Brad Smith (jesus_h_biscuit) wrote,
Brad Smith

Soundtrack to my childhood - Available for a limited time only!

For as long as I can remember, I've been a huge fan of music. There was always music playing in my house, in the car, everywhere. We had stereo systems in the livingrooms of every house I ever lived in. There were radios in the bathrooms, bedrooms, and always one in the kitchen. The music I grew up on is the music I still listen to when I need to fill something, some empty space I run across in my heart or in my mind that demands it.

Part 1
  • Allman Brothers Band - Midnight Rider
  • America - Sister Golden Hair
  • Aretha Franklin - Son Of A Preacher Man
  • Billy Joel - Only The Good Die Young
  • Bread - Everything I Own
.ZIP File [15MB]

Music is sacred to me. That is part of the reason I can barely stand to listen to the majority of the crap that is currently played on radio and MTV - it spits in the face of music that was made as an extension of an artist's soul, something meaningful and honest and meant to be original. It is also why I hate rap/hip-hop music in its entirety, as it is all (in one respect or another) a rip off of someone else and says nothing of any merit or value to me.

Part 2
  • Climax Blues Band - I Love You
  • Champaign - How 'Bout Us
  • Christopher Cross - Sailing
  • Brenton Wood - Gimme Little Sign
  • Dan Fogelberg - Leader Of The Band
.ZIP File [18MB]

Everyone has music that reminds them of their childhood, and I like to think it is some of the most healing music there is. Even music that you might not have liked as a child, once revisited as an adult, can be some of the most amazing, touching stuff you'll ever hear. It is difficult for me to hear any of these songs and not sing along with them, imagining I'm just a little boy again and I'm in the kitchen with my mama helping cook dinner or playing under the table with toys.

Part 3
  • Elton John - Rocketman
  • Emmylou Harris - Luxury Liner
  • Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
  • Jackson Browne - Tender Is The Night
  • Jim Croce - Operator
.ZIP File [18.9MB]

Many of these songs I associate with roadtrips, as we spent a lot of time on the road in the summers of my boyhood. Oftentimes my father would make mix tapes for our family vacations, which is where I learned what a wonderful gift such things were. Some of these songs I associate with sitting in my Daddy's lap behind the wheel, pretending I'm driving and being petulant because I am only a child and not quite as grown as I wished I were. Some of these songs remind me of driving on long, black stretches of road at night, in the backseat of the car and watching the moon through the window as it chased us down the highway.

Part 4
  • Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now
  • Journey - Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
  • Jr. Walker & The All Stars - Shotgun
  • Kansas - Dust In The Wind
  • Linda Ronstadt - You're No Good
.ZIP File [16.6MB]

I loved spending time in my oldest brother's room when he'd let me. He had a huge stereo system and hundreds of albums and he would play new music for me. I'd listen intently while laying on the floor by the speakers, pretending I could read the liner notes and imagining what the album cover art meant. I remember several that I was completely entranced by, album covers like Kansas' Point Of Know Return, Queen's News Of The World (which always scared the shit out of me), and Styx's The Grand Illusion.

Part 5
  • Little River Band - Lady
  • Otis Redding - The Happy Song (Dum Dum)
  • Otis Redding & Cara Thomas - Tramp
  • Ray Charles - A Song For You
  • Raydio - You Can't Change That
.ZIP File [18.2MB]

I have many happy memories of my childhood that I associate with this music. In more ways than I can describe, I am a product of this music, and of much much more than can be posted here. I feel it under my skin as naturally a part of me as my blood and bones are.

Part 6
  • Roberta Flack - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
  • Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer
  • Stevie Wonder - As
  • Supertramp - The Logical Song
  • The Brothers Johnson - I'll Be Good To You
  • The Carpenters - Superstar
.ZIP File [28.6MB]

One of the coolest things that has ever happened to me happened when I was about 22 years old. I was living in Atlanta and it was a spring day not unlike today was, and I had all of my windows rolled down. I was on my way home from work, and I had to stop at a red light at the corner of Peachtree and Lindbergh. There was some kind of construction going on, so everyone stopped there was confined for a few minutes. I remembered that in my backpack (I've always carried one, still do) I had an old mixed tape that had no label on it, something I'd found in a box in my parent's attic on a visit home or something. I put the tape in my stereo, and out came the initial 4 drum beats of The Four Tops' "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'". I turned up the volume as high as I could before it became distorted, began seat-dancing and singing as loudly as I could. I looked over to my right, and there was an older black lady waiting at the bus stop, singing along with me and smiling. To my left, there was a lady in her car doing essentially the same thing I was doing. She yelled over to me, asking what radio station I was listening to and I told her it was a tape I'd made a long time ago, but that I was heading to Tower Records to get new CD's. Within a short time, the traffic resumed it's deadly pace that is the curse of Atlanta streets, and I made my way up to Lenox Square (where Tower's first location was) and went in to buy myself some "Best Of Soul" CD's. I barely made it into the R&B section when up comes the woman in the car next to me, looking for the same. We laughed and talked about our favorite songs from when we grew up, then went to the checkout together. She walked with me out to the parking lot, and she started to leave when I asked her to wait for a minute. I ran to my car, popped the mixed tape out of the stereo, and took it to her. I remember telling her I had no idea what else was on it, but I wanted her to have it anyway. She hugged me, something strangers in big cities rarely do, and I hugged her back and then drove to my apartment, completely elated.

Part 7
  • The Commodores - Easy
  • The Four Tops - Baby, I Need Your Lovin'
  • The Judds - Why Not Me
  • The Manhattans - Shining Star
  • The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want
  • Toto - Africa
  • Wilson Pickett - Mustang Sally
.ZIP File [28.3MB]

This is some of the music I grew up on, that many of us grew up on. If you've lost touch with it or have never be aquainted with it in the first place, now is your chance to get reacquainted or introduced. I hope I can inspire others who come across this stuff to recall what they grew up listening to and to do the same thing I've done.

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  • MRI Images

  • Peace From Broken Pieces

    Yesterday morning while trying to face being me right now (and that shit ain't easy, trust me) and have the courage to get out of bed and motivate…

  • The Most Beautiful Heartbreak

    Now and again something finds you when you most need it. Sometimes, if you're really lucky, that thing will open your eyes in a way they've never…