Something came to mind this morning when driving into work listening to Xfm as I do and that is that even though it is amazing you are now able to download songs at the drop of a hat, fast, cheaply and immediately, kids today will never know that real 'rush' of OWNING an album.
I say that because, yes you download whatever album you want and put it onto your mp3 player and it is then yours (although if you look into that further apprantly that's questionable?!) whereas if you went to the shops and bought the actual CD, it really was yours. An object for you to hold and treasure!
There is nothing like that feeling you got when a new album you ached for was coming out. You got on the bus on a Saturday morning with your chums, made your way to a little music shop in town or to HMV (I spent hours in there as a teen, I still do actually and think it such a shame it went into admin). You quickly scoured the 'New Releases' aisle and frantically grabbed your copy when you laid eyes on it. It wasn't until you had been handed your change and receipt that you could truly relax and know it was yours. On the way home you held onto it with anticipation and wonder; Was it going to be as good as the last? What was going to be your favourite song?
Once back in the solace of your bedroom you would desperately try and peel the impossible - to - get - into - plastic cover off before opening up the CD case and popping your fresh new CD out and into the player (blowing any dust away that might have formed as you wouldn't want to ruin the new disc!) As you lay back on your bed and heard the whir of the CD loading you waited for that first note. What would it be? Would it be fast or slow? Loud or quiet? Would a voice come first? Whilst taking in the new music you would read your album sleeve from cover to cover, making sure you didn't miss a single word. Thankful when you found the lyrics were included as well as many many photos. And what about if you discovered a hidden track? oh WOW.
For that moment you felt you owned a piece of them. You were part of their world.
Now, you don't have any of that. Things have moved on significantly in terms of reaching out to them because you have Twitter. When I was a teenager all you had were magazines and posters and if you were lucky enough to go to a concert and get a decnt enough seat where you could actually make out the singers facial features. Now, you can chat to them via the social networking phenomenom and they might just tweet you back (When this happens to me I am not ashamed to say I squeal like the 14 year old teenager inside me once would have!) Saying that though, I am not a teenager now I am 28 and while I can joke about getting excited over a tweet, I live in the real world now and get over it pretty quickly. I can imagine it must be whole other story being a teenager on twitter. I have seen followers of popular groups and singers like One Direction hound other celebrities who dare to utter a bad word against them (and when I say hound I mean death threats, disgusting language, you name it!) Some of their tweets are beyond obsessive - tweeting their favourite musician every two minutes with random gumph in the hope of getting a response! It is beyond obsessive and not healthy! Call me old fashioned too but part of the appeal of following my favourite stars through magazines when I was a teenager was that they seemed 'untouchable'.
With regards to downloading music, yes it is brilliant. I do it all the time now and haven't bought a CD in so many years I couldn't even tell you what the last CD I bought was. I love the fact that if I suddenly hear a song I had long forgotten about I can quickly pop on my laptop and download it. It is so much tidier having your music stored in your mp3 player and on your laptop too rather than having hundreds of CD's on shelves collecting dust! Come to think of it we don't even really have shelves at home because we don't need them anymore!
As a kid though, I am glad I got to experience that rush of buying a CD (or tape as it very first was!) off of the shelf.
There was nothing quite like it when it came to buying and listening to music!