Crank it, Baby…

Ozzy OsbourneCover of Ozzy Osbourne
I made an amazing little discovery yesterday. My husband and I were watching a documentary about metal music and how it has evolved into something that society regards as “evil” – amongst other ridiculous adjectives that totally miss the point. We tripped back in time to the likes of Black Sabbath (when Ozzy was still hot), Twisted Sister (with that outrageous hair), Iron Maiden and other old classic favourites. 
I found myself singing along to most of the tunes, having remembered them from my tumultuous youth as a mini-headbanger. After a few minutes of watching I remembered finding two (very) old and dusty tape boxes in the storeroom when we moved house in December. I hadn’t really taken the time to go through them, and was actually considering throwing them away with the rest of the useless junk I had managed to collect. Luckily, the sentimental fool in me just wouldn’t let go and I kept them. They were almost slipping back into oblivion when Bruce Dickenson’s screeching brought it all back. I ran off in search of the ancient stash and started brushing off the dust as if having just discovered hidden treasure. Cheesy, I know. But I was having a little moment. Not all of them were originals, but I had made elaborate covers for the ones that weren’t using pictures from metal mags and a gold pen. It was too cool.

Amazing discovery number two was that my Hi-fi has a tape deck; two in fact. I stared at the reels going round and round, waiting for that tell-tale sound that would tell me Metallica had become a stretched, mangled mess of useless tape… But it hadn’t. It had survived the last 20 odd years of hibernation along with Testament, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and a whole lot of my personal mixed tapes. Cranking the volume made it sound awful, a far-cry from the crystal clear clarity that we are so accustomed to these days. Then there was the rewinding and fast forwarding to find my chosen song; not unlike waiting for the toast to pop, or the kettle to boil.

CD’s, MP3’s, iPod’s and all those wonderful gadgets certainly make our lives a lot easier. Me, being the world’s least patient person takes solace in the fact that I don’t ever (normally) have to wait for a tape to rewind before I can listen to it. We are living in the age of convenience, and just when we think we’ve got it all together (as I’m sure we did in the 80’s), something else leaps forward shedding light on another incredible technological advancement. 
As great as CD’s and iPod’s are, the one thing they don’t have is that inimitable analogue appeal. The raw sound of yesteryear that spells out the history behind these legends of classic rock and heavy metal. We both sat in awe for a few moments of each song; soaking up the memories of association and marvelling at how all metal music had evolved from these origins. This was the beginning of it all… And we were kind of there to see it all. Kind of.
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