As my 50th birthday is this Saturday August 4th, I had an idea to assemble the top 50 songs and music that influenced me over my life, from 1962 to 2012. Easy right? Hell no. The process took more time than I thought, not to mention finding the right app to make it happen. That’s where Grooveshark comes in.
With Grooveshark, I can pick my songs from their vast online library, make a playlist, then share it via my blogs and social media platforms. Really cool. But that made content structure formation easy – making the content itself was hard. I stuck to a 50-song limit, and ended up picking some that I remember going back to when I was a kid, hence The Carpenters.
Then others were movie themes, most notably Jaws. Also note that all of the movie themes were created by John Williams, except The Godfather.
The greatest decade for me? That would have to be the 80s. It seemed like most every song I considered was an 80s tune, like “Owner Of The Lonely Heart” by Yes. My then-roommate and still good friend Keith Johnson turned me on to that band while we were students at Texas-Arlington. But I didn’t discover Psycho Killer for myself until 1985, even though I’d known of it in high school. The problem was I was into what I thought was more “black music” than anything else at the time – not hard core, but kind of leaning away from any rock other than Elton John.
I know, complicated. But it signaled the kind of place I was at, at the time: moving between many different Worlds, Black, White, Star Trek, athletics, and so on. I never had one ideological home except for what we now call, and wasn’t formed then, as being a “geek” – that term didn’t exist or the “grouping” of people around that tag.
But UTA, then grad school at Cal Berkeley were big players in the evolution of the idea that it was OK to be me. The advance of the music reflects that through time. At Cal, my then-girlfriend Lauren Seaton and I liked “Walking In LA” by Missing Persons. The Rolling Stones played a bigger role in my musical life during the 90s – I attended two concerts.
What’s interesting is that digital media has slammed all of the songs of all of the decades together so much that there are tunes from the 80s and 90s that are still huge today. I feel as if I came along at the right time – a transition in how we consume music and image.
At any rate, I can write a lot more, but here’s my playlist for your enjoyment.