Why I’m Making Status Quo Sound Crap
In preparation for my travels this March, I’m making sure I have a bundle of playlists ready to transfer onto my MP3 Player of choice (likely to be the gen 2 iPod Nano), and one of them is proving interesting in terms of why music is so powerful.
The playlist replicates one of my old C90 audio tapes which had two albums by Status Quo on it. One side had ‘Perfect Remedy’ and the other ‘Ain’t Complaining.’ The problem was that there was something missing from the music. It took me a while to figure out what it was.
There were too many songs, and one of the songs seems to go on for waaay too long. Something wasn’t right. So I dived into the old tape box to find out why. Turns out the answer is both obvious and shows what’s not great about perfect digital music.
At some point in time, the tape had been very slightly melted – perhaps by being next to a radiator or something. And then I remembered that because of the melt, the tape on one side stopped early because it couldn’t fit on the other spool, and the auto-reverse kicked in. I never heard the end of one album (it cut off slap bang in the middle of a song) and never heard the opening track on the other side.
So while I might not have a perfect copy of the album, it was wrong. I had to bring one of the files into Audacity to stretch about ten seconds of one track, and then truncate it rather brutally, to get back to the emotional experience that I remember.
Now, how do I explain this one to the kids…