The trouble with having all your music on your mobile is that you tend to create playlists.
Of course, the technology at our fingertips enables and promotes the freewheeling creation of a collection of songs that we wish to hear. We had to rely on the long-playing record or LP in the past.
An LP required us to listen to, say, side A all the way through, and then we would flip it over and listen to side B.
There are no sides on a playlist, although you can shuffle the order just to add a little surprise to your listening pleasure.
But in listening to disjointed songs rather than Sides A and B, we sacrifice the one thing our playlists can provide.
Listening to With A Little Help From My Friends loses some of its power when listened to outside the continuity of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. A Day In A Life would merely be interesting outside the world view of Sgt. Pepper’s.
Imagine listening to Nights Of White Satin without reference to Days Of Future Passed?
The other thing that playlists and digital music in general also have taken from us is album art.
Their Satanic Majesties Request remains a great album even squeezed by the digitization of its songs, but what good is a picture of this album shrunken to unrecognizability without that little plastic plate that was inserted over the picture on the album that changes the images depending on how you hold the album,
Sadly, this no longer had been included on later distributions of the LP, but I have the original safely ensconced in a frame in my den.
The point is creating playlists, while enjoyable, is like taking your favorite verses from a poem or scenes from a movie and leaving the rest behind.
So, this summer, I am once again going to create my summer playlist, but it will consist of albums that one day provided my summertime listening pleasure. (I will still listen to my old summer playlist consisting of singles as I never had albums for most of the entries.).
Some of my selections may actually have been released before the summer in which I savored them, but that happens when you finally have the money to buy an album rather than a 45.
Of course, there will be many that were new releases the particular summer they caught my attention, but I never could be accused of being timely or ahead of the curve when it came to the arts. I did tend to catch up, though.
Here’s hoping you may think about your own summer album playlist.