Misremembering music: An introspective

Music is a part of day to day life for all of us. As the times pass by, though, we conclude that music has somehow decayed from the halcyon days when every song was a hit and every hit was a masterpiece. Many people, myself among them at one point, have wished to turn back time and bring back the old songs.

Of course, this is a subjective opinion, and I cannot say with any degree of confidence that my favorite decade of music really was objectively better than today’s. It’s just human nature to have selective memory under the spell of nostalgia, which means we remember only the really good songs of the time. Likewise, we hardly remember any of the faddish one-hit wonders or the really terrible stuff because radio stations stop playing them after a while.

Reinforcing this attitude is that every period movie set in the past five decades tries to give its era a degree of verisimilitude by playing only the greatest hits of that particular era (you’d be hardpressed to find period movie characters listening to older songs, too).

Even if I take autotune and executive meddling out of the picture, I still find that not every song from the 60s, 70s, and 80s aged as well as my favorites did. There’s a reason the hits are those we love: they were that good and got better with the “ravages” of time — changes in context, lyrical relevance, and technical musical styles inform the experience of a hit song.

Image Source: fanpop.com

The music atmosphere of yesterday wasn’t as different as that of today. Who knows, maybe some of the better songs of today would be remembered by the next generation the same way we did music of yore?

I’m Brent Morgan Waco, a Minnesota-based physical therapist and all-around 80s music aficionado. Follow me on Twitter for more about good music and good health.

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One thought on “Misremembering music: An introspective

  1. Great post and I agree with the end of it. Songs like Big K.R.I.T. – The Vent is one of those songs that will be remembered by us younger folks. This generation isn’t all bad music.

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