Nowadays you ask someone what they listen to, and most people say "a little bit of everything". But just a few years ago, that wasn't the case. The records you bought really counted and had significant roles in one's identity or personality. There was some kind of passion involved in the individual as a listener and consumer. Sometimes I think that people used to really LISTEN and not just listen to music, but of course that isn't true or fair to say.
Back in this time, when you saw a "rare" music video on TV, you probably flipped out and paid close attention. I specifically remember watching certain music videos and getting a buzz. I also really valued listening to radio stations, such as Hot 97, Power 99, Q102, Z100, etc, when visiting nearby metropolitan areas; I guess it was my way of envisioning what I thought "like-minded youth" were listening to. Boy, I sure was wrong though. That feeling of some kind of movement dissolved as I got to college, but that's another story.
It was around the 6th grade (mid-90's), on the brink of teenage anxiety, that I started to seek refuge in music, or popular music should I say. During this time, I would buy 1 new cd/cassette a month if I was lucky, and examples of my first musical choices are shown below. At such an age, music was my means to bond with people without having to use any grown-up social skills. I hope in 2008, that's still possible. Every so often, I go back and listen to those records that I first listened to, to find some child-like relief, rekindle a little sensitivity, and ground me in some kind of reality. I'm just a cornball, but hey I can be cool too right?
(Final note: A valid question people may have for me is why I bother to read/see/listen to half the things I do. (*"Soul For Real? C'mon...") I guess I've always been an observer and outsider to every scene and social setting that I've encountered, even the ones that I feel very much a part of . In the process, I feel I've been conditioned to simply "extract" and take what I can for my own use. Exploitation maybe, survival for an identity: sure. But yea, I'm open to debate and concerns...)
Literally the first four pieces of music I ever owned...
The Cranberries- No Need To Argue
No Need To Argue was the first compact disc I ever bought. This kid made fun of me for liking The Cranberries, especially since Dolores O'Riordan sang with a tremolo effect?! Oh well, he liked Pearl Jam, and I still think they're wack. This clip is from their MTV Unplugged series, which at the time was great.
Madonna- I'll Remember
My sister gave me this song on maxi-casette (whatever that meant) for my 12th birthday. It was on the With Honors soundtrack, and I think that was a decent movie at the time. I digress though...it was still a good song.
This song was pretty big on MTV at the time, and I thought it was a cool song. I don't think I ever understood the lyrics ever though. In retrospect, Michael Stipe sure dances funny in this video though.
Soul For Real- Candy Rain
Soul For Real was the jam, and they definitely made some bangers.