I keep looking for the upside to streaming music services. Apple music is nice because I can add tracks that I don’t physically own to playlists made up of tracks I do own. That’s cool. Also not having to buy individual records is okay, I guess, but for bands I really care about I still do. So that’s a wash I guess.
The real upside though is browsing. Assuming the service you are using has a wide enough catalog, you can dig into things that years ago you wouldn’t have exposed yourself too for whatever reason. Personal case in point, Peter Green. I knew him by reputation and a small handful of Fleetwood Mac songs, but that was it. A couple of nights ago I was poking around on Spotify and stumbled on a multi-disc compilation of his music. I gave it a spin and really liked it. So what other British blues guitarists did I over look when I was a kid that I can give a chance today? Rory Gallagher came to mind. Good stuff. Maybe not quite as good as his contemporaries, but I liked what I heard a lot. Gary Moore? Sure. I remember back in 1990 holding the Still Got the Blues record in my hand and wondering whether or not I should just buy it. I never did. I’ve listened to a lot of it now. I should have bought it back then.
So I’m thinking… blues guitarists… 1980’s-ish… who can I check on? I know, Robert Cray. I liked him back then, but I never came to really like him. You know what I mean? I found a compilation record and started listening. Holy Shit! This is SO much better than I remembered! Even the songs I knew, “Smoking Gun” and “Phonebooth” and a couple others are way better than I remembered. Why wasn’t “Smoking Gun” the biggest hit ever? This song rules! Is it possible that my tastes changed between the ages of 15 and 45?
I might be starting to come around on the whole streaming music thing, even though I know in my soul that they are screwing artists left and right. Call me conflicted.