Music Muses

Do you remember your first vinyl, tape and/or cd purchase? We’ll start with my first tape since that came before the vinyl; to be honest,  I’m not exactly sure if my first tape was the single “Round and Round” by Tevin Campbell or “Dial My Heart” by The Boys.  My first vinyl was Bananarama’s single “I Heard a Rumor”, they’re probably best known for their song “Venus” now pared down and used for a razor commercial. I have to shake my head at that one, my Mom hated when I tried to use her record player to listen to Bananarama, she thought they couldn’t sing and that the song was boring. I played that song to death and still have the album although I have no record player on which to go down memory lane. Never fear! Soundgarden, my fav music, movies and more store sells some cool, relatively inexpensive record players avec USB port for easy downloading…hmmm, that song might just make it back in rotation.  I bought my first cd in my freshman year of high school, LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out, the song that yanked me in was “Jingling Baby”, followed by “The Boomin’ System”, “Around the Way Girl”, and of course the album title song. LL’s lyrics on “Mama Said Knock You Out” are so intoxicating, I always get amped when he raps, “Shadow boxing when I heard you on the radio. I just don’t know, what made you forget that I was raw, but now I gotta new tour…” Whew, there’s more where that came from and if you are a rap fan I suggest you find that song, crank up the volume, and hit the pavement (it’s great for walking and mean-mugging-thus discouraging random unsolicited conversations). His delivery and the lyrics are hardcore street, testosterone-fueled, and invigorating-kinda like Jay-Z’s “99 Problems”. Much to my mother’s chagrin I totally crushed on LL; she figured a dude who always wore a Kangol had to have a cone head. Of course I didn’t care what she said, I’m still a fan!

Clearly my tastes were eclectic born from that of my parents. Dad, a total rocker at heart was the lead singer in a local rock band, Cross Blood and although his musical tastes varied, some of his favorites were Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, and Lynard Skynard. My sister and I bore the brunt of his Lynard Skynard, “Free Bird” binge; for almost a month during high school he would drive us to school listening to “Free Bird” nonstop. I thought I never wanted to hear this song again, but now I when I catch snatches of it on the classic rock station, I pause and remember him. Mom, more of a hippy type listened to Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and David Bowie in heavy rotation. I soaked it all in and developed my love of music from them both. In middle school I was a Top-40 chick, by high school I was mainly listening to alternative and rock/grunge: Depeche Mode, R.E.M, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and by college my friend Rachel introduced me to underground rap and my first listen of Jay-Z’s “Reasonable Doubt”-timeless! I was lucky to be in New York at that time, right when some of our 90s pioneers (Nas, Jay-Z, and Mobb Deep to name a few) were unknowingly changing the rap/hip-hop landscape forever.

Now, most of my collection consists of cds, some which were lucky enough to be loaded into my iPod, but with a measly 8 gigs, I have to constantly pick and choose songs to load according to what I’m in the mood for.  My tapes, mostly recordings from Hot 97 during my college years, lay in wait, a jumbled pile in a red drawstring plastic bag in the back of my closet. I keep planning to buy a tape deck and bring them to life, but almost 15 years later who am I kidding? Seriously, I can’t imagine the world without music and I’m glad I rep all the way back to the days of vinyl and tapes.  

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