Open Thinkering


Don’t skip the best tracks

I can remember the exact moment when I realised the track Burnin’ by Daft Punk was an absolute banger. A few pints in, I was in Sheffield University’s Student Union bar and it came on as part of a DJ set. Almost two minutes in, the beat drops properly. Certified classic. I realised that ever since buying the album as a sixteen year-old, I’d skipped that track because I’d never listened to enough of it.

There are tracks I’ve skipped on other albums that I’ve gone back to later in life. As Heraclitus famously pointed out, we cannot step into the same river twice because the river’s changed but also we have changed. The context shift doesn’t just apply to books and music, but to relationships and, well, anything that we formerly have dismissed as “not for us”.

So this post is a reminder to myself, and anyone who’s reading, to go back and read, listen, and explore things that have previously been rejected. Sometimes, they speak to us differently as we age.

6 thoughts on “Don’t skip the best tracks

  1. That’s an interesting one and a good reminder! With music in such abundance now I’ve been thinking of taking the time to listen to some artists whole discographies that I’ve never fully been through.

    1. Yeah with the brave new world of algorithmic playlists going through an artist’s whole oeuvre isn’t as much of a thing any more, sadly.

      I was talking to my kids about collecting CDs, importing rare ones from Japan, and discovering things through liner notes and they looked at me like I was ready for a care home!

  2. Also funny to think of you in the Union bar having this moment. I think you left Sheffield just before I started. I’m going back in a couple of weeks for a trip down memory lane. Judging by the annual tour-of-the-city videos the university puts out it has changed quite a lot while retaining much that was good 20 years ago.

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