In the midst of some early fall cleaning and organizing, I came across an old box of vinyl record albums I hadn't laid eyes on for years.
In our current age of ever-miniaturizing technology and super-jukeboxes the size of a credit card, I was a bit taken aback at how large and unweildly those albums seemed...but man, what fond memories they still hold. You see, as the "first born" in my family, I didn't have older brothers and sisters to inherit albums and absorb music knowledge from...so the first music I really latched onto as a young teenager was movie soundtracks.
As odd as that might sound, it was certainly the perfect era to discover that kind of music, since epic adventure movie soundtracks were enjoying a grand comeback courtesy of John Williams' mindblowing (and very successful) Star Wars score in 1977. Over the next five years or so, every summer had at least one unforgettable movie soundtrack, with the vast majority of them composed by Williams. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Superman: The Movie (1978), Lord of the Rings (1978), Star Trek: The Motion Picture (composed by John Barry, 1979), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Superman II (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T.The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Return of the Jedi (1983)....what a fantastic time to be a teenager!
I spent alot of time listening to those albums as a kid. I listened to them while reading (books or comics, no doubt), drawing, brooding (as teenagers occasionally do), or just dreaming. As a whole, the larger-than-life nobility, high adventure, and sheer excellence of that music gave me something more than the passing fancies of pop music ever could. In a word, it was transcendent...even before I even knew the word or what it meant (it was just something I felt).
Of course, all of that music has since been digitized and funneled into my iPod...but I'm still not quite sure what to do with all those old albums. Do I sell them to vinyl collectors...or keep them around to show my grandkids someday?
Sure, they're really not much to look at...just a bunch of black, vinyl discs. With really cool (large scale) album art. And liner notes you could actually read without a microscope. And all kinds of surprises, like the laser-etched "S" shields on my Superman II album (which was DANG cool for 1980, let me tell you):
Oh, yeah...I'm definitely keeping them.