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Thread: Music and nostalgia

  1. #1

    Music and nostalgia

    I may be unique with regards to this, but I have no nostalgic feelings connected to music.

    I do not have any more feelings toward music that I listened to during the best parts of my youth, than music that I have discovered yesterday. Music for me, either holds up based on it's own merit (for me these are: musicianship, creativity, melody, complexity, emotional content), or it doesn't.

    Some of the bands I listened to during some the best times of my youth: Grand Funk, 10 Years After, Gun, Humble Pie, and even bands like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin, do nothing for me now. Some of them even sound kind of silly to me now. And none of them make me feel nostalgic for those times.

    But of course, other bands and musicians I discovered shortly after the above bands: during my prog and fusion discovery period, like; YES, King Crimson, PFM, Banco, Camel, National Health, Mahavishnu Orchestra, etc, etc, almost all hold up for me, based on their musical merit alone.

    I do get nostalgic with regards to: people, places, movies, TV shows, so, I am not without those emotions.

    Am I the only one?
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  2. #2
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Northern Virginia
    When I saw Oblivion Sun at Progday in 2013 they played some Happy The Man songs.
    I was gripped with a sensation that nostalgia sort of encompasses.
    It was like I was whipped back in time to the late 70's when I saw HTM a few times.
    A very happy sensation I must say.
    The time and place had something to do with it ( no drugs or alcohol ) I'm sure.
    But truly magical for me.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    “A Man Who Does Not Read Has No Appreciable Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read” - Unknown

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2020
    mentone ca
    I'm not super nostalgic, but I'll admit to having a soft spot for stuff I grew up with

  4. #4
    I'm not sure, but my feelings are often more connected to musical memories, like when I bought a certain album, or sometimes just some moment I listened to a certain album.
    Some example for the latter. If I listen to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (the album), I'm reminded at a moment when I still lived with my parents and was reading some books on model-railways, planning my own model-railway.

  5. #5
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    More or less the same.
    If the music doesnt have a timeless quality, I don't return to it.

    I mean Herman Hermits?

    But of course experiences in my youth, girls, ... feelings can be triggered by hearing tracks from old days, but its not music I own or miss in any way, unless it has remaining qualities (My dad played Debussy and Stravinsky - I will always return to them).
    I genereally prefer to move on.

    Some of the older stuff from the late sixties/seventies which I have only recently discovered, doesn't make much of an impression.

  6. #6
    Member thedunno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    For me the most exiting music is the music that is being made right now. The majority of what I listen to is released recently.

    However, I do occasionally return to some old Fisher Z, the cure, Police, Joe Jackson and the like. Mainly because of the memories of high school parties (and certain girls) attached to them.

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  7. #7
    The only time music makes me feel nostalgic about the old days are the rare occasions I drive around alone in my old hometown listening to the one remaining rock radio station I used to listen to back in the day. That does take me back and makes me remember. But I agree, this has a much to do with place and memories of people than it does the music I'm hearing.

    Otherwise, I basically agree with the OP. I do think a lot of the rock music I heard early on, my "gateway" bands as it were, still have a place in my heart that possibly exceed their musical merit. I wouldn't call this as much "nostalgia" but rather that this music has imprinted on me to some degree that makes me still enjoy it as music, even if I recognize that musically it may be a bit dodgy at times. Some have receded a bit, like ELO and Styx, and dare I say it even The Beatles to some degree. But I still like them a lot and get enjoyment from hearing their music. Other formative bands like Zeppelin I like as much, if not even more today than I did back then.

    But I don't listen to any of that music for reasons of nostalgia. I want to enjoy the music. And if I listen and say, "why the hell did I ever like this?" then into the boner pile it goes. But the bands of my youth that I enjoyed the most have been pretty resilient and have never been purged.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Waterloo, IA, USA
    Interesting topic. My 2¢:

    Listening to music in my collection often reminds me of the time/place in my life that I first encountered it. This can also happen when I hear music "out in the wild", even if that music is not something I own at home. This is what I think of when I think of the word "nostalgia", and it seems to have not much to do with the subjective quality of the music.

    Related yet IMO separate, the "goosebump" factor for me, while most strongly associated with music I became familiar with during the formative years of my active listening life, is much more a consequence of my perception of the quality of the music and a direct connection to my emotions.
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.


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