Random Skip Repeat | A Challenge

I drive an aged vehicle. A 1992 Saturn to be specific. I tell everyone it’s a classic and that “they don’t make these anymore.”

Rubber Soul
Rubber Soul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course, it’s not all stock; the CD player was installed sometime later, probably in the late 90’s or early 00’s. So, it’s no surprise that it has it’s glitches… the car and, more specifically, the CD player.  Over the time that I’ve had the car in my possession, handed down to me from my dad, the CD player has glitched or shorted on me occasionally. The result of this malfunction is that it will not eject the CD inside until it glitches again. Realistically speaking, I will have the same disc spinning for months at a time.  The 1st time this happened, it was Demon Hunter’s The Triptych stuck inside. The 2nd, Meshuggah’s Catch Thirty-Three.  Now, in celebration of the very day the vehicle surpassed the landmark 200,000 miles, the Saturn decided the next album to be caught in the mix until further notice would be Charlotte Church’s Two EP (yes, I listen to a wide-range of music). While this is a setback, I’m reluctant to get a new CD player or even a car adapter for my ipod. One, I’m way too frugal and two, it takes me to back to an earlier and much more different age.

When I was a kid, growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I only had a handful of tapes and later, a couple of CD’s. On trips to the beach, I listened the hell out of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band and other ‘best of’ Beach Boys and 50’s/60’s compilations. These were my life blood. There wasn’t a skip track button for tape. You either took the time to fast forward to what you wanted OR (like I still do) listen to the album in it’s entirety. Years later, my first CD was The Beatles’ Rubber Soul only because the Disc Jockey store didn’t have Revolver. To this dayI literally think my life would’ve been different had the music store carried Revolver that day – And here’s why…

Because we didn’t have a lot of music at our disposal to listen to, especially compared to now, we enjoyed what we had and listened to it for a longer time – months even. Getting new music was a once-in-a-while privilege that I most certainly cherished; I banked on my birthday and Christmas and hoped for new music…and still do. Anyways, playing the same album for a longer time will bring to surface the true enjoyment and pleasure of listening. It’s so easy to get a new record and immediately pass it off as rubbish after first listen; however, when you have one record and you listen, and re-listen and re-listen, you will discover things that no one else could show you that will leave you loving that album. It’s as if you learn the album. The listening experience becomes unique to the individual. The album becomes a part of you. It lasts as long as a season in your life. You will associate songs with places, feelings, and life-events. To this day, I still see the Autumn colors, re-feel old feelings, and experience a briskness around me when I listen to The Mars Volta’s Deloused in the Comatorium because of the fact that I listened to that album the majority of the Fall semester of my senior year of high school.

With the advent of the digital era in music; napster, morpheus, bit-torrent, grooveshark et all – albums & discographies are easily at your disposal – so why bother listening through an album you don’t care for at first to absolutely fall in love with it later? To each his/her own. Your loss.  I offer this challenge. Pick your least favorite album in your collection and play it in your car or ipod for 1 week straight. Now, I want to hear how your thoughts/feelings/perception on the album have changed in that time. What is it you love; what did you discover; and what is it about the album that you still “hate, hate, double-hate, loathe entirely?” Cherish the music you have, it’s timeless, specific to you, and meant to last a lifetime.


Author: John Matthew Newman

Disciple of the Living God, Husband to @TheRockersWife, - Composer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Minimalist, Avant Garde, Worship - http://Johnny-Newman.com

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