Have you ever heard a song that made you remember something? When this happens for me it's because I think back to what I was doing when I first heard the song.
I can't listen to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" and not think about listening to my little transistor radio late at night when I was in the sixth grade. I hear the song and I'm back in my bedroom in my parent's old house. Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl" does the same thing.
Every time I hear "My Sharona" from the Knack I remember skating at Skate Junction in West Covina after school. Good times. I still can't skate backwards.
The first Depeche Mode song I heard was "Everything Counts." My Friend Tony played it for me when we were in Junior High. He also played Yaz's "Situation" for me. I was imprinted with Euro-trash electronic music at a pretty early age. I still feel like an awkward junior higher when I hear those bands.
Whenever I hear the Smiths I remember driving around in my old 1967 Chevy pickup. I was trying to date Barbara and I was depressed all the time. I was also in my first year of the Navy and listening to the Smiths all of the time. No wonder I was depressed.
Michael Penn's "No Myth" makes me think of China. I've never been to China but I was reading a book about it when I was listening to Michael Penn. I hear it's a nice place.
Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana bring back memories of college. I wasn't depressed in college. I was angry. I'm not sure why.
Handel's "Messiah" makes me think about writing papers for Bible classes in college. What better music to get those sacred creative juices flowing.
I listen to a lot of new music these days but I don't connect songs to memories as much anymore. I'm not as depressed, angry, or lonely as I used to be. I have a life. I don't live through music anymore.