I went for a drink the other day with my oldest friend James. As usual, we ended up reminiscing about the bands we used to listen to. We met when we were 12, and our friendship was closely linked with our musical discoveries. For example, I was with him the day I bought my first CD – Manic Street Preachers’ From Despair To Where’ – and learnt my first guitar riff, L7’s ‘Pretend We’re Dead’.
What struck me as we were talking, though, was how few of those old songs I’d want to go back and listen to now. Sure, some of our old favourites have stood the test of time – the Manics, especially, and obviously Rage Against The Machine. But most of that music now carries a stale, joss-stick whiff of the mid-90s, loaded with memories of a time when life’s greatest thrill was to sit on a park bench in Chalfont St Peter, drinking Woodpecker cider and self-harming.
Looking over my CD collection these days (post-iPod, these are no longer lovingly presented on shelves, but stored unloved in cardboard boxes in a spare room) can be a melancholy experience. These Animal Men, S*M*A*S*H, High Llamas, Quickspace, Geraldine Fibbers, Screaming Trees, Smoking Popes, Symposium, Tiger, Geneva, Animals That Swim… I’m sure I loved all these albums at the time, but I know I’ll never listen to them again.
And I’m sorry, Wagon Christ, doubtless we had fun at the time, but unlike my friend James and I, I guess we’ve grown apart.
So how about you? What are the records you used to listen to obsessively, but now can’t stand?