Tuesday, 12 March 2013

And where, indeed, are we now?

Yesterday was a good day for me.
My 'hard copy' of the new David Bowie album arrived via Royal Mail first class delivery. I had decided to go down this rather quaint, old fashioned route as I wanted a 'thing' rather than just a few megabytes of audio digital stuff moving from i-tunes or Amazon to my laptop via my trusty, ancient Netgear router. I have been playing it virtually non-stop since then. Much to the disgust of the dog (he prefers Miles Davis, I suspect).
What you have to understand is that I have adored Bowie since I was 13 years old. And this got me thinking: how likely is it that there is any 13 year-old out there who, in 40 years' time, will be listening to something new from someone she adores right now? Well, it certainly will not be anyone who is now listening to Justin Bieber or One Direction. Of that I am certain. But I'm comparing apples with pears here. So, where are the innovative writers of music and lyrics who also play and perform their own stuff? Will Ed Sheeran be around in 40 years' time, I wonder? Did we really reach the pinnacle of rock music in the last 3 decades of the 20th Century? I don't know, but for me, nothing has quite come close to the genius that was and still is David Bowie. I remember buying Hunky Dory with my saved up pocket money. To this day, Life on Mars is my favourite song. Ever. I want it to be played at my funeral. I suspect we all love the most the music which formed the backdrop to our teenage years. Just like certain smells, they will always evoke memories like nothing else can.
A while ago I pointed this out to my 16 year old son who responded something along the lines of 'at least you had some good music in the 70s. What do we have?' I'd be genuinely interested to know the answer to that question. I guess it's a difficult one, without hindsight.
Anyway, back to listening to The Next Day. By the way, my favourite tracks are Where Are We Now and Dirty Boys.