning cloths improved the situation.
Why is there a new fascination with vinyl? Credit: Robert Peet.
“Out in the Streets”
Cassettes, those clever miniature reel-to-reel tapes seemed a viable development. Music became portable: in the car, on a shoulder-hefted "boom box", or more discreetly in a Walkman. But we tired of trying to locate specific tracks and then to our horror we discovered cassette tapes' own propensity for twisting, stretching, snapping and disembowelling.
A miracle was on the horizon. They could hold more music than an LP with no need be turned over, and tracks could easily be selected or repeated. Best of all they were reputed to be indestructible and, their sound quality would remain pristine forever! Compact disc players have been usurped by streaming services and the ipod.
The internet, and impossibly miniaturised music players that could store thousands of songs ultimately began to drain the life from digital music's first-born child. Singles, or at least, single tracks that could be cherry-picked from an exponentially expanding global music library again became the currency of young people's lifestyles. A death knell was being sounded for the traditional recording industry. Endlessly variable playlists comprising tracks from both established artists and from "indies" who created high quality productions in their bedrooms gave music lovers their own enormous jukebox.
Streaming services mean now that you literally can't stop the music. Despite these improvements, some Luddites weirdly contend that analog sound on microgroove records provides the ultimate listening experience. Me, I'm just ecstatic to be able to appreciate my CD album collection, and even low bitrate files on an iPod, all with sound quality far superior to anything I ever heard in my youth. So when the new wave of vinyl starts to wear out, you hipsters are all invited to come round and savour my superlative, if quaintly antiquated collection of silvery discs. You might just discover the next big thing.
Baby Boomer finds millennials' fondness for old music technology naff. The Sydney Morning Herald.
Baby Boomers Are Different Than Generation Jones - We're Proud Of Being Old
Joni Mitchell, This album furnished the soundtrack for every teenage girl going through a tearful breakup in the '70s, with each song adding one more ingredient to the crazy cocktail of longing and desire. On her fourth LP, the Canadian singer-songwriter ranged in mood from bitter "A Case of You" to nostalgic "River" to achingly poignant: "Little Green" chronicled Mitchell's decision to surrender her newborn baby girl for adoption.
Don McLean, An elegy to a passing era "Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry" , McLean's melodic prose poem spawned more than one final-exam essay. Challenged to explain the convoluted lyrics "While the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown" , McLean once said they meant he'd never have to work again. Sure, the album questioned everything — and knocked "a generation lost in space" — but "Vincent" turned us on to Van Gogh. Elton John, Carefully designed to be a blockbuster, this record stands out as Elton John's definitive statement as an entertainer: It's glam, fabulous and over the top — and artistically ambitious, too.
Today as back then we respond viscerally to the sorrow it expresses, from the nothing-good-lasts-forever message of the title track to the song that would become the official elegy for Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind. Bruce Springsteen, A year-old Jersey boy turned a high-pressure hose on music as usual with the desperate energy of his third album's "broken heroes" seeking "glory in suicide machines.
The Eagles, If this album consisted of the title track alone, it would still be one of the most mysterious recordings of all time. Reservoirs of ink have been drained by journalists asking Glenn Frey, Don Felder and Don Henley what is truly meant by the "Hotel California," where "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
Not to be overlooked: the coruscating "Life in the Fast Lane" and the haunting, underrated "Last Resort. Fleetwood Mac, A modest British pop group grafted on a couple of Americans Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham and soared into the rock stratosphere with this album, dubbed Rumours by founder Mick Fleetwood to capture the unraveling relationships of the couples in the band. The resulting tracks — cutting-edge songs born of raw anguish, like "The Chain" and "Go Your Own Way" — have become family FM standards by now, but always worth a revisit is keyboardist Christine McVie's sleeper, "Songbird.
Whether you think the piano man's reputation as a lyricist is overstated or not, there's no doubting the enduring popularity of his compositions: Many a Billy Joel tune has become "musical wallpaper" on classic rock stations. Or, as boomers label that distinction, immortal. Willie Nelson, Breaking free of his "outlaw country" box, the self-styled "redheaded stranger" hopped from one decade and genre to another to record the 10 standards here in just nine days. When many of us think of American-songbook classics such as "All of Me" , "Moonlight in Vermont" or "On the Sunny Side of the Street" , it's typically Willie's version we hear playing in our heads.
Michael Jackson, Whatever else transpired in his tragically abbreviated life, Jackson's sixth studio album has only grown in stature since he produced it, becoming perhaps the definitive pop album. Tom Petty, Why is Tom Petty so consistently good? Because he kicks it old-style: It's all about the songs, the throaty guitars, the unpretentious style, the humility. Paul Simon once accepted a Grammy by thanking Wonder for not making an album that year, and Bill Clinton hailed Wonder as "the prodigy who became a prophet. Visit the AARP home page for great deals and savings tips.
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Share using email. Soundtrack of the Boomer Generation Recall the albums that saw us through some memorable firsts.