I’m reaching the end of university and so I’m having to start to think about moving into accommodation that isn’t either my mum’s or affiliated with any place of education.

This means moving all the stuff I’ve accumulated over the years, and that means sorting through hundreds of CDs and choosing which ones to bring with me (I do have ITunes, just so you know, but I still like to have them around, I’m just sentimental I suppose).

Now, this is much more difficult than I first imagined. It’s taken as pretty much a given that you will only buy a CD that you like, or you are certain you will like, and so there’s no distinctions of quality that I can impose, and there’s none that I can say mean more to me, because, when you think like that, they all start to stir up odd emotional connotations. So, I had to start thinking why each stage of my musical life was important to me.

…’that phase we were all in once’…

The CartoonsHere, I naturally came upon a potentially embarrassing question and one that I’m sure you have all been asked at some point. What was the first CD I ever bought? This always seems to conjure up washed-up ’90s boy bands or American ’emo’ bands that are just put down to ‘that phase we were all in once’. I am of an unfortunate generation when recyclable pop was in charge, and it was something entirely different from the type we know now. In my time our ears were dominated by songs like Witch Doctor, with the horribly catchy ‘oo ee oo ah ah’ chorus, and Barbie Girl which I remember from every school disco I have ever been to. I think it’s safe to say that it wasn’t the best time for music and I count myself lucky to have come out of it with some respectable CDs. And so this leads me on to the first CD I ever bought.

Junior Senior were an indie pop act from Denmark and have enjoyed relative success over the years, but are no doubt best known for their single, and my first delve into the commercial world of music, Move Your Feet. I understand now that when people say this is cool, it’s with some retro irony and scepticism, but I could not be more proud of myself for having this is as my first CD. I think it can say a lot about a person and, though I expect my younger self was potentially more interested in the animated music video with the dancing squirrel, I think it has in fact influenced me musically throughout my life.

…music is universal…

My first love was indie-pop, which no doubt came from the energetic, colourful vibe introduced to me by Junior Senior. They continued to crop up in my mind when I first heard bands like Dananananaykroyd and Born Ruffians, and even the early, more pop-infused tracks of The Cribs, and so despite going through the usual punk and rock stages of every young teenager, my first musical influences from when I was under ten years-old have eventually found their way back to me and caused me to naturally progress to the music that I now love and discover more similar music that I treasure.

So when looking through your old CDs, don’t pass off your early choices as past their best or just silly childish phases, because, as everyone says, music is universal and sometimes tracks that reach you at the most fundamental level – the ones that just make the childish side of you want to dance – can be the ones that you enjoy the most and move you on to other great artists with similar childish influences. So needless to say I will be keeping that CD with me when I move out, and who knows, maybe even the American ’90s pop-punk phase will come back to me at some point in my life.



About The Author

Josh is an English and Creative Writing graduate from Royal Holloway University of London. He writes plays, presents radio, draws comics and listens to folk music.

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