taking sides

here’s a thought that just occurred to me as i was trying to figure out how to start this…

there are kids within a mile radius who are…

a. old enough to legally go buy a beer right now (well, in a few hours, as this is being written before 10am on a sunday in texas)


b. young enough to not know what the word “rewind” means

think about that. they’ve never heard a song they liked, and then had to wait for the tape to rewind back to hear it again. or sit through the b-side to get it back there, because, well…they don’t know what a “b side” would be.

or for that matter, a “side”.

i remember being amazed at how good the first side of duran duran’s “first” album was. i put that in quotes because originally the album wasn’t released here, only in the u.k., back in 1981, where it looked like this:

and while it had their first three singles all on the first side (girls on film, planet earth, and careless memories) which are all super solid, there were also two “also rans” on there (to the shore, is there anyone out there) and then all deep cuts on the back side. but then “rio” hit, crushed mtv, and america got a reissue of this album that looked like this in 1983:

and on the first side “to the shore” was replaced by the new single “is there something i should know”, which made the first side bangers on four outta five tracks. and then there was side two – great deep cuts, but as a teenager i didn’t really appreciate those (i do now and love that i’ve heard most of them live only seeing them twice twenty years later). but when i was young and all this was new there were tapes i owned where one side (or one or two cuts) were played, then the rest of the thing was rewound over or skipped. i knew to the minute how long a shower took to go out some nights because it was timed out to side a of duran’s self titled album, or the second side of depeche mode’s “some great reward” or first side of the cure’s “inbetween days”.

these kids today – they don’t know from sides. or, for that matter, albums. and i don’t just mean they wouldn’t know where a song started looking at a piece of vinyl (i know people in their forties that can’t do that). no, the whole concept is as lost on them as the idea of paying for music. shit, we pay fifteen bucks for an apple music family plan that allows us up to four phones on it – and i guarantee only two phones use it any given month, and one disproportionately compared to the other (unless you count podcasts, in which case nik and i are probably pretty even).

but that “good side/bad side” album. this spotify youtube generation ain’t got any clue on that.

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