The Data Is In: You Like The Music You Heard When You Were 14

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Shaddam IV, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Spotify provided the data, and Stephens-Davidowitz measured every Billboard chart-topping song released between 1960 and 2000 and the ages of their biggest fans when those songs first came out.

    According to the data, the average male’s musical taste is developed between the ages of 13 and 16, while a woman’s takes shape between the ages of 11 and 14. Data also revealed that the early 20s are “half as influential” in determining adult musical tastes as their early teens.

    Radiohead’s “Creep,” for example, is the 164th most popular song among 38-year old men—who would’ve been 13 when the song was released—while it’s not even in the top 300 for those born a decade earlier or later.

    This all makes sense, of course. We’re still developing physically, emotionally, and sexually in our early teens, when every new experience is life-altering and heart-swelling. It’s only natural that the music underscoring our first kisses, home runs, and concerts would take up permanent residence in our brains.

    The New York Times Article:
    The Songs That Bind Opinion | The Songs That Bind

    The AVClub (quoted above):
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  2. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    Not true. I can think of a whole gang of stuff I liked at 14 that I've either deemphasized or stopped listening to altogether.

    I've heard that theory before, and never really related to it.
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  3. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
    You can change the title yourself in the first 30 minutes. @Shaddam IV If I remember correctly after pressing edit there should be a Thread Tools button somewhere.
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  4. Wes_in_va

    Wes_in_va Trying to live up to my dog’s expectations

    Southwest VA
    Yeah, doesn’t ring true to me either, but it’s still interesting
  5. Willowman

    Willowman Forum Resident

    London, UK
    I do like a lot of music, all periods, but this is the NME list from when I was 14. I was very lucky to be hearing all this stuff as it came out, and I still think it stands up to any other era: End Of Year Lists 1980...

    I mean - those singles!

    1. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
    2. Going Underground - The Jam
    3. Mirror In The Bathroom - The Beat
    4. Atmosphere - Joy Division
    5. Ashes To Ashes - David Bowie
  6. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

    Nah. When I was 14 I couldn't imagine any band better than AC/DC or Motley Crue. Now I never listen to either.
  7. ribonucleic

    ribonucleic Forum Resident

    SLC UT
  8. angelo73

    angelo73 ⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚

    Michigan, USA
    Actually, should read :

    " Many Who Use Spotify And Other Music-Streaming Services Like The Music They Heard When They Were 14 "

  9. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    I do still like some, and can do without others. But I rarely listen to any of it.

    PS: that goes for my favorites at 24, 34 and 44, too.
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  10. johnebravo

    johnebravo Forum Resident

    Upstate New York
    Very interesting, although not in the least surprising. People often have difficulty getting past their deeply heart-felt conviction that there's something really unique and special about their own "coming of age" music. It's probably just a reflection of the power of imprinting: it's the music that happened to be playing during their sexual maturation years. ;) Not unlike Konrad Lorenz and his geese . . .
  11. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    I find this hard to believe.
  12. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Got it. Thank you!
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  13. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    when I think back on all the crap I listened to in high school...
  14. acetboy

    acetboy Forum Resident

    Bloomington, IL
    So for me that would be the years from 1968-1971.
    I would say that just about everything I was into at that point I still listen to lots.

    And much of what I still listen to dates from 5 years earlier when I was 8.

    Yeah, although I've discovered much since those days I'm having a hard time thinking of some music
    that I was into then that doesn't still move me now.
  15. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
  16. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    I totally believe this. In fact, I have a section of shelf in the vinyl collection that contains everything I owned on vinyl at that age---In Through The Out Door, Candy-O, Styx Cornerstone, Queen The Game, BS Paranoid, Boston Don't Look Back, etc, all together as a sub-group. Some are same copies I had then, others are replacements.
  17. Archtop

    Archtop Infinity goes up on trial!

    Greater Boston
    I like the music I like today.
  18. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident Thread Starter

    From the NY Times article:

    "Of course, musical taste is not fully determined by when you are born, but the generational effects are large."

    It's true, whether you're an exception or not.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  19. johnebravo

    johnebravo Forum Resident

    Upstate New York
    There are, of course, lots of exceptions. I personally spend very little time listening to what I did at the age of 16. I just couldn't get jazz at all, and now that's by far what interests me the most.

    The article, however, is about the many, many people whose favorite music, the music that really "strikes a chord" with them for their whole lives, remains the music of their teenage years, and nothing else ever really compares for them, or moves them in the same way. There's something going on there. ;)
  20. mbrownp1

    mbrownp1 Forum Resident

  21. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    There's obviously a strong empirical validity to this idea.

    Though I deeply hate the fatalistic, deterministic, reductive use to which these statistics are often put. Personally I fell deeply in love with music much earlier than 14 and I've spent my entire life trying to stay alert, open, and enthusiastic about new and unfamiliar music.

    It's also been said that most people lead lives of quiet desperation, but like Joe Strummer enjoyed pointing out, the future is unwritten. When it comes to musical taste, a related Clash-based notion: Stay free.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  22. Isamet

    Isamet Forum Resident

    New York
    11 and 12 more like it for me. When I was 14 it was the middle of the disco era. Not that some of the songs weren't good, but certainly not among my favorites
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  23. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Seabrook, TX, USA
    Or could it be that the older you are (if you continued to listen to new music, that is an if...) the more music you have heard and are less likely to be impressed by something. If you have heard less music, you have less perspective to judge how good a song really is.

    I would love to have a talk with my 14-year-old self and talk some sense into him.

    But I have no doubt that nostalgia plays a role for some people.
  24. VatiBobo

    VatiBobo A Scotsman in Canada

    Pretty much all of the music that I listen to is stuff that I have gotten into since I turned 21 (I'm 37 now), and much of it lately has been from the last 5 years or so of discoveries. It's very rare that I listen to the music I was into at 14/15 - pretty much only if it comes on the radio - and the music from 16-20 is only slightly less rare.
    Shaddam IV likes this.
  25. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Mid Atlantic USA
    Well said.
    Shaddam IV likes this.

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