~ In an effort to chronicle my love of music, I am going to be creating playlists. They will represent the formulation of the musical tastes which have shaped my life — both in a chronological and thematic sense. Like many, music has long played an integral role in my life. Music is a universal language. I believe it is impossible not to love music, in one of its many forms. Like any art, it is subjectively experienced and admired. That is its grand power.

My appreciation of music is far-ranging, and in some regard, there has been a natural progression over the years concerning what music I am drawn to, how I listen to it, and why I listen to it. Over time, with these playlists, I hope to try to articulate that progression. The playlists I present here might not always work well in the traditional sense of being played together, and the songs themselves may not perfectly serve as the artists’ best work. They may hold their singular power and nostalgia only to me {but hey, that’s kind of the point}. At the very least, with each playlist, I hope to simply compile collections of memorable and meaningful tunes.

~ The theme of this first playlist is the music from childhood, i.e. the music my parents listened to with me and my brother. As you can tell, most of this music is from the 1970s, which was both — the best decade of music in human history, and the formative years of my parents’ respective youths. Naturally, my childhood was filled with these sounds.

Yanni — Nostalgia — https://youtu.be/dE1o_uUXTvo

~ I can never forget the smooth piano riffs of the Greek pianist and composer mastermind touching down upon my ears. It did not dawn on me until later that my love of the piano and its sound likely originated with Yanni. How can this music not move you?

Elton John — Can You Feel The Love Tonighthttps://youtu.be/KjgWWjkNbhU

~ 💯 A legend. The voice and the keys are immortal. Too many songs to choose from. To kid-me, all those rewatches of The Lion King solidified EJ as a 🐐. {btw this music video is ridiculous and awesome}

Mozart — Fur Elisehttps://youtu.be/_mVW8tgGY_w

This particular piece was my introduction to classical music, and is another layer contributing to my love of piano.

Yusuf / Cat Stevens — The Wind — https://youtu.be/W4-IZTZkTY8

~ Cat Stevens is one of those artists that was another go-to during long car rides for my mom. His soft voice brings me nostalgia like nothing else.

Fleetwood Mac — Tusk — https://youtu.be/R7U7XtYeq8c

~ There are videos of me as a baby, sitting in a little bouncy chair, rocking out to this particular song and its thumping beat. Fleetwood Mac’s discography as a whole was a constant stream within our household and has shaped my taste in music as much as anything else.

The Beatles — Eleanor Rigbyhttps://youtu.be/wbxTlxuECJA

~ Dad introduced me to The Beatles. Many of their songs still stick with me. But I picked Eleanor Rigby because I remember the eeriness of its sound, and those violins, forced me to listen much more closely to the lyrics, which were equally haunting.

Queen — Another One Bites The Dusthttps://youtu.be/rY0WxgSXdEE

~ Funny story surrounding this particular song. As a child, I use to rapturously sing along to it. But I would say ‘duck’ instead of dust. “Another one bites the duck!” I have no idea why I said this, other than the phrase was foreign to me at the time. Now it is all I can think about when I hear it or the song. Real-talk though — Freddie Mercury might have the most powerful voice of all time. I think Queen and this song introduced me to music having the potential to be a visceral and cinematic experience.

Led Zeppelin — Immigrant Song — https://youtu.be/y8OtzJtp-EM

~ Zeppelin changed the game. For me, they were my introduction to epic rock, and I think naturally led to my love of progressive sounds and metal. Immigrant Song forever slaps.

AC/DC — Back In Black https://youtu.be/pAgnJDJN4VA

~ What a way to start a song. This one is full of motion from beginning to end. Another precursor to metal, AC/DC was another favorite of my mom. The passion of the singer and the power of a good chorus are a reflection of AC/DC’s disco full of hits.

The Eagles — Hotel Californiahttps://youtu.be/aNyK6EcHlzM

~ Hotel California introduced me to songs as stories. It matters not that I didn’t understand the true meaning behind such a story, I was hooked. “…you can never leave.”

Steve Miller Band — Fly Like An Eaglehttps://youtu.be/6zT4Y-QNdto

~ The spaced-out sounds of the keyboard, the bass and that clarion call chorus made its indelible impression. This song is like an audial experience of a psychedelic drug.

Neil Young — Old Man — https://youtu.be/An2a1_Do_fc

~ Young’s ghostly, spellbinding voice was uniquely intriguing to a young me. The lyrics about time and love did not dawn upon me until much later.

Lynyrd Skynyrd — Simple Manhttps://youtu.be/sMmTkKz60W8

~ Feel good music. Powerful message. The guitar and the crash of the cymbal.

Steve Earle — Copperhead Roadhttps://youtu.be/xvaEJzoaYZk

~ Remember listening to this on the road, and being infatuated with the album cover and that patch. Simple beat, compelling sound {including bagpipes!}, then it really gets going. “You never come back from Copperhead Road.”

Dire Straits — The Sultans of Swinghttps://youtu.be/0fAQhSRLQnM

~ Another dad song. I would lose myself in this song and find myself singing along without even realizing it. A song for summer weekend driving with pops.

Boston — Foreplay / Long Timehttps://youtu.be/TnwqUEelQjE

~ Boston has so many bangers. This song — another long one — is sectioned off, features entirely different phases, power chords and booming lyrics. Boston was a seed, and it grew into my fanaticism of the prog rock genre.

Journey — Don’t Stop Believin’https://youtu.be/1k8craCGpgs

~ C’mon. Of course. I never stopped.

Endnote ~ Searching for all these classic songs on YouTube and reading the comments restored a bit of my faith in humanity, and in the coalescing power of music {which is normally the opposite case when reading too many YouTube comments…} I actually recommend the practice here. Read the comments. ~