Why run to these old record albums?
Look, albums are simply a collection of songs (ideas and thoughts really) constructed at a certain time, or place, by a group, or an individual musician. The structure is always the same. And that structure, it’s the perfect cycle to run to. They have a beginning (the warm up), a middle or aerobic phase (turn the record over, dust it off, and drop the needle again), and end (the cool down). That structure, is a large part of the charm of these old records.
A classic album like the Beatles Abby Road starts out strong with Come Together, continues to shine – Here Comes the Sun, and climaxes in The End, “the love you take is equal to the love you make”. Yes, there was a time when records were played on turn tables. They had to be cleaned first, then the needle was carefully placed at the beginning, and then you would turn the volume up to “eleven”. Back in the sixties and seventies, kids would gather in someones bedroom, or basement to cue up the latest LP by their favorite artists and listen to the music that would hallmark their youth.
The ‘album’ formate, is a lost one, a medium whose time has past to this age of quick sound bites, and 99 cent downloads. The idea of two sides of music, 40 or 50 minutes, that you would listen to in one sitting is absurd in this day and age.
For me, though, a solid album of music is like a really good short story, or novelette. It’s a slice of juicy creative entertainment that can be savored over and over. It’s the car or train ride home after a great date. It’s the time spent cooking a romantic dinner. It’s the backdrop while washing the car or shooting pool. Or, it’s the battle cry that symbolized a team, or winning season.
“We will, we will, Rock you! Sing it!”
Albums are the juice that gets me going. They are the fuel that jump starts my legs and gets me from mile one to mile five and beyond.
So what is this? It’s not “News of the World”. This just happens to be what I’m running to, today.
You see, over the course of the last 30 years or so, I’ve accumulated a fairly substantial amount of records. And when I was young, I use to stay up late, with my headphones on, and listen to side after side until I was tired enough to fall asleep. And while I was listening, I would think to myself, that I could not (or maybe would not) die until I listened to every album I own, all the way through, one more time. The day I listened to the last record, would be the day I would die. You think of some pretty weird shit at 1 AM, while listening to Blue Oyster Cult. Anyway, now that I’m older and thinking a little clearer than I was back then, I finally thought it’s time to get started, so here I am going through my entire collection. If I were to listen to one album a day starting today, I would live to be 104 years old. That’s pretty good, and maybe a bit ambitious. The headline would read: “Listening to old records makes man young again”.
Now, while I enjoy a wide range of music including contemporary music from recent artists and musicians as well, but I do qualify that term, for I don’t consider Selena Gomez or Justin Bieber to be musicians any more than I did Nsync or Kris Kross. But lately, lets say in the last 10 years or so, there hasn’t been a landslide of what I would consider credible new music coming out. I think the birth of Idol and the death of the independent record labels may have something to do with that. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t consider myself to be a professional critic or someone who has their finger on the pulse of the new music scene. So, if you should happen to have suggestions, I’m all ears. After all, the larger my album collection grows, the longer I’ll live, because I won’t die, until I listen to every one of them, all the way through, one more time.
I’m not the first one to do this, and I probably won’t be the last. I’m just a guy who likes to run, and uses music as a backdrop to do it. Because I’m no longer in my 20s, the music that moves me (key term being moves) is not the ‘Best of Both Worlds’, its the best of my world. I’m no longer sitting on a Lazyboy, plugged into a 300 watt stereo, but rather I’m out, pounding the road, or a trail and these are the soundtrax that I’m leaving behind, so to speak.
So get out and run, and take this website with you. After you listen to today’s runner, you will have done 4 or 5 miles (10 or 15 if you’re on your bike), and you’ll feel good.
The weather is fine.
It’s great to be alive.