Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I remember my firsts. (Cassettes, MP3s — I have no idea.)

The Beatles, Something New (Capitol)

It must have been 1964. This LP must have been a present for my birthday (eighth). Help!, still among my records, still playable, was my second LP.

Son House, The Complete Library of Congress Sessions, 1941-1942 (Travelin' Man)
Mississippi John Hurt, 1928 Sessions (Yazoo)
David Murray, McCoy Tyner, Fred Hopkins, Elvin Jones, Special Quartet (Sony)
World Saxophone Quartet, Metamorphosis (Nonesuch)

Yes, blues and jazz. I bought these CDs in 1991 in Bloomington, Indiana, at a record store specializing in blues, jazz, and classical music. Yes, the store is now defunct.

Carnival of Souls (Criterion Collection)

Herk Harvey's great 1962 horror film. I'm not sure when I bought this DVD (2000? 2001?), but I remember wondering whether a DVD purchased in New Jersey would play on a computer in Illinois. One reason among many that I think of my name is a synonym for naïf. I had heard something about "region codes."

Do you remember your first analog and digital artifacts? Please, share them in a comment. (Why not?)

comments: 11

Unknown said...

I don't remember my first LP or tapes - they were pretty much ubiquitous by the time I was cognizant.

But my first CD - 1986's Fore by Huey Lewis and the News. My family was a pretty early adopter of the technology, so all the kids in my class were amazed that I had this.

My first DVD was "L.A. Confidential" - great flick.

Elaine Fine said...

My first LP was a recording of 10 pieces for Woodwind Quintet by Georgy Ligeti, performed by the Stockholm Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet, which I bought at (the very defunct) Minute Man Records in Harvard Square. The LP also had Ligeti's Six Bagatelles and a Reicha Woodwind Quintet.

I think I also bought a recording of Bach's Cantata 78 and the Magnificat as well as the New York Pro Musica's recording of early Renaissance music from Petrucci's Odheckaton, and a Vox box of Brahms Piano Quartets (played by the Eastman Quartet with pianist Frank Glazer) at the same time. Prior to those purchases, my LP listening came from stuff around the house.

My first cassette (another important analog artifact) was either Tapestry or Deja Vu. I don't remember where I bought either of them.

Say, Carnival of Souls was my first DVD too!

Jessi Hance said...

Oh, lordy. My first LP was a present (12th birthday, maybe?) from my brother. I think it was Frampton Comes Alive. Ugh. Painful to recall. He thought I might like it because it was so popular.

I don't remember my first cassette. I'm pretty sure it was a mix I taped myself from LPs in order to take the music on the road.

The first CD I heard played was Tracy Chapman (her debut album). I can't remember the first one I bought.

My first mp3s came on the first used computer I bought. The store put Dark Side of the Moon on every used Mac they sold.

My first midi files were downloaded from Dave's J.S. Bach page ( I got really into collecting Bach and Scarlatti midi for a while. They were all free.

My first DVD was a home video of my father and his siblings when they were little, having a teaparty in the back yard. *His* father filmed it. Later someone got some VHS tapes made, and I got mine converted to DVD.

Anonymous said...

My first CD: "Hot Shot" by Shaggy (Jamaican Reggae artist). A birthday present from Rachel!


Anonymous said...

First cassette was AC/DC's Back in Black. First LP was Steve Martin's Wild and Crazy Guy. And I'll never forget my first CD(s)--as a freshman in college I maxed out the brand new Visa (back when new credit card customers only got a couple hundred dollars in credit!) on a CD player along with 2 CDs: Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here and Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy. It was over a year before I could afford another CD, and I'm not sure when I'll be able to listen to those 2 again.

Robert Gable said...

Well, this is harder than I thought.

first music LP: Batman tv show music

first cassette tape: I remember it being on Columbia Records but don't remember exactly what

first music CDs: Dark Side of the Moon and Four Seasons by Seiji Ozawa (or was it Beethoven chamber music?)

first rented videotape: Melvin and Howard

first MP3: don't know but it was in 1999

first DVD: Saving Private Ryan

stefan said...

I can't remember my first cassette or LP(a Kiss record, maybe, or Rush), but my first 8-track was called "Funky Favorites" and featured such gems as Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-ling" and Sheb Wooley's "Purple People Eater." My first 45 was Don Mclean's "American Pie" (one had to flip the record to hear the whole song, and (I think) my first DVD was the Ramones' Rock-n-Roll High School.

Tom the Piper's Son said...

First LP: I don't remember the title but it was the Beatles record with Please Please Me and I believe it had the fab four against a backdrop of golden autumn leaves in black suits.

Good God, new record albums and record store bins were so much more a vivid sensual experience than all that was to follow...
I guess i've just catapulted myself into the grumbling stone age curmudgeon category!

Your daughter RACHEL! said...

First cassette: Probably Sharon, Lois, and Brahm. But I remember going to the old Wal*Mart in our hometown and picking out some classical tapes for our long drive east when I was a kid. "Mad About the Orchestra," "Mad About Beethoven," etc.

First CD: Aqua "Aquarium." I still have it.

First LP: I could be wrong about this, but I'm almost positive they were Don McLean "American Pie" and the LP by The Ozark Mountain Daredevils that had "Jackie Blue" on it. Followed by every Simon and Garfunkel LP I could find.

First DVD: Besides "Carnival of Souls," I have no idea. And no idea for Mp3 or Midi either, although I remember listening to a midi of the "Cheers" theme over and over again.

Elaine Fine said...

One of the happiest moments of my life, Rachel, was when you discovered Simon and Garfunkel all on your own.

I guess those hand-me-down Pogo records that we used to play on the plastic turntable (33s that we played at 45 rpm) don't count, eh?

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, everybody, for sharing your analog and digital memories here. The only overlap: Dark Side of the Moon (and my fam's copy of Carnival of Souls).