I have it on good authority that my 8 year-old son Linus will be getting an iPod shuffle for Christmas. It’ll hold 240 songs, more or less. He’s already savvy to how to create playlists in iTunes, and he is already developing his own tastes. The thing is, his tastes closely mirror my tastes, since I by and large am the one introducing him to music. And while I think I’m an adequate guide to the basics and a variety of niches, I also would like to have him develop a wider breadth of exposure than I may be giving him.
So here’s the thing: I want Pipeline People to suggest an album or three (or however many you want) that you would consider essential listening for a young person who’s just starting to get enthusiastic about music. You can put whatever criteria you choose on the term “essential”, so long as it’s not too profane or graphic. For example, I don’t mind at all if he hears some swear words, but I’m probably not going to be introducing him to The Chronic or GodWeenSatan…yet.
What does he already know? He’s pretty familiar with the Beatles’ catalogue. He’s a big fan of Arcade Fire, Flaming Lips, and the Kinks. And he’s heard several other things at various moments, many he would probably recognize if he heard them again. No worries about that, though; I’m looking for the records people think he should not only hear, but know. As in, sure, he’s heard Reckoning and Highway 61 Revisited before. But are those records that should be put into his personal rotation at this point? (Either one a fine choice, I think…)
I have my own ideas, a few of which I’ll slide in there. And he’ll definitely have his own choices, too. But I figure there will be room for a good 10 or so other records to be added.