I’m sure you’ll remember the days, when just before leaving the house, you’d grab your Walkman and whatever your favourite tape was at the time, and head to school.
Earphones plugged in to the Walkman, looped under jumpers, reappearing out from collars and into ears, sometimes sharing one set of headphones with a mate when a good ‘tune’ came on.
It was impossible to find the song you were looking for -flipping from A to B-side, fast-forward, rewind, fast-forward- on repeat, especially if it was a mixtape, all recorded from the radio in no order.
Then, of course, there were the music stores, you never really knew if a new album or single was in the shops then until you actually saw it there, stacked alphabetically on the grandstand style shelving. After browsing for what seemed like hours, the choice would be made, and for £1.99 you could reload the Walkman with the latest tunes.
As with all technology, the Walkman was replaced by the Discman then along came the MiniDisc Walkman, Walkman MP3, and now we have the smartphone.
It’s hard to believe that in a generation we’ve moved from a few tracks on a tape player, to now having a device, that instantly allows access to 20 million songs on Spotify, or over seven thousand stored on a standard smartphone itself. We have a search field for songs we are looking for, recommended playlists, all at our fingertips without leaving the house, or wherever we may be.
There is an ease and simplicity at which we can listen to, and find new music now, but are we missing a certain charm and appreciation for the lengths we used to go to for our music, and the deeper satisfaction when we unearthed a gem.
But, be it a Walkman or an iPod, being able to immerse yourself in your own personal disco, creating a metaphysical bubble that takes you to place far larger than your own physical place is still the same, 25 years later. So, despite the huge changes in technology, it would seem we haven’t changed very much at all.
Do you long for the nostalgia or are you happy to embrace the new? Talking about nostalgia keep tuned for our competition next week to win a blast from the past.