Friday, 12 April 2013

Do Anniversaries intend to make us feel old?


Source: www.pefinfo.com

This morning I was reading about the 30th Anniversary of the release of REM's first LP "Murmur" on Consequence of sound.net. Linked to that at the bottom was a list of the 29 albums that are 20 years old this year on Buzzfeed. The one thing about the latter post that grabbed my curiosity was that it said in the introduction "Sorry if this makes you feel totally ancient".

Is that actually the point of these things? When an artist re-releases an album to coincide with the anniversary of its original release, is it designed to elicit nostalgia? Or does it serve to remind us that we are all advancing in years and we haven't been paying attention to that fact?

I think it is interesting to reflect on when albums were released, purely based on the fact that they either reflect the times it was created in or, in some cases, how they were so out of their time compared to other music available at the time. That's why an album like "Astral Weeks" by Van Morrison is an interesting listen, because it sounds nothing anything that was released before it, or like anything else at the time of its release, or like anything released since.

The age of the music never bothers me either. If a record was made 35 years ago, but I hear for the first time today, then it's "new" music to me. If it's good music, I don't care how old it is.

Probably a more pertinent question, and the answer is certainly much more interesting on a social level, is "Where were you when you first heard [insert album name here]?" In many cases, if you weren't even born when an album was released, but the music made some intense impact on you, does it really matter when it was released?

It's something worth thinking about...

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