The Tale Of Years (Again)

Wasting time on Facebook yesterday, I came across one of those memes with a question, essentially asking which portion of one’s life had the best music. The choices were split between school segments – junior high school, high school, college and so on – and then ages in adulthood.

Not being one to follow instructions well, I answered with a span of years – 1969-73 – noting that those years held my last two years of high school and my first two years of college. Nothing remarkable there. I’ve written many times before of my sweet spot, which is generally those same years and sometimes extends another couple of years further to 1975.

And those are the same years to which I pay the most attention here, as shown by the number of posts tagged with those years. Here are the current numbers starting in 1966 and going through 1977, a span of twelve years that took me from the age of twelve on January 1, 1966, to the age of twenty-four on December 31, 1977:

1966: 92
1967: 102
1968: 131
1969: 195
1970: 239
1971: 193
1972: 165
1973: 127
1974: 97
1975: 101
1976: 62
1977: 53

That’s about what I expected, and it’s a pattern that’s been holding true for the fourteen-plus years I’ve been offering stuff here. The only deviation from the classic bell curve is that I seem to like stuff from 1975 a little more than I do stuff from 1974. It’s a slight variation, and if it means anything at all, it might have to do with the fact that along with some of the best moments of my life, the year of 1974 also brought me some of the worst, whereas 1975 was – with only a few days set aside – one of the best years of my life.

I thought that at the time, but I was also aware that I had few adult years for comparison. I recall wondering as 1975 moved to its end how I would feel about it forty years hence; would it still be one of the best years of my life? Well, it’s been forty-five years, and yes, 1975 still stands out of one of the four or five best years of my life, with the others ranging from 1970 to 2018.

Anyway, we’ll end this somewhat pointless assessment by turning to iTunes and running randomly until we hit a track from 1975. (I could go to 1970, as that is the year about which I’ve written the most, but maybe we’ll do that later in the week.) It took a while, about thirty clicks, before we at last fall onto a 1975 record. It’s one we’ve featured here before, but that’s okay. It’s a good one. Here’s what I said about it eleven years ago when I included it in my Ultimate Jukebox:

I was sitting at The Table at St. Cloud State’s Atwood Center in early 1976 when the 4 Seasons’ “December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” came on the jukebox. My friend Stu shook his head. “Man,” he said, “what a great bass line. One of the best ever.” I took that judgment under advisement, and over the years, I’ve polished it to the point where I credit the 4 Seasons’ hit – it was No. 1 for three weeks – with having the best pop music bass line ever. And it is the bass line that moves the song along as it tells its tale of a one-night stand.

Here it is:

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