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Sounds of Silences

I was like 11 when I first heard this album. It took me not long to memorize the lyrics, the jokes, the sound of everything in the intervals of the songs. This might be the origin story of my fixation with music, especially popular music, played live in front of an audience.

Let's put aside the fact that no one listens to albums anymore, or even talks about music in those terms. The item, the object, the gift, are as much from that bygone era as our capacity to sit and listen to it end to end, no shuffles, no interruptions.

We got other things, not complaining. But asserting that it has become quite hard to develop relationships like this ❤️ in 2020.

Favorite 17 live albums of all time

I could totally ☝️ do that. But I won't.

But if you ask me what's the best album of all times, of a certain band, genre or decade my answer is more and more likely to be a live album. Just the same way that when I hear about a new band I rush to watch videos of them. Because I want to see the people and their music happening, like in KEXP, ideally in front of an audience like in Tiny Desk.

Origin story

This must have been the album that kicked off my fascination for live music.

I was probably 11 when I found it, so right around the time it was released. It was part of the record collection of at least one of my cool uncles and/or aunts and it was kind of a family favorite.

So thank you family! for this introduction. 🙌

The Concert in Central Park - Album Cover
Wikipedia Visit site

I took a tape home and listened to it a million times. And when back at my uncle's, I would pull out the sleeve and read the lyrics back to back. Or play 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover on repeat until I drilled all the words, silly rhymes, and puns into my little sponge brain.

Fast forward 40 years

I sit now through a back to back listen and it looks like I memorised much more than just songs.

🤯 It's all coming back to me. Not only I remember which song comes next, the lyrics are coming back pretty fast as well. And, whoa! I remember all these funny little speeches in between songs.

Well, it's great to do a neighborhood concert. [.. screaming ..] I hope everyone can hear us. I hope that the sound is good. [.. acknowledgement ..] I hope we are blasting Central Park West and Fifth avenue pretty much away [.. whistles ..]. I just want to thank the Police Department and the Fire Department and the Parks Commissioner, and Ed Koch. [.. booing! ..] And Particularly, you know, people that never get recognized for doing good deeds for the city [.. yeah! ..], a group of people that have donated half of the proceeds that they're making tonight, the guys who are selling loose joints [.. yeah! ..] are giving the city half of their income tonight [.. roaring ..].

Not that I knew who Ed Koch was, and why that sounded like a joke to those on stage. Neither I knew what a joint was, and neither did I care. But I do remember asking why the crowd always goes [.. yeah! ..] a bit after each song starts.

The Concert in Central Park Crowd, New York
When they recognise their favorite song is starting Photo by Rainer Halama Visit site

Probably my imagination

Oh, more chills... insights... 🤯 I realise I never watched a video of this concert! My visual memory is all from the pictures in the album sleeve... and probably my imagination.

The stage versus audience dialog must have got me hooked. And I could play it back over and over, picking up people shouting words between songs, during songs...

I thought it might be somewhat crowded but we seemed to have filled the placed. [.. screaming ..]

And the whole thing is captured in deep stereo field with such fidelity that with my eyes closed it was possible to get an almost video-like image of that huge crowd.

And in the naked light I saw, 10 thousand people, maybe more. [.. screaming ..]

Listen on Spotify to The Concert in Central Park. Do you it with your eyes closed. Listen for the crowd. Chills. Imagine how big...

Play it in your head, from your imagination.

I bet you can get the video like experience I mentioned above.

Video-like video experience

Or you can just cheat 👇

Remastered from a VHS tape for your enjoyment. 😂

Well It's 2022.

We have access to everything, but there are some types of experiences that we seems we can't have anymore.

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