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Oldies but really goodies

After taking quite a bit of time off from work and from posting, I'm back....I wanted to let 2008 go quietly into the night.  Now that we're into 2009, I'm back to being an optimist.  Happy New Year!

I don't write about my musical tastes.  If an artist is still alive, there's a pretty good chance I'm not a fan.  My tastes haven't changed much since college.  I realize that makes me an old man, but there's a lot of comfort in those classic rock tunes.

Today's Boston Globe had an article about the great music released in 1968 and whether 2008's music would stand the test of time as well.  The music business was different in 1968, and the country was going through major cultural shifts, partly fueled by innovative music and it's impact on the young generation.  I was only 7 in 1968, but as I grew older, I became a fan of most of the music listed in this article.  You can compare the 1968 list with the Globe's picks in 2008.

One big difference between the 1968 list and the 2008 list is the concept of the 'album' vs. the 'hit song.'  Very few of the 2008 CD's are really great albums, even if they have some great songs.  But, on the 1968 list, the quality seems very deep and consistent.  Again, this is a reflection of the change in the music business.  I remember 'album-oriented rock' stations near where I grew up (WCCC in Hartford, CT!).  That station wouldn't hesitate to play one-half of an album, or even a whole album all the way through.  This made the job easier for the DJ's, but also exposed the listeners to all the work of an artist rather than just the hits.  The lack of a CD or iPod where you could more easily select individual tracks led us to listen to album sides all the way through.

As I looked through the 1968 list, I realize that two of my favorite groups from that era didn't have anything on the list.  The Who were preparing Tommy for a 1969 release.  The Grateful Dead released Anthem of the Sun, probably mostly for their die-hard fans these days.  Also, Traffic's second album, "Traffic", is briefly mentioned in the article but was a very strong effort in its own right.

Well, that's enough musing from the memories of an old man...I hope my kids can look back on their favorite music in 40 years and feel the same way I do about 1968.


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