I will not linger endlessly on this point, but it seems to me that every generation is destined to have its music imprint on it in its critical teen and early twenty years. And no music is likely to mean the same thing to us again for the rest of our lives. I have some musical training – training that my children have now outpaced. I also had the pleasure of growing up and around great friends that were gifted and dedicated musicians. As such, I was lucky; I had wonderful guides to the music that was evolving around me through the seventies – firmly locked into the progressive rock era. We listened actively to bands like the Who, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, and Yes, to name a few (I could go on at greater length, but you get the idea).
And I use the term actively listened for a reason. Listening back then was an active process. Who does not have some memory of picking up a new LP from a great band, running it home – perhaps with some friends and quietly and intently ACTIVELY listening to it - reading the liner notes, checking the line-up, etc. We would listen again and again, dissect the music, talk about time signatures, guitar riffs, base lines, how “tight” the band was, what influences were present; was this a natural progression from the last album or a new direction? We were listening to composers and compositions – not just a bunch of songs. Who can forget their first listen to Tull’s Songs from the Wood. ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery, or Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. These were more than just songs or pop, they were revelations. Indeed they were and are timeless. I am quite certain that someday historians will look upon these works and others like them with the same regard as great classical compositions of old.
I will not attack the current generation’s music, but I do feel extremely lucky to have grown up at a time of such musical giants and genius with a great bunch of friends. I have also been lucky enough to share some of these masterworks with my own children - and see them actually enjoy them. I hope it lasts! Maybe it will even “imprint.”