This last November, I posted what I listened to in my teens. Where my teens were marked by music that was mostly hot on the charts, during my college days I started exploring music, approaching it from different angles and thus discovering music in all its variety. As a student, I listened to debut albums by artists from the early 2000s that are still around today, but I also explored some popular 80s and 90s music from before my time. I also hit a bout of Jazz fever and pretty much what I listened to from freshmen year in college, till the moment I obtained my teaching degree was the precursor for what I am listening to now.
Buddy Rich – The Beat Goes On
Let’s start with Jazz music. I worked at the North Sea Jazz festival to earn some extra cash one summer and got hooked. I was lucky enough to be part of the festival cleaning crew which worked during the festival, so I got to explore and see and hear music that I would not have easily listened to otherwise. I heard Van Morrison, saw Solomon Burke, and some other names, most of which I can’t remember. I liked what I heard, bought a Blue Note double CD from my local music store the following week and on that CD was this song by Buddy Rich. This version is better than the one by Sonny & Cher.
Coldplay – Spies
The first two albums by Coldplay were like the soundtrack of my college days. They released Parachute in 2002, the year I went to college and Spies was and till this day still is, my favorite track from that album. I lost interest in the band in 2005, had a short interest revival for Viva la Vida, only to go back to frowning at most of the music they have put out since X&Y. Atlas, which they recorded for the Hunger Games soundtrack, however, is a great Coldplay track.
Duran Duran – The Reflex
I hit a bout of 80s popular music while studying for my Master’s in English. I was especially keen on the Duran Duran greatest hits album. I ended up obsessed enough to go see the band live when they revived their career with the Duran Duran-esque song Reach up for the Sunrise (I believe that’s what it’s called anyway) back in 2008. The Reflex is a Duran Duran classic and like it or not, it still is catchy as hell.
Foreigner – Jukebox Hero
Another type of music I got into for a while was middle of the road stadium rock from the late 70s and early 80s. Journey and Foreigner were some of my favorites and since Don’t Stop Believing has been put on everyone’s radar because of the first season of Glee in recent times, I decided to go with my other favorite from that time: Jukebox Hero. Pretty decent riffs, catchy and easy to sing-along lyrics and that lovely semi-screechy voice.
Interpol – NYC
One band who also released their debut album right around the same time I went to college was Interpol. I found this CD on the discount table at my local record store and I think it may very well be one of my first purchases from there. They always did 3 for 25 deals and so I allowed myself to buy a set of CDs every month, trying to find new music. NYC is my favorite track from Turn on the Bright Lights by Interpol. It has always stuck with me and for me it was the highlight of their show when I saw them live (finally, after all these years) last January.
Muse – Sunburn
Like Coldplay, a band with which I’ve had an on again- off again type of relationship is Muse. I loved their first two albums. I actually started with number two, bought their debut album shortly afterwards and played both of those albums till I couldn’t hear them anymore. The problem? For their third album they hit it big, but by this time I was thinking they had started to sound a bit too same-y. So I diverted my attention to other artists. My love for Muse was revived with their last two albums and I have gone back to fill in the gap that I missed and I love those albums now too. However, I still thought it was funny that when I went to see them live for the second time in 2013, I seemed to be the only person around who really knew this song.
Portishead – Glorybox
Triphop was one of my discoveries through the people I hung out with most at my student society. I started listening to slightly less mainstream and mostly alternative music during this period because of them. Portishead was one of my discoveries. As well as Leftfield, Mogwai, Dead Can Dance, and plenty of other artists that I had never heard of before. This being 2002 and Napster and Kazaa being the only Internet download services around and the fact that I didn’t even own a computer with an Internet connection, meant that music discovery was a lot harder for me then than it is now. But I found some things and still have a few compilation CDs from those early days.
R.E.M. – Low
At the time I still worked my job at the library and they would be redecorating the entire library. But before they could do that, they’d have to get rid of much of their catalog. Also their music catalog. I got my hands on tons of overplayed, yet classic albums, mainly from the 90s, because the library was getting rid of so many books and CDs. Since I worked there I picked up a lot for free and brought home stacks of CDs by Nirvana, Sting, Metallica, Enigma, ERA and also REM. Out of Time must be my favorite REM album and Low is one of my favorite tracks.
Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name
Again influenced by my student’s society: during dance nights, ultimately this song would come on. The dance floor would erupt into one big crowd of jumping people who were purposely bumping into each other. It had every likeness of a moshpit, but not quite. This song not only reminds me of the awesome time I had as a student, but also some of the more rock & alternative music that I used to be into. I’ve grown a little soft over the years.
The Police – Walking On The Moon
Finally a bit of 80s pop again. The Police, but mostly Sting’s solo catalog became a staple for me during long train rides back and forth between my new city of Leiden and my parents’ place on the other side of the country. I would listen to their music all the time, along with Muse and Coldplay. I would whip out my discman (kudos if you also used one yourself) and have a handy carrying case in which I could take an extra set of batteries, up to 8 CDs and my headphones.
What music did you listen to 10 years ago?