Music was vital to me during the 90s. I connected with friends over music. Visiting music stores gave us an outing. And of course, we fantasized about our lives together with pop stars.
Music was a common thread for me throughout these years. It definitely brought me a lot of joy, in ways young people nowadays can’t even imagine. The 90s were something.
My First Single
My first single was ‘Eternity‘ by Snap. I remember my first CD-player, it was a gift from my father. He made me choose between a simple model and two rattan chairs for my bedroom, or a more luxurious model. I chose the simple one because I thought the chairs would be more useful. They were, and I was happy with my choice.
Years later, I bought a luxurious stereo system which could hold multiple CDs. By this time I was working on Saturdays, so I had some money to spend. This CD player could hold three CDs and two cassette tapes. Can you imagine the luxury?
Cassette tapes were a big thing. Trying to record from the radio, without the DJ talking through the beginning of the song.
One time I lent a CD from the library and copied it on a cassette tape. I was so afraid I was going to be busted when I turned it back in.
I loved my walkman. I received my first one as a gift from my parents. My mom decorated it with many stickers which I loved.
Later in life, I remember trying to buy one which had a radio function too. Can you imagine how cool that would be? I can’t even remember if I got that one.
My relationship with CDs or albums was different than it is now.
It began with going to a music store to listen to a CD before buying it. What an experience that was, together with your friends. The store was always noisy, so you could hardly concentrate on the music you were listening to.
Or buying albums because you liked one song. I really liked Tarkan’s ‘kiss kiss‘ song, so I bought the CD (without the booklet :s)
Not That Special
I will say I listened to an album way more times than I do now. When you have only ten/twenty CDs, you have to listen to the same ones repeatedly.
Nowadays, when a new album is released, and I enjoy it, I’ll play it for a month, maybe two, before I forget about it. Something else is released, and I just forget.
You know what I love? The VH1 channel, especially the 90s night. We only have VH1 when our provider offers it for free, but watching it sure brings back memories. To sound like an old crone: they don’t make TV like that anymore.
We watched so much music television, both on MTV and on TMF, a Dutch version of MTV. It’s no longer available.
I know it’s no longer right to mention this artist, but the video clip of Down Low by R.Kelly will always be special to me. It was so emotional.
Fifteen-year-old me would have been so excited with services like Spotify and Apple Music. I love them. I have all the music in the world at my fingertips. And not only separate albums, but also mixes garnered to my preferences. It’s amazing.
Loss of a Friend
But sometimes, I feel like I’ve lost something. In a way, music is not that special anymore. You don’t have to work to find what you enjoy. Just open the app, and it’s there. I miss the excitement of finding a great CD and listening to it time and again. Or finally having recorded that one song.
I’ve gained access to all music in the world, but I’ve lost my special relationship with music. In a way, I’ve lost a friend.