In my nineteen years, I have tended to listen to “older” music. I grew up in a home where my parents played music constantly. Vintage music was quite literally the soundtrack to my childhood and quintessential to my life. My parents filled our house with everything from the Beatles and Billy Joel to Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. I remember my dad would quiz me and my sister on our ability to identify what musician or band was playing on the radio when a song came on. We watched documentaries of the different musicians after dinner together and bonded over it.
I have been told, on more than one occasion, by several different people, that I have a unique taste in music, or that I was at the same concert as their parents. In the past, that used to really bother me, because I felt like I couldn’t really connect with people my own age. Music is such a unifying thing, and it’s hard to see other people bond over modern day music and never feel a part of that experience they have.
However, I have since realized that there are a lot of benefits of listening to older music. It gives you an idea of what life back then was like, and it makes you appreciate your life now. It gives you a way to see how much music has changed over the years, as well as how little it has changed. When people create art, they immortalize their feelings and experiences into a tangible thing that people can in turn experience. With music, people can experience the artist’s emotions on a much more personal level.
Despite the fact that we will never be able to see these artists in their heyday, it is vital to listen to their music. Many modern artists have been inspired by older musicians, and the different styles and techniques they use are transformed over the years.
So, with that being said, I would like to introduce you all to an album that I think is so very important to life as a whole and is one of my favorite albums of all time.
“London Calling” – by The Clash
The album was named number 8 on the Rolling Stones Best 500 Albums of All Times. The album dropped in December of 1979 in the UK, and later in 1980 in the US.
According to Rolling Stone, the album “London Calling is 19 songs of apocalypse, fueled by an unbending faith in rock & roll to beat back the darkness.” It has 19 songs and features various styles and variations of rock and punk, including rockabilly, pop, and reggae.
This album was as successful as it was because, in addition to an incredibly unique sound, they addressed a lot of social issues in their music that many people cared about. Several people in London during this time (where the band lived while they wrote and recorded the album) were suffering from unemployment, racial conflicts, and poverty. In the album, the band wrote about their responses to these issues, as well as more ambiguous and obscure issues such as the responsibilities of adulthood.
I remember I listened to this album a LOT during my first term of college last year, and every time I hear this album, it feels like it’s fall and reminds me of how far I’ve come. It has such a sense of nostalgia and each song is more interesting than the next. I feel like this album has such a unique sound overall, I’d never confuse it with any other band.
You all should check this album out – seriously.