‘Voices Half Remembered . . .’

I often write about, or at least refer to, my sweet spot (a term I got from my pal Dan), the span of years from my youth when my taste in music was pretty well set. I generally identify it as the years between 1969 and 1975, but it tends to stretch a little on each end. A lot of stuff from 1967 and 1968 matters to me, being not just familiar but formative, and the same holds true to a lesser extent for 1976 and 1977.

As I’ve noted before, a rough gauge of the impact of those years can be gained by looking at the numbers of posts here featuring music from those years, numbers that – were they entered on a chart – would produce a slightly predictable but still interesting bell graph:

1967: 92
1968: 123
1969: 180
1970: 201
1971: 167
1972: 154
1973: 116
1974: 91
1975: 91
1976: 53
1977: 50

Those numbers come from a little more than 1,500 posts in just more than ten years at this site and do not include the three years of blogging at the two shorter-lived sites. And the years cover my life from the last months of eighth grade to the first month of my years at the Monticello Times. If there’s anything surprising in the numbers from those eleven years, it’s the clear drop off from 1975 to 1976 and 1977.

But those last two were years when my view shifted from college life to what would come after. There was an internship, graduation, moving away from Kilian Boulevard, an abortive attempt or two at permanent employment, additional college work, and finally, a job in reporting. Those years were a lot less carefree than the ones that came before. Maybe that makes a difference in what the music of those years says to me. And maybe the music wasn’t – to me, anyway – all that great. I dunno.

But we’ll end this relatively pointless post by letting iTunes do some work. We’re going to click randomly through the 3,900-or so tracks there and focus on the third track from either 1976 or 1977 and see what life serves us.

Well, it took twenty-eight clicks, and the tracks we hit ranged from 1955 (“Bring It To Jerome” by Bo Diddley) to 1991 (“Mysterious Ways” by U2), but we finally fell onto a track that met our requirements. It comes from a 1976 album that I do like a great deal: Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise, produced by Robbie Robertson. The album went to No. 4 on the Billboard 200, and “Signs” is a pretty decent album track.

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One Response to “‘Voices Half Remembered . . .’”

  1. rlb says:

    Like you, my “sweet spot” would be 1969-1975 +/- a year or so. I started a radio job in the Fall of 1968 in Sutton WV. The
    early and middle months of ’69 brought several records that still rank high today. Uncle Sam called mid-year and I joined
    the Army in September. One could get a great variety of radio stations pulling kp duty at Fort Jackson SC. And the music
    was memorable. AIT at Fort Monmouth NJ gave me access to NYC and Cousin Brucie ( and WABC’s dozen records played
    over and over ) Frankie Crocker and the other NYC jocks. Two years plus in Pirmasens Germany followed and the less
    structured military life gave more access to European radio and AFN ( American Forces Network ), in particular a program
    called “Weekend World.” These events have cemented the late sixties to mid seventies as my musical sweet spot. For
    the last two or three years, I have been trying to collect everything that brings back memories of those years. EITW has
    been a wonderful companion, both the new stuff and from the archives. I look forward to your postings and your memories,
    as we seem to share a musical “sweet spot.” Thank you !!!

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