Music and its association

I’m a big fan of music. 5.7 days of the stuff exists in my Itunes library ranging from progressive rock to hard rock, to folk rock, to instrumental rock, to cosmic rock, to punk rock, and to soundtracks. But this brief post will not be a protracted argument for The Ramones over The Clash or an intricate essay on the inner workings of Yes’ Close to the Edge. Instead I’m going to put into writing something that I’m sure we can all relate to and that is the sense of relation, memory and association that hearing a piece of music brings.

I can’t hear Lenny Kravitz’s “I want to fly away” or Deep Blue Something’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” without immediately reminiscing of a holiday I took to Universal Studios in 2007, where the two songs blared out of large speakers dotted along Universal Citywalk. The Kaiser Chiefs albums Employment and Yours Truly, Angry Mob were the first CDs I ever bought from a “2 for £10” range at my local HMV. Genesis’ Trespass reminds me of when I discovered progressive rock while Aqualung and Thick as a Brick were the albums I listened to in Italy on the numerous long car journeys. Hearing Narnia’s song “This is My Life” reminds me of my first introduction to the elaborate but incredibly overdone genre of Christian neo-classical progressive power rock.

Perhaps the most vivid memory I have when listening to a piece of music is of a particular evening (and long morning) sitting in the BFI IMAX watching a load of Batman films. I had purchased tickets for a Batman all-nighter and in preparation had tried to sleep for most of the day. I listened to an album while trying to nap which just happened to be King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King. The song “I Talk to the Wind” particularly stuck out in my mind and now whenever I listen to it it brings back images of me dressing up as Heath Ledger’s Joker and thoroughly enjoying all four films that were shown on the giant BFI IMAX screen that night. It was probably the greatest cinematic event I have been to so far and I recorded everything in one long Vlog, which can be seen here: (the video’s also a help if you’re wondering what I look like in real life)

It’s the Joker!

Now, if all of the above reads like a load of incoherent babble with lots of strange words and phrases in italics, don’t worry. I do listen to large amounts of obscure music from the 1970s. I will, however, pose this question to you. Find any song in particular and try and remember when you first listened to it. Does it bring back memories and thoughts of joy, sadness, laughter or something entirely different?

No, I’m not aspiring to be a psychiatrist, I just thought this would be an interesting thing to write about.


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