‘Old’ albums that don’t come across as ‘old …

Im really intrigued by the notion that a lot of ‘old’ music is really tough to get into if you don’t have some connection to the music through family or friends etc. I’ve been thinking loads about the ‘old’ stuff that I listen to as I don’t think much of it sounds ‘old’ … but of course that’s because I have that connection? So, I’ve come up with ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’. I bought this about 7 or 8 years ago so I lived a long time without it. No friends introduced me to it. I bought it off the back of endless references to the album from bands i liked (Sonic Youth, Pavement, The Strokes etc). I never found that it sounded old or found it tough to get into. Anyone else have an opinion on this album or other examples of ‘old’ albums that don’t sound dated and therefore tough to get into?

7 comments

  1. Guy Hornsby

    Hmmmm. This could be a post that never ends really. There’s loads, though depends what you class as ‘old’ and ‘new’. I’d argue you could listen to Exit Planet Dust and it could sound like it was made last week. I’ve never actually owned the Velvet Underground record, though I know a bit of it. A lot of timeless stuff I still listen to. Currently on the iPod and still sounding really fresh are Neil Young – On The Beach, Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Jeff Buckley – Grace, Paul Simon – Graceland, The Beatles – Abbey Road, Fleetwood Mac – Rumours, Grace Jones – Island Life, Mondays – Pills, Thrills & Bellyaches… All of them sound brilliant, and not dated one bit.

  2. David Allison

    Woah. That’s a bit of an insanely broad topic. Nice list, Guy. I’ll get thinking. Perhaps a subsection of this should be things that were way before their time and thus still sounds fresh as a daisy – OR are so influential (a la Velvets) that their music still resonates…

  3. Nolan Kane

    This is a really tough one to be honest. I think there is a timeless stalemate in hip hop between 1992 – 1998 in in my opinion are timeless. With that some of that breaks down to a personal romantic gesture I suppose as that’s when I made that my life. I have the same feeling towards some punk and indie from that time. I think Guy’s list is pretty spot on for me as well. Turning it a bit are there any albums in the last 5 years you will still love in 10 years time?

  4. David Allison

    Good question. OK. Here’s some albums from the 90s onwards that I think will go the distance:Blur – BlurSea Change – Beck (poss my fave album of the last 15 years. Seriously)Blue Lines – Massive AttackHomework – Daft PunkMiseducation of Lauren HillMoon Safari – AirStankonia – OutkastRings Around the World – Super Furry AnimalsLate Registration – Kanye WestSound of Silver – LCD SoundsystemIllinois – Sufjan StevensVeckatimest – Grizzly BearMeasure – Field MusicLet England Shake – PJ HarveyThe Ecstatic – Mos DefThe Archandroid – Janelle MonaeQueen of Denmark – John Grant

  5. Guy Hornsby

    David, I like the cut of your jib. There’s many ways you could break this down:1) way ahead of their time but still sound fresh – Talking Heads, Bowie etc2) ‘classic’ albums that are still really relevant and aged well – Island Life, Rumours, 3) albums that have spawned a million imitators – Velvet Underground, Beatles, Mondays (Pills, Thrills) and even talking about Modern stuff, you could argue that the likes of Strokes – Is This It?, White Stripes – Elephant or White Blood Cells, Radiohead – Ok Computer, and Oasis – What’s The Story have all, from the last 20 years spawned a million imitations and scenes all of their own. From after that, I’d say LCD Soundsystem have been a huge influence on many of the post-indie stuff, but in terms of albums from the last five years that I will still love, I’d say, off the top of my head: Elbow – Seldom Seen KidMetronomy – The English RivieraBon Iver – For Ever Emma AgoFriendly Fires – Friendly FiresRadiohead – In RainbowsPJ Harvey – Let England ShakeLCD Soundsystem – Sound of SilverArcade Fire – Neon Bible/SuburbsHot Chip – One Life StandLaura Marling – I Speak Because I Can Caribou – SwimThankfully, only a few dickheads have tried to imitate U2 – though Achtung Baby/Zooropa and before wouldn’t be so bad, anything they’ve done since is utter tosh.

  6. David Allison

    I’d tempted to agree with you about Laura Marling, Caribou, Bon Iver and Metronomy (I absolutely love that album), but I wonder if it’s too soon to tell. Amazing how different things can look in 5 years time. PJ Harvey’s got to be there though. That album has classic written all over it.I worry that Arcade Fire will date badly, but that’s just a weird hunch.

  7. Guy Hornsby

    Of course it’s too early on some. But you can only call it as you see it now. For Arcade Fire, I think it’ll age ok as it’s not very modern sounding anyway. Funeral still sounds amazing in my opinion and that’s 7 years old this month, which seems daft. When I listened to it last a few weeks ago, it sounded like it was made yesterday. I think Metronomy, on the other hand, sounds half like it was made in 1987, which may be part of the reason it sounded ‘classic’ already, as it didn’t sound obviously 2011. "in my opinion"

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