I guess it all started when I began watching Dave Grohl’s series ‘Sonic Highways‘, if you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth a watch. Basically, it’s the basis for Foo Fighters’ new album of the same name. The idea is that the band would travel around different cities in the USA and discover their musical history and what ‘scenes’ were created in each. I’ve watched nearly all of them now, bar Seattle and New York and they’ve left me feeling rather nostalgic.
As you may or may not know, the Foo Fighters are probably my favourite band, their only contenders being The Beatles and Coldplay, so I was bound to watch this series. But what I wasn’t ready for was how this mini-series would make me feel after each episode. When each one finished, I felt an intense desire to go back and listen to the albums that made up my own musical youth. The albums that first made me really ‘feel’ something and inspire me to become the young adult I am today.
Week by week, I’d take different albums into my car to fill the hour long journey I do to work each day. Normally I’d use my iPod but it felt right to go back and listen to the actual CDs I’d once bought. Having played Foo Fighters’ ‘One by One‘, The Beatles’ ‘White Album‘ and Coldplay’s ‘Parachutes‘, I was left with the one album that really inspired me and the one that once led me into listening to rock, indie and metal – Nirvana’s self-titled album.
When track 1 came on, ‘You Know You’re Right‘, it was like being transported back to my parent’s living room, sitting cross-legged in-front of my dad’s amazing stereo and hearing it for the first time aged 14. I knew then that I was done with bands like S Club 7 and the Spice Girls, I was done with the fake, romanticised world I’d known as a child and was to become a teenager with a taste for the ‘real’ and the emotional. It was in Cobain’s vocals that my love for this type of music was born. The aching pain and longing in each of his words really called to me, I understood it in a way that I hadn’t with any other song before.
I felt like in one album I knew who I wanted to be.
And it was refreshing to remember that sitting in my car driving the lonely country roads. I think sometimes it’s easy to get so lost in the popularised songs you hear in the every day on TV, radio or malls. In the same way, it’s easy to become a fragment of the person you once were when you’re surrounded by so many influences each day. Personally, I’m glad I went back to my roots over the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve become a lot more of the person I once was and I couldn’t be happier. I have this series to thank for that.
Sonic Highways is available on iPlayer if you wanted to watch for yourself. But before you do, what album did you listen to that ‘defined’ you once upon a time?