In my parents’ day, record albums were where it was at! Somewhere in a box in their garage, there are probably a few dozen sleeves with scratched recordings buried under layers of dust. The artists on these records are probably mostly either long gone or happily retired and spending their days with grandchildren, reminiscing about the glory days.
In a box in my eldest sisters’ attic is an old tapedeck with tons of tapes with music from her early childhood. Debbie Gibson, the Bangles and Whitney Houston are immortalized forever on low quality tapes. While some of these artists are still in production today (New Kids on the Block, we’re talking about you) most of them are now retired and occasionally make special appearances at awards shows and benefit galas.
In the back of my closet is a heavy old book filled with well-worn CDs. The Backstreet Boys, John Mayer, Fiona Apple, and Britney Spears are all filed away alphabetically. Mostly, they’re now pulled for friend game nights, where after a few glasses of wine “Barbie Girl” and “Hit Me Baby One More Time” are both nostalgic and once again socially acceptable to listen to. These artists now are mostly tabloid fodder and hosts for musical tv reality competitions.
Today, there are millions of songs available on iTunes. The holding case for these tunes are slim iphones, tiny mp3 players, or even trendy watches. These artists run the gammet, from the same crooners my father listened to all the way to new talent discovered on those same reality shows that the aforementioned 90’s sensations are now hosting.
The world of music has definitely changed over the last two generations and there is no real end in site. With some amazing web pages and hub spots for music available right now, it’s easy to feel as though we’ve reached the pinnacle of digital music technology: but if there is one thing that history can teach us it is that we are not done yet. I wonder what format the music of the future will come in? Maybe it will be beamed directly into our hearing through special jewelry?
What was your favorite format and why? If you had your preference, would we go back or move forward with our music?