Unlike some friends who had Dads who lectured in Jazz or attended the original Isle of White Festival my parents gave me very little in the form of musical kudos other than the standard Beatles, Stones, Fleetwood Mac and Motown Hits compilations. That said as I’ve got older there are a few other gems that really take me back to being a kid in the car, going on a country walk or a trip to the tip (that seemed to be a weekly event in our house).
Gerry Rafferty’s 'City to City’ is one, and it still managed to make the ‘most played’ on my Spotify each year.
The other is the ‘Reflections’ compilation from 1982 which on reflection (!) is 100% Balearic.
What are your childhood soundtracks that take you back?
There was no pop music in our house for first 10 years of my life except for yellow submarine, the jan & dean batman LP and the Hair soundtrack. I remember hearing stuff I liked all the time on (British) tv, theme tunes, sesame st, battle of the planets, chips, rentaghost, Dr Who… I would say that tv then was far more important than radio, as the Top 40 years came a lot later. I do remember hearing Madness all the time but couldn’t pinpoint where. The Beatles novelty stuff though is probably where it all began
I remember radio as being hugely important but I may be a little older. As a kid the Radio 1 Breakfast show, especially on a Saturday, with Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart or Tony Blackburn (& Arnold) was essential listening for stuff old and new and the odd novelty record thrown in.
My old man was a proper jazzer so he wasn’t really allowed to play music in the car as me and the siblings would moan too much. Mum would be playing Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Dylan as well as radios 1 & 2 depending on the mood.
But one song stands out and will always make me think of my dear, departed mum and us all singing along…
Ahhhhh, my Dad used to play that on the guitar - apparently that’s how he woo’ed my Mum, that and a similar moustache to Peter.
My Mum also passed away when I was 15, no pity party as Una would say, but I do think these childhood soundtracks have increased resonance in such instances. My Mum bless her soul was a massive Barry Manilow fan, ha!
I grew up in a single parent family, just me, my mam and my older sister, my mother had loved music when she was younger, early Rod Stewart, The Stones, Motown…but never had much of a collection, probably lost along the years when we had to leave my violent bully of a father in the middle of the night with only a few bags of clothing each when I was a little kid but that’s another story.
My sister is 7 years older than me and loved music as a teenager and was always playing music on her little red Sharp boombox, mainly Top 40 pop & soul R&B, so the majority of my childhood memories of music are probably from what she was into and playing at the time, that little boombox was always on, either the radio, probably Piccadilly 261, or a tape playing, until I became a teenager and really got into music and developed my own taste.
One record that always takes me back to a particular place and time is this one, summer '83, we were on holiday somewhere in Wales & I have a distinct memory of looking through the back window of a car we were in as it drove along this winding road with big trees on either side and the sun shining through the trees into the car as this played on the radio.
I don’t know now if this actually happened or happened as I remember it or I dreamt it, as hazy as the sunshine at this point but whenever I hear it it instantly takes me back.
Those classic themes from 1970’s/80’s sporting programs always make my spine tingle, and remind me of my childhood.
Ski Sunday, Sportsnight, Athletics (makes me recall balmy summer evenings and one of Coe, Cram or Ovett seemingly breaking 1500m world records at obscure European meetings every week), Snooker etc, etc.
All on this one album ,and available in all good charity shops.
tv theme tunes were the subconscious soundtracks to so many kids’ lives. You couldn’t name a single skier but you knew the tune. I loved US tv themes too but in a different way which seemed more song based, whereas UK ones were often extended jingles
question for the Americans on the forum, were there sports theme tunes which everyone in the US instantly recognised, when coverage was across fragmented networks?
Vivid memories of big Sony headphones and record deck/amp and tape player. My parents had some records but I don’t remember them being music lovers. An ABBA album with a blue cover and them in jumpsuits sticks in my mind (wonder why?!). And Paul Simon ‘50 Ways…’.playing. Elkie Brooks. Leo Sayer. Plus a load of Jim Reeves/C&W my dad liked for some reason.
I ended up nicking the Sony record deck/amp as my first amp when I got plastic decks. Didn’t take many of the records.
The Sunday night Top 40 is a stronger music memory from being a kid.
Edit: I was imagining the jumpsuits it was this one.
My parents are evangelical Christians and unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of secular music in the house outside the Beatles and some classical music. The Christian music they had was borne from the Jesus Movement of the 70s - religious takes on the west coast folk making the rounds at the time. They had some friends who were missionaries in Spain who would bring us LPs by Spanish pop group Mocedades (of “Eres Tu” Eurovision fame). This album is certainly nostalgic for me though it’s a bit cheesy and, despite being 80s Spain, not at all balearic.
Driving 400 miles to the south of France in my mum’s bright green 2CV:
Great thread and I share some similar memories (the theme tunes in particular).
Beatles - Revolver triggers so many feelings of nostalgia as my grandad used to play it on his amazing hifi system whenever we went to see him. Every time I listen to it I go back to those days, pre teens, which were lovely. Loads of others that trigger happy memories - chart stuff from the early 80s.
Loads of mid 80s pop songs that also bring up memories of my parents splitting up and my Mum buggering off. Quite weird how sometimes they will pop up on the radio and take me back to a hard time. Last Christmas is one of them. I love the song but it makes me feel sad.
I was born in ‘95 to parents who didn’t exactly have the most eclectic music taste, so I grew up with the sounds of… Coldplay, Travis, U2, R.E.M, The Beautiful South etc.
I do credit my teenage musical exploration to the sheer dullness of the music I heard as a kid however, so maybe it wasn’t all bad.
Distinctly remember being absolutely terrified of the cover art to “Monster” by R.E.M. as well
Loads of terrifying cover art in our house too
& nobody mention War of the Worlds, I want to sleep tonight
recognizable sports music in the states? aaaabsolutely there was - i grew up with the bombastic fanfare of the wild world of sports theme song. if you wanted cooler synthy stuff, you’d probably have to check out the george michael sports machine. (not that george michael, obvs).
probably the most famous of the sports tunes is “roundball rock” (written and performed by sentient bowl of egg salad john tesh!). if you loved NBA basketball as i did, you heard this song just pounded into your head hundreds of times a game. here it is:
so ubiquitous was this tune that saturday night live did a pretty good send up on what they imagined the pitch to NBC to be:
growing up, my parents were incredibly nice but rarely cool. my mom was the one with slightly more adventurous tastes, she’s be more likely to hear something she liked on NPR and hunt it down. my dad is super fun to be around, but his tastes are suspect to the point of hilarity - for a former greasy hot-rod guy, he listened to way more celine dion and barbra streisand than you’d think.
when i was little my mom gave me a few boxes of all her original 45s’ from when my folks were young - so i started on my mickey mouse turntable with tons of doo wop and elvis and little richard and all the pre-beatles rock & roll. i loved to try and make them sound weird by playing them at 33 - things like the platters “smoke gets in your eyes” or the flamingos “i only have eyes for you” are haunting songs, doubly so if you slow em’ down a whole lot.
i can still remember when my dad brought home the shiny silver pioneer component system in 1977 - i loved all the cardboard boxes and styrofoam and cables and the way it all smelled and the weight of it all. i helped my dad run speaker cable through the floor of the living room into the crawl space, down to the family room so we could have “two zone” stereo.
my favorite record at the time was paul mccartney’s “ram”, which i credit for my love of pop music and oddball recording and production sounds. other records i remember really clearly include david gates’ “first”, joe cocker’s “i can stand a little rain” (slightly unnerving sleeve!), and blood sweat & tears “child is father to the man” (another slightly unnerving sleeve).
the one album that is just wildly nostalgic for me though is sergio mendes and brasil 66’s “equinox” - my parents had it but i don’t remember them playing it - i played it on my own, hundreds of times. maybe thousands. and when i first had my daughter, i played it for her hundreds of times, because it’s beautiful and you can easily bounce a baby to sleep to it, all while dancing around in the living room.