- Category: Music: Musings
- Written by Jim Dee
I recall reading a psychological theory long ago that discussed our tendency to return later in life to things we knew in our youth. I suppose this could apply to many things (colors, smells, foods, decor, neighborhoods), but the theory just screams music to me. Whether we do it for some feeling of comfort or familiarity, I'm not sure. If any psychology buffs read this, perhaps they could elucidate.
For whatever reason, I've been drawn lately to some of the music of my childhood. Albums like Destroyer by Kiss, Aerosmith's Greatest Hits (the one from 1980), early Van Halen albums like Fair Warning and Women & Children First, old AC/DC, old Stones, and most recently Journey's awesome LP, Infinity. If you don't own Infinity, but appreciate classic rock, I would highly recommend heading over to the bittorrent site of your choice (YouTorrent is good) and illegally procuring this album immediately. (Uh, I meant to say rush out to your local records store and purchase it.)
Maybe these aforementioned psychologists are onto something, or maybe not. I know I'm not the most musically savvy blogger, more or less sticking to classic rock and GenX alternative bands (plus my esoteric jazz and non-pop interests that I'm excluding from this whole discussion). But I do like expanding my horizons beyond classic rock from time to time. Many of you have introduced me to great new (to me) bands that I listen to -- e.g., Bloc Party thanks to MiniJonb and a few others, or XTC thanks to Neddie and his krewe, not to mention countless bands from Beth (who is a walking musical encyclopedia), BeckEye, and even the notorious killa-chi gangsta Grant Miller.
But even back in my youth -- say, when I was 16 or so -- there was nothing I wanted more than to time-travel back to the heyday of classic rock (at least 15 years or so, back to the pre-disco death knell of the form), even if it meant being that kid in Cameron Crose's Almost Famous with the "Have You Seen The Bridge?" t-shirt. I suppose I should be glad this wish was never granted, or I'd be 15 years older now.
Anyway, I'm way off on a tangent now. What I was getting at was that, psychological theories aside, I have layman's theory for you:
Journey back in the day -- and, nothing against Escape or anything else popular they did in the '80s ('cause we all had our fun with the wicked synthed-out Separate Ways and slow dancing in high school gymnasia and Knights of Columbus halls to Open Arms and/or Faithfully ) -- objectively kicked some serious musical ass.
I'm serious. Put on Feelin' That Way / Anytime, and tell me those aren't solid members of the "all-time classic rock" Abso-MFing-lutely Essentials set. Tunes like that perfectly leverage the whole package of an uber-talented group of rockers -- excellent keyboards (and, nothing against synths, but we're talking real piano here -- which, goddammit, means something to this blogger), solid percussion, perfect harmonies between Gregg Rolie and the inimitable Perry, Neal Schon's as-always jaw-droppingly flawless guitar innovations, and some damn-cool production values to boot. And, then, as though that wasn't enough, they follow it up wth La Do Da, simply one of the (IMHO) coolest most rockinest tracks in existence.
The Wheel in the Sky keeps on turning, but I don't think we're cranking out bands of this ability every day. Trust me, there was plenty of absolute shite listened to by yours truly back when. So, if the psychological theorists are so smart, why am I not currently cueing up Ronnie James Dio?