I only realised this when I was talking to Best Mate Daniel recently, but the musical tastes that I have mostly stem from my time playing 1980’s-a-thon Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. To me, nothing beats grabbing a really nice car and blasting down the road playing Beat It or Waiting For A Girl Like You on the in-game radio. It was a cracking game, and probably one of my top ten. This was the point at which I started taking an active interest in 1980’s music, pretty much to the exclusion of all others. After playing it, I also started remembering my parents playing older music in the car (such as Genesis) when I was younger and liking it.
Loving this genre of music turned my mind against most modern music for some reason. But I don’t mind. In my opinion, when I hear music like ‘Crank That Soulja Boy’ or whatever, I think to myself that I’m not losing much. I’m not saying that all modern music is bad, just that it tends to be too loud/emo/samey for my tastes. There are some modern songs that I do like, same as there are a few 80’s or 70’s songs that I don’t like.
Bizarrely though, my absolute favourite 80’s song comes not from Vice City or looking for music as a result of that, but through Guitar Hero 3. As I said in one of my earlier blog posts, Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of my favourite musicians of all time, and one that I would love to have met when he was alive. ‘Texas Flood’ is my favourite song ever. It’s good to listen to it with headphones on with a cup of something nice by your side (I recommend tea or hot chocolate).
Most of the music I like comes from programmes I like, hearing the song and seeking it out for myself. Life On Mars is particularly excellent in this regard, with lots of classic music being cleared and aired to enhance the atmosphere of the time. This is more or less how I got into the who, and it was a pleasant surprise during the spin-off series, Ashes To Ashes, to hear a song I already had that I thought was an obscure song: Music For Chameleons by Gary Numan.
This is why I don’t really like people asking me what I have on my iPod, because I see my music tastes as a personal thing, so I don’t like it when people grab my iPod, then criticising my music tastes because it’s not what they’re into. These people need to learn a little thing called the live and let live philosophy.