I’ve heard it said that your long term musical interests get imprinted on your brain when you’re around fifteen years old. So whatever you were listening to at that time, is the type of music you’re listening to now.
For me, that would be 1972. And it works, to a certain extent. I did become a huge Allman Brothers fan around then, with the Dead following close behind.
But I always thought my real musical imprinting came in 1979, when I was 22. It was the year punk broke (my eardrums, anyway). There was an avalanche of records that not only sounded great, but that put me on a decades-long path of exploration that is only now dying down (or branching off even further, depending on how you’re looking at it.)
But now I’m not so sure. As I find myself less and less moved by current music, I’ve been reaching back to albums from the early seventies for a boost.
In the past few months I’ve been enjoying records by Roxy Music circa 73-74 and the Kinks from 1971.
And now I’m reaching back another (three hundred) year(s) or so:
Fairport Convention: Liege and Lief (1970)
“Is this all one song?” asks Mrs. Jaybee, who, not being of Celtic origin (what a relief) doesn’t yet fully appreciate the subtle differences in/of these ten tales of tragedy and despair. To be fair it took her this long to get used to the drinking and passive aggressiveness.
“But it’s a good song!” I reply, using an argument once used against me by a fan of Slade back in high school when I was on the other side of the argument. Boy, did it sound dumb at the time. Not much better now.
Okay, I’ll admit that most of these melodies came from somewhere else first. At least half the songwriting credits say “Traditional”, which is a higher batting average than say, oh, Led Zeppelin.
Anyway, FC plays and sings these tunes with gusto. After all, they’ve got Richard Thompson on guitar, a damned good rhythm section, and Sandy Denny on vocals.
So much gusto, in fact, that the originals sound like they could have been written three hundred years ago.
And I’m sure whoever was 15 at that time would have loved them, too.
And I'm willing to bet Mrs. Jaybee comes around, too. She married me, after all. A-
“Come All Ye”