My first real exposure to Pop music was a gift for my fifth birthday, With The Beatles. We had no record player but the gifted brought one round whenever she babysat. I was entranced by those songs, transported by their fresh, wide-eyed excitement. I’d dance myself to sleep. My aunt was a skilled babysitter.
By the time I was eighteen, it was Songs In The Key Of Life, a wondrous, sprawling album, covering every aspect of life. It was cool, sophisticated and definitely very grown up. It was music to dance to, to fall in love to, to pray to, to drink to, to laugh to, to flirt to, to stand up and be counted to, to man the barricades to. It had jazz, rap and soul. Even a crying baby couldn’t spoil it.
Today, I’m recovering from a really difficult year. A Moon Shaped Pool documents a car crash of the soul but has splinters of hope. I listen to it and marvel at how far Pop music has come since my childhood. Radiohead have effectively created a Classical Song Cycle rather than a Rock record. Its ebbs and flows transport me just as much as With The Beatles did back in 1963. The only pity is that it doesn’t make me dance myself to sleep.
Over to you, Afterworders. Three albums to soundtrack your life. One for your childhood, another for your coming of age and a third for where your head is at today.