The Case for Complete Albums


Photo Credit:  iTunes

I miss Tom Petty, and to aid the grieving process I downloaded his Wildflowers album.  The next morning I popped in my earbuds and took a bicycle ride.  It was the first time in 20 years I listened to an album in its entirety.     

I rediscovered long forgotten songs and caught myself listening intently to the lyrics, distracted only by the cold morning air.  I pondered the meaning of each song and reflected on how quickly time passes; the moment best described by one of Petty’s lyrics, “ And the days go by, like paper in the wind.”  I was in high school when the album was released, 24 years gone in the blink of an eye.   It’s amazing how music evokes emotions.  I felt inspired, excited, reflective, and sad, all within minutes of each other:  a rollercoaster of consciousness.    

The whole experience transported me to simpler and more frustrating times.  Random memories of dropping record player needles and ritualistically rewinding and fast-forwarding cassette tapes flashed through my mind as I cranked the pedals of the bike. I appreciate the conveniences of digital music but dislike the efficiency.  Playing the album in its entirety was a sharp contrast to my typical exercise routine of eternally clicking the shuffle button.  It allowed me to settle into the album, relax, and simply enjoy the music.  I’m looking forward to reliving the experience soon.  Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Live from Carnegie Hall is next.  


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