A few new reviews in the 'Reviews' section--check 'em out.
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, by Pink Floyd,1973
My parents bought me a Sears stereo for Christmas, 1984. The Sears stereo was a paragon of utilitarian design, a lightweight box construction that had a turntable, eight-track player, and dual cassette deck. This was in ye olde dayes, kids, before digital music, when we used to dub music by hand--by hand, I tell you!--listening carefully for the exact moment to lift the needle or pause the cassette to conserve the maximum amount of usable tape. I think back to all of the hours I spent making mixtapes, when now I can make a huge setlist on my computer in about five minutes. It was painstaking work, and woe betide a sibling who walked past the stereo with heavy feet when the recording light was on.
My parents bought me three records that Christmas as well, two Iron Maiden 12 inch 45s, the Aces High and Two Minutes to Midnight singles, and Dark Side of the Moon. It was a gatefold record, which was a big deal back then, and it came with two posters and a bunch of stickers.
One of the many things that fascinates me about this album is how its meaning to me morphs over time. Already more than a decade old by the time I got it at age fifteen, it instantly became my favorite album to listen to on the headphones while doing homework, writing, reading, or just staring up at the ceiling. It was an album I'd put on when I started dating Kim and was background music throughout our time in college together. When my kids were babies, I liked to put Dark Side on when rocking them to sleep, always making sure to turn it down when the alarm clocks hit at the beginning of "Time", although usually they fell asleep before "Breathe in the Air" was over. Old Santana records used to knock 'em out, too. I expect that it will have another meaning for me when my kids grow up and leave the house.
Depending on my mood, I can listen to the album and summon up any of these memories, and more. If I feel the need to connect with my teenage self, or the me when I was a young man in love, or the me who held and rocked his babies, feeling their tiny hearts beating against my chest and hearing "Long you'll live and high you'll fly" play softly from the speakers, I can just by listening the the album. And if I don't want to reach back into the past, I can play the songs, open my mind, and connect with the present, or if I'm really fortunate, the future.
Some albums are static; I'll listen to them and they'll take me to a specific moment in time and that's great, but my favorites seem to be the ones whose meaning and "feel" grows and changes along with me. This is one record in particular that never seems to let me down in that regard.