Recently I’ve been revisiting a lot of the music of my youth. Usually when we say something like this, we are talking about our teen years, but I’ve been listening to the music that permeated the airwaves of my childhood. I was born in the ’70s, so I’m talking about artists like James Taylor, Billy Joel and Elton John.
It’s strange. When I listen to music I remember from high school or college I get a little thrill and I feel younger for a minute, but the songs I remember from grade school give me a sense of peacefulness that is hard to describe. It’s like they are a part of me. The melodies are so ingrained that singing along with a song like Only the Good Die Young feels like I’ve turned up the volume on something that’s been playing somewhere in my head all along. It’s a curious sensation, but I like it.
The other interesting aspect of this revisiting is that it’s like a treasure hunt. Every album I listen to eventually leads me to another. I started with Sam Cooke, who is arguably my favorite artist of all time, and he made me remember how much I like Elton John. Elton John led me to James Taylor, who in turn reminded me of BIlly Joel. Listening to Billy Joel turned my mind to Jackson Browne. I think people forget about Jackson Browne. You’ve probably heard at least one of his songs, but you may not have known it was him. As someone who has always loved his music, as well as someone who used to be a stagehand, this song qualifies as one of my all-time favorites:
On the right kind of day, even the opening chords are enough to make me a little misty.
It’s an odd musical journey and I’m curious to know where it will end up. Jackson Browne has got me thinking that I need to listen to Lou Reed or Dire Straits. If I get one of their albums, who will they lead me to? I have no idea, but I plan to enjoy the ride.