Wednesday, February 28, 2007

 

Yesterdays Forgotten Heros pt.1


How long have you been at it? I'm talking about a right click on the mouse and saving as, probably better known as mp3 downloading. I've been happily clicking away for eight years, I started in the 1999. I can remember that at this period I was not listening to too much music as after my years of working in radio and promoting, lets just say that I had had to much of a good thing and my ears and brain were seriously suffering from musical overdose. Part of my job as at the radio was listening to the new releases as sent in by the record companies, and for the concert hall we received a very large number of demo tapes, and I did listen to each and every one of them even if for many of them it was a quick listen. Add to this my 15 hours of weekly airtime and not forgetting that I sometimes liked to take something out of it's sleeve just for the pleasure of listening to it, I really was at saturation point and could take no more! So after a year or two of let's say radio silence, I started to get pleasure from from my records again and as luck would have it this corresponded roughly with the beginning of the mp3 revolution. I can remember my first PC, bought the same year boasted a mighty 4 giga of hard drive, though this was enough to start off, remember that at this period 128kbps was optimum quality! Despite the pioneer nature of my activities I was never to follow that murky path of p2p file sharing as I do firmly believe that an artist deserves to be rewarded for his work, though the odd track here or there was ok after all it was publicity, wasn't it. Back then things were not as organised as they are today, if you had said music blog to someone the reply would undoubtedly have been "what!"
So too the real purpose of today's post, a little bit like that time old favorite question of the music magazines, what was the first record you bought, well I'm asking what was the first track that you downloaded? Me I can remember the first three records that bought, though I'm not too sure about the order, as being 'Razzamataz' by Nazareth, 'Band On the Run' by Wings and '24 Carat Purple' by Deep Purple, I guess this says a lot about me. Well in much the same way I can remember the excitement of those first downloads, sitting there watching the percentage slowly rise and the file to be complete before finally listening to the song, as often as not the music was not that good but what the hell, this was a great way of discovering new music and I would say that it opened many new musical avenues for me, particularly concerning small artists from exotic far away places such as America! In much the same way that those first first records still mean a lot to me, so do those very first mp3 downloads that I have still have floating around somewhere on one of my hard drives and stocked on various back up CDs. I will not pretend that it was earth shattering music and no none of these bands went on to conquer the world but it was fun. I think the very first song that I downloaded came from the newly created People Sound Com, and was probably on their front page a lively piece of groove pop as only the Brits can do called 'Knock Yourself Out' by Ink. Another early delight included Big Boss Sausage, great name, with 'Heaters', this band were well enough known in their native America to merit an entry in the AMG guide. At this period I used to download and ask questions latter, maybe not the best of practices as I was to latter discover, finding myself with too many files that were not tagged or not well tagged, this means when you get round to listen to them, you find the song great but have no idea at all who it was by. This is the case with today's last track a great country/rap take on the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic that I have called 'Sweet Home California', anyone know the bands name?
The quality of these files may not be the best, but who complains when listening to their grandfathers old 78s! How times change.

Comments:
I'm a baby when it comes to this. I'm pretty certain that my first download was from Popmatters. I think it was probably 'Goodnight Goodnight' by Hot Hot Heat, in around June 2005, and a very fine song it is too.
 
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