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. troggy

    troggy Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow

    Benton, Illinois
    For me, it's more like age 12, when I first started listening to the radio a lot. That was 1976. I still have a nostalgic fondness for the pop hits of that year like no other.

    Most of my favorites today are things I'd never heard by age 14. That includes 70's punk, which I didn't hear when it was new. I was well into my 20's by the time I heard the Ramones, etc.
  2. troggy

    troggy Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow

    Benton, Illinois
    I still don't like them and was 14 in 1978.
    Jrr likes this.
  3. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    No, that wasn't being a brat, that was how we grew up. parents didn't have such tight controls on kids in those days, at least where I grew up. By the age of five, we kids were riding our bikes all over the neighborhood and choosing our own friends. I had my own radio and could pick whatever station I wanted. I always avoided any country music.
    eric777 and monotubevibe like this.
  4. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    What did Uncle Paul have to say about this very topic???
  5. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    Who knew back then that Daryl Dragon was a noted Beach Boys sideman?
    Shaddam IV and BluesOvertookMe like this.
  6. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    ...It's a wonder you can hear at all.
  7. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    You were not average male then. I believe the real hardcore audiophiles had an interest in music much before 14, but it depends on access to music, stereo components, etc too.
  8. CBS 65780

    CBS 65780 "Could I do one more immediately?"

    Dublin, Ireland
    After 'Mama' and 'Dada', the family legend is that my third word was 'Records'. And I ain't never looked back!
    BluesOvertookMe likes this.
  9. Incompletist

    This was all covered in This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin which came out in 2006.

    It's not a rigid age. I think the book - and it quotes proper research - says the 'teens'. I got bored with much of the stuff I heard at 14 and moved on, expanded. Maybe my overall scope was formed in this first 10 years of listening. But my interests have continued to expand and that's where a person's mental ability to decide what to explore and listen to (and how to listen) comes into play. We are not limited in our intellectual growth by our teen-years obsessions.

    I do think there is a kind of pyschological comfort zone where the material from your teens makes for an easy and satisfying listening space. Luckily at 14 my listening included both T. Rex and Bartok, and then the likes of Terry Riley, The VU and Henry Cow by 17, so comfort music can also be interesting music for me..
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  10. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I found I changed what I was looking for in music and/or I could appreciate more elements. So, I'm where even if I don't care for the song, as long as I don't hate it I can listen if it has either really good sound, the melody catches me, or the musicianship is really good. Before I only listened for good sound quality or melody. I am very impressed with the sound Van Halen's producer got on the first album, and he seemed to keep that element in the next few, plus I now enjoy listening to Ed's guitar work which back in the day I didn't even really notice. So, for me that has opened up a wide range of bands I didn't listen to before.
    troggy likes this.
  11. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    For me, to play an album all the way through depends on how good that album is. And often, after I've become used to an LP, I'll single out certain tracks.

    As far as playing it several times in one day...that doesn't happen much these days. Got other records in the play pile. I might play it again the next day...
    Jrr and troggy like this.
  12. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
    He agreed with Spotify.
  13. krlpuretone

    krlpuretone Forum Resident

    Grantham, NH
    Maybe for people who listen to Spotify, who probably skew towards Billboard chart topping hits anyway...

    but I highly doubt this hypothesis to be true of the sort of music lifers that inhabit our sector of the internet.
    Jrr and Grant like this.
  14. redfloatboat

    redfloatboat Forum Resident

    Kinda true.
    At 14 i was into Slade, The Sweet, Bowie, T.Rex, Wizzard, Alice Cooper. Especially Slade.
    So although from those bands i went on to Queen, Thin Lizzy, UFO, early Aerosmith, Deep Purple, King's X, Devin Townsend, etc, it was still in the hard rock field. Slade and The Sweet[eventually] were my introduction to hard rock when i was around 12 yrs old.

    At 58 i suppose if i had to name just one style as my favourite music, it would be hard pop/rock. But i stopped discovering newer bands of that ilk years ago as most are crap!
    Although i did branch out over the years to include stuff like the Cocteau Twins, Neil Young, Red House Painters, Jean Michel Jarre, Radiohead, Camel, and others.
  15. PhilBorder

    PhilBorder Forum Resident

    Sheboygan, WI
    in my case, 7 years old. I was precocious.

    Aside from their research, has radio ever been as explosively creative and diverse as it was from 1965 to 1971? (tho I realize radio barely exists now...)
  16. Holerbot6000

    Holerbot6000 Forum Resident

    probably rings true for most folks - explains all the dudes in their 40's and 50's who still are into Styx and Journey and God bless. For me, I like the music I heard when I was driving to work this morning. It's an ongoing musical adventure 56 years and counting!
  17. thxphotog

    thxphotog Camera Nerd

    Los Angeles, CA
    Have a big party with lots of friends. Let's see what gets everyone happy & jumping around; The music you like today or the music you loved at 14. :)
  18. Say It Right

    Say It Right Not for the Hearing Impaired

    Niagara Falls
    The data suggests "the average male," then people have to come along to make this about themselves. Somehow, if they're "different," it somehow invalidates the results. :blah:
    Zeki, eric777, Witchy Woman and 5 others like this.
  19. Andersoncouncil

    Andersoncouncil Forum Resident

    upstate NY
    I definitely see some truth to this study and I'll tell you why.
    It's what I like to call the boomerang effect. At age 14 I was heavily into classic rock9Beatles, Floyd, Zeppelin, Yes..). As I got older I branched out into alternative rock, jazz, some country. Now at age 49, It's been a gradual, 15 year pendulum swinging back to classic rock in full force. I still like some a select few artists in the other genres I mentioned, not as my major listening.
    Shaddam IV likes this.
  20. troggy

    troggy Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow

    Benton, Illinois
    At the very least, it's nice to know that I'm not average.
  21. CliffL

    CliffL Forum Resident

    Sacramento CA USA
    It's sheer coincidence, but I seriously got into music at age 14 (in 1970). I considered myself a late bloomer two younger brothers aged 12 and 8 at the time were much more into music than I was, until the music bug bit me a little after my 14th birthday and I became the music fanatic in the family. I absolutely love the music I was into then...first 45 I bought was Domino by Van Morrison...still love it today!
    Shaddam IV likes this.
  22. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    The chapter in the Levitin book -- and it's a great book for anyone who hasn't read it, Levitin as a session musician, engineer and record producer who became a neuroscientist -- "My Favorite Thingx," that looks at why we develop the musical preferences we develop, offers a pretty complicated and dynamic set of factors that shape preference, everything from the way our amygdala and neurotransmitters tag memories, to infant biological preferences of consonant frequency relationships, to the different parts of our brains that response to consonant frequency relationships and dissonance ones (including a range of human difference in appetite for dissonance), to childhood and adolescent brain development -- during which time the brain synapses grow and make new connections, then start pruning and getting rid of unwanted connections (and making the remaining connections more efficient) to certain kinds of positive and negative reinforcement to, especially, social and cultural influences in the West.

    Writes Levitin, "There doesn't seem to be a cutoff point for acquiring new tastes in music, but most people have formed their tastes by the age o eighteen or twenty. Why this is so is not clear, but several studies have found it to be the case....In Western culture in particular, the choice of music has important social consequences. We listen to the music that our friends listen to. Particularly when we are young, and in search of our identity, we form bonds or social groups with people whom we want to be like, or whom we believe we have something in common with. As a way of externalizing the bond, we dress alike, share activities, and listen to the same music. Our group listens to this kind of music, those people listen to that kind of music. This ties into the evolutionary idea of music as a vehicle for social bonding and societal cohesion."

    In addition, Levitin notes that "Scientific studies of like and dislike across a variety of aesthetic domains....has shown that an orderly relationship exists between the complexity of an artistic work and how much we like it. Of course, complexity is an entirely subjective concept....What one person finds insipid and hideously simple, and other person might find difficult to understand, based on differences in background, experience, understanding and cognitive schema. In a sense, schemas are everything."

    But where do those schema's come from? They're something we learn and are socialized to for the most part, and a kind of inquisitiveness about new and different art, is also something we can be taught as young people, if we're in that sort of environment.

    That's why maybe we have certain "average" responses (though I'm not sure who we're breaking down "average" in the Spotify data -- nor am I entirely convinced that all the age data users give Spotify is accurate, is "Gangsta's Paradise" really immensely popular with people in their 70s?), but there's so much scattering the the response, that focusing on the average may be a considerable oversimplification.
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  23. troggy

    troggy Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow

    Benton, Illinois
    In re-reading this, I guess it makes everything self-explanatory. The study is really only looking at big Billboard hits. In that regard, it makes perfect sense that those songs would remain most popular with people who were kids when the songs were released, i.e. folks who were most likely to be listening to pop radio at the time.

    I'm not really sure that proves a lot. And surely, a lot of people are listening to the songs of their youth for nostalgic reasons as much as anything else, like my 1976 example above. It doesn't explain people who eventually outgrow top 40 radio, nor does it attempt to.

    I mean, I think that a lot of people never really outgrow the music of their youth. But the above study, at least as its explained, doesn't really seem to mean too much.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  24. pig bodine

    pig bodine God’s Consolation Prize

    Syracuse, NY USA
    I was 14 in 1977, and yes, I still like a fair amount of 70’s punk, but I didn’t get into jazz until I was 16 and that remains my favorite music today.
  25. Rick Robson

    Rick Robson What comes next?

    Rio de Janeiro
    I think you hit the nail, since my first scope of music listening was formed in my first 10 years of life. My favourite composer was Roberto Carlos, My parents couldn't stand my begging and I had them buying every damn vinyl he released, until the year '74 or so. I always spun them all to my own delight, also one Vanusas's record. But I also loved quite a few of daddy's vinyls: Beethoven's 'Pastoral' Symphony vinyl, all of Tchaikovsky's, and a Flamenco music compilation recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; and mom's Chopin compilation (still have its LP cover image stamped in my memory, one of my very favourites up to date, recorded by the great Phillipe Entremont, that I fortunately found on CD.)

    Now, when it come to Rock music, I don't really know what difference does it make in hearing and enjoying it at 12, or at 14, or 18. And I admit I was wrong on my last post, my memory betrayed me when I thought I listened to 'Sultans Of Swing' when still a child, since it was released in 78. Anyways, judging by what was posted on here, in many cases our teenage behaviour had at least something to do with the rock attitude and spirit.

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