Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

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Jirin
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Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Jirin » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:23 pm

Some conversations in other threads got me thinking about the way I react to certain kinds of songs. In this case, I Believe I Can Fly and All Star.

I’m not a fan of pop music in general but my gut reaction to these songs is disproportionately negative compared to similar songs and it got me thinking about why.

They are pop songs that came out between the ages of 13-15 with simplistic happy “You can do it” messages. Which happened to come out at the age you notice you spent your childhood inundated with happy “Everything is great” messages and your parents have been hiding harsh reality from you. So the reaction to that kind of “You can do anything you want, just be happy!” song carries the weight of all your teenage anger about all the adults in your life treating you like a baby and lying to you.

Does anyone else have some carried over attitudes about certain songs that when you think about them, originated from your feelings from a particular point in your life?

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by madzong » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:41 pm

I was reading about something similar to this a few years ago:

"Men are aged 14 when their favorite song is released, for women, it's age 13. A New York Times analysis of Spotify data has found that the songs we listen to during our teen years set our musical taste as adults. For men, the most important period for forming musical taste is between the ages of 13 to 16."

This is what helps influence our musical tastes. A lot of music you listen to after this period will be judged/rated/compared to music from this period in your life.

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Live in Phoenix » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:02 pm

Sometimes I think that my relative dislike of certain music years coincides with my lamer years of high school/college, like 1995 (when I turned 17, incidentally). The problem is, music years are not identical (grunge and alternative guitar rock were still at its peak in '94, then even a year later the landscape seemed a lot different, and not better in my opinion). I have sometimes felt, anyway, that you "complete" a viewing or listening experience with your own attitude, and that if your current attitude is shitty or wide-eyed or whatever, it could affect the experience (and then, potentially, your impression of the movie or song or album over the years).

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Live in Phoenix » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:24 pm

I actually first thought about this dynamic thanks to Ringo Starr -- I believe in the Anthology coffee table book, he says Sgt. Pepper's was his least favorite record, because of where his head was at, at the time. I thought that was so odd, the first time I read that. Then Billy Idol sort of trashed his Whiplash Smile album in his autobiography, but he was also at a personal low point in his life (drugs, major breakup). I went to his book signing and essentially told him to like that album more :roll:

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Harold » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:42 pm

Live in Phoenix wrote:I actually first thought about this dynamic thanks to Ringo Starr -- I believe in the Anthology coffee table book, he says Sgt. Pepper's was his least favorite record, because of where his head was at, at the time. I thought that was so odd, the first time I read that. Then Billy Idol sort of trashed his Whiplash Smile album in his autobiography, but he was also at a personal low point in his life (drugs, major breakup). I went to his book signing and essentially told him to like that album more :roll:
It's always interesting to hear artists' feelings about their own work, particularly in cases like these. A few years back, both Bob Mould and Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing) wrote memoirs that essentially told readers the same thing, almost in so many words: "Hey, guys! You know that music I made back in the day? The music you're always coming up to me and telling me you love? Well, I thought you might want to know that I was absolutely miserable the whole time I was making that music, and I can barely listen to it now without becoming physically ill. Good day!"

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Jirin » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:13 pm

A lot of my favorite songs from when I was around 16 are so miserable in retrospect. A bunch of people singing about how much they messed up their lives and want to blow everything up.

I think my taste was set by what I listened to in those years for a while but I think my recent explorations die to this site have broken that pattern.

It also reminds me of an anecdote from Neil Young. A live show in the mid 70s. Somebody was loudly requesting Southern Man and he basically said “If you can go back to where you were two years ago, I’ll go back to where I was two years ago.” Not to mention what happened to Dylan after his accident.

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Hymie » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:34 pm

madzong wrote:"Men are aged 14 when their favorite song is released, for women, it's age 13.
My favorite song was released 3 years before I was born. My girlfriend's favorite song was released when she was 3 years old. Of course we are far from typical listeners, which is who that rule is based upon.

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Live in Phoenix » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:47 pm

Harold wrote:
Live in Phoenix wrote:I actually first thought about this dynamic thanks to Ringo Starr -- I believe in the Anthology coffee table book, he says Sgt. Pepper's was his least favorite record, because of where his head was at, at the time. I thought that was so odd, the first time I read that. Then Billy Idol sort of trashed his Whiplash Smile album in his autobiography, but he was also at a personal low point in his life (drugs, major breakup). I went to his book signing and essentially told him to like that album more :roll:
It's always interesting to hear artists' feelings about their own work, particularly in cases like these. A few years back, both Bob Mould and Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing) wrote memoirs that essentially told readers the same thing, almost in so many words: "Hey, guys! You know that music I made back in the day? The music you're always coming up to me and telling me you love? Well, I thought you might want to know that I was absolutely miserable the whole time I was making that music, and I can barely listen to it now without becoming physically ill. Good day!"
Billy Idol's rebuttal to me was conspicuously not music-oriented. "I know, it's just... Weird, weird times."

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Harold » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:57 pm

Jirin wrote:It also reminds me of an anecdote from Neil Young. A live show in the mid 70s. Somebody was loudly requesting Southern Man and he basically said “If you can go back to where you were two years ago, I’ll go back to where I was two years ago.” Not to mention what happened to Dylan after his accident.
My favorite such anecdote involves Jeff Tweedy. At one of the early Wilco shows, a group of Uncle Tupelo fans loudly and repeatedly yelled, "Where's the banjo?" Tweedy finally yelled back, "The banjo's up your ass!"

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Jirin » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:39 pm

Hymie wrote:
madzong wrote:"Men are aged 14 when their favorite song is released, for women, it's age 13.
My favorite song was released 3 years before I was born. My girlfriend's favorite song was released when she was 3 years old. Of course we are far from typical listeners, which is who that rule is based upon.
I was born in 1983 and my favorite song is 1968.

But I started really listening to it when I was 18.

And, to be fair, 1996-1998 is probably the era where I like music the most relative to critics.

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Dan » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:12 pm

When I was a teenager and listened to Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" I assumed that the lyrics were actually ironic. Then I learnt that most of it wasn't. It definitely had an effect on my understanding of irony.

About 20 years later she updated the lyrics in a duet with James Corden. And I still wasn't sure how ironic the new lyrics were.

So I guess my reaction between now and then is farily similar: I'm slightly confused.
Prior to my teenage years, I can vividly remember that the first song I loved was The Neverending Story, which I first heard when I was 5 years old. It's not going to make my list of favourite songs from 1984, but I still find it endearing. Fond memories die hard.
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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by jamieW » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:38 pm

Back in 1984, when I was 13 years old, I started my own "weekly" top 30 chart (inspired by Casey Kasem and his "American Top 40" radio show). At the end of every year, I'd calculate the results and I still remember my top 10 (keep in mind, this was based upon those weekly charts, so many of these songs are not actually from 1984):

1. Thriller - Michael Jackson
2. Say, Say, Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
3. When Doves Cry - Prince
4. The Reflex - Duran Duran
5. Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.
6. Lucky Star - Madonna
7. Sunglasses at Night - Corey Hart
8. Come Back and Stay - Paul Young
9. Self Control - Laura Branigan
10. Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes

35 years later, some have stood the test of time, some haven't, and some are downright embarrassing. However, they all hold a certain fondness for me because, well, I was 13.

Comparably, my all-time top 10 songs range dramatically in age, but only 1 was recorded during my teen years (and I didn't hear it until I was 24):

1. Nights in White Satin - The Moody Blues (Before I was born)
2. Miracles - Jefferson Starship (4 years old)
3. We Can Make the Morning - Elvis Presley (1 year old)
4. Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday (Before I was born)
5. Over the Rainbow - Judy Garland (Before I was born)
6. Steaming - Sarah McLachlan (17 years old)
7. Eden - Either version from Hooverphonic or Sarah Brightman (27 years old)
8. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin (year I was born)
9. Ocean Cloud - Marillion (33 years old)
10. (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding (Before I was born)

Regarding how feelings can carry over from a reaction to a song during a particular period, one that stands out (and I think it came out at the same time as "I Believe I Can Fly," and I couldn't stand either one of them) was the ultra-sappy "Butterfly Kisses." My coworker always said the only reason I didn't appreciate the song was that I didn't have a daughter. "You'll see some day," she said, "your feelings will change once you do!" Well, it's a couple of decades later, and I have a daughter who I'm closer to than anyone else on the planet. And I still think that song sucks. :mrgreen:

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by FrankLotion » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:10 pm

Live in Phoenix wrote:Sometimes I think that my relative dislike of certain music years coincides with my lamer years of high school/college, like 1995 (when I turned 17, incidentally). The problem is, music years are not identical (grunge and alternative guitar rock were still at its peak in '94, then even a year later the landscape seemed a lot different, and not better in my opinion). I have sometimes felt, anyway, that you "complete" a viewing or listening experience with your own attitude, and that if your current attitude is shitty or wide-eyed or whatever, it could affect the experience (and then, potentially, your impression of the movie or song or album over the years).
I definitely relate to this, although it’s hard for me to separate if it was just my high school angst or if pop music from 2009 really was that awful...I’m still inclined to think it was.

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Dan » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:52 pm

jamieW wrote: Butterfly Kisses
[imgsize 357x123]http://data.whicdn.com/images/66488574/large.gif[/imgsize]
jamieW wrote: 9. Self Control - Laura Branigan
Image
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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by jamieW » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:02 pm

Ha ha - I like that, Dan! :D

"Self Control" is definitely one of those songs I feel has stood the test of time. There's an underlying, eerie quality that fits the theme well and has always given me chills.

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Dan » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:15 pm

jamieW wrote:"Self Control" is definitely one of those songs I feel has stood the test of time. There's an underlying, eerie quality that fits the theme well and has always given me chills.
Agreed. So catchy yet slightly terrifying at the same time. And kinda hot.
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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by jamieW » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:21 pm

Dan wrote:
jamieW wrote:"Self Control" is definitely one of those songs I feel has stood the test of time. There's an underlying, eerie quality that fits the theme well and has always given me chills.
Agreed. So catchy yet slightly terrifying at the same time. And kinda hot.
Agreed again! (Including the "redacted" point!)

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by madzong » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:58 am

madzong wrote:I was reading about something similar to this a few years ago:

"Men are aged 14 when their favorite song is released, for women, it's age 13. A New York Times analysis of Spotify data has found that the songs we listen to during our teen years set our musical taste as adults. For men, the most important period for forming musical taste is between the ages of 13 to 16."

This is what helps influence our musical tastes. A lot of music you listen to after this period will be judged/rated/compared to music from this period in your life.
This was kinda true for me anyway. I really only properly got into music around the age of 16. The first genres were from bands who were featured a lot in the radio at the time - so I got into Grunge ('I Hate Myself and Want To Die') and its antithesis - Britpop (I want to 'Live Forever').

Another formative moment was the purchase of a certain CD comp which any Australian or New Zealander of my era will relate to, 'Triple J's Hottest 100 Vol. 4). This along with an NZ series labeled 'The Trip' introduced me to a wider range of Alternative Rock.

My friends around this same time were all into metal and hard rock (Guns N Roses, Cream, Led Zep) And would play this at parties (Black Sabbath, Metallica etc.) so that influenced what I listened to as well (along with an appreciation of David Bowie - one of my first albums of his was Earthling - which is why I like this album so much).

Lastly, my Dad used to have a treasure trove of old cassettes that he used to play in the car (Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Byrds, Beach Boys). When I revisited those at age 16, I got into his copy of David Bowie 'Stage'. This was a gateway artist for Glam Rock (Iggy & Stooges, Transformer era Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mott The Hoople, Roxy Music et al.).

And from Glam Rock, I got into Punk Rock (which happened soon after) with the MC5, Stooges, Patti Smith, the Ramones, Taling Heads, New York Dolls, Richard Hell, Television, Blondie etc. as well as precursors like The Doors and The Velvet Underground.

Within my social group, the radio stations I listened to and with all these other influences, I also developed a general sustain for 'pop' around this time. To this day I still can't enjoy artists from this time e.g. Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera or the downright awful e.g Lou Bega, Aqua, Eifel 65, Vengaboys and Baha Men (who were REALLY popular for some inexplicable reason with a lot of the girls in my class when I went to Uni).

Outside of all of this my love for these genres lies unchanged and I have only really added Synth Pop, New Wave, Dream Pop, NZ & Australian artists, and old school (1980s to early 90s) hip hop to my core genres that Ai listen to most.

I am open minded when listening to new music but for me the feelings and nostalgia of the music I listened to from roughly the age of 16 has definitely influenced my tastes.

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Moonbeam » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:16 am

I think it's certainly a common thing. For me, most of my least favorite songs are definitely from my teenage years - the 90s sure served up a lot of detestable songs, IMO. I'll be if I looked at my bottom 100 songs of all time, the 90s might have half of the list.

As far as favorites go, I was born in 1980 so the mid-90s should have been my high point, but so much of what was going on musically in the 90s seemed like an utter rejection of the 80s, which of course I loved, so I felt alienated by all of the alienation. I got into music in a big way in 1989 and many of those favorites from that time remain favorites.

I recently looked at my top 200 albums list to see how the decades fared, and it broke down like this:

1960s: 7
1970s: 39
1980s: 83
1990s: 21
2000s: 36
2010s: 14

The 2010s being low is mostly a function of unfamiliarity - being a dad has meant that I haven't had the same amount of time to devote to music as before, but I'm catching up.

My top 200 songs list is a little kinder to the 90s, though the 80s are even more dominant:

1960s: 2
1970s: 17
1980s: 108
1990s: 30
2000s: 31
2010s: 12

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by acroamor » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:08 pm

I definitely think those age ranges are imperfect. A lot of what I listened to at 13 or 14 was video game soundtracks, and while I do possess a certain fondness for them, they're such a minor part of my listening habits now I barely think of them. I do have an intense fondness for the new music of my latter teens and early twenties, which I've still finishing out, and why I'm so excited for an end-of-decade poll for the 2010s. It feels like "my" (as a 24 year old) decade to an extent.

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by PlasticRam » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:19 pm

For me the most important time in my music listening was when I discovered this site. I was 18 or 19. I listened to the top of the list and I kinda took the rankings as gospel. Later I realised I had my own favs too and some of the stuff ranked well on the site I just don't like.
I feel like that

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Jirin » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:10 pm

Come to think of it, the styles that dominate the top of my list are styles I discovered around the late college years. That is, classic rock from late 60s/early 70s and 00s indie rock.

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Re: Your old reactions to certain songs, at that age

Post by Zombeels » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:52 am

I was a teen between the years 77-81. The previous 5 years were taken up by the Beatles. No other artist mattered as I immersed myself in only the music of the Beatles. During my teen years disco and arena rock where hitting their strides and punk and new wave and metal were just finding their footing. I started branching out to other 60's bands (Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks...) and all my friends said I was living in the past. I did like the odd current song but nothing was comparable to my 60's bands. In the 80's I felt music took a huge nosedive and I immersed myself even farther into the 60's (and early 70's). For me the current music only showed the odd glimmer of joy and I felt this way until the Indie music of the mid nineties. Many songs even rivaled my favorites from the 60's. Even now my all time favourite song from the 60's was finally replaced by an early 2000's Indie song. There are not many songs on my favourite song list from when I was 14 to 20.

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