Music has always been a huge part of my life. My parents both sing, and my dad plays the guitar, and thanks largely in part to their musical inclination, my sister and I were brought up surrounded by music. We both started playing piano and singing in church at a very young age, and I started to play the violin in grade 4. In high-school, I was in three (sometimes four) choirs, musicals, the string ensemble, and the percussion ensemble. Because my high-school was so music-oriented, I was exposed to all kinds of wonderful artists by my friends and my teachers, but even more so, I received an incredible musical education at home. I grew up listening to the Beatles and the Eagles and Joni Mitchell and America and Norah Jones and James Taylor and John Denver and the list goes on and on. Even though I’m not as involved in musical ensembles as I once was, listening to music I love and discovering new artists continues to bring me joy.
Though I grew up listening to CDs, usually not on shuffle, it wasn’t until I met my boyfriend just over five years ago that I really came to appreciate the importance of listening to music as an album. He said something once about how the artist put the album together a certain way for a reason, and that that was the best way to listen to those songs. Having become accustomed to throwing my iTunes on shuffle, this really got me thinking about listening to albums in the proper order, the way that the artist (and producer, I guess, right?) intended it to be listened to. Sure, I still listen to music on shuffle often, but not infrequently, I will turn off the shuffle and throw on a whole album and listen to it from start to finish (or as much of it as I can fit in on whatever walk I’m taking).
Something else that’s encouraged me to really appreciate albums as albums is having a record players. First of all, you can’t shuffle a record. Secondly, you can’t skip any songs, so you’re forced to listen to the whole record all the way through, and hopefully come to appreciate every song as part of that whole. Furthermore, records themselves are great. I mean the physical record and the album covers. It’s kind of like owning a physical, paper book instead of an e-reader copy.
On this blog, I’m going to tell you about some of my favourite albums. I don’t have all of them on vinyl, but they’re all albums that I have definitely listened to all the way through a whole lot of times, and have come to love as whole albums. As is the case with so much of the music that is important to us, these albums have all been soundtracks, you could say, to important times in my life. I hope reading this encourages you to dig up a favourite album of yours and relive some of those high-school memories.