Living To Music

I was recently inspired by the following words written by John Cunnick for the Seattle based underground newspaper Helix in 1967:

“I wake up in the morning and do a Masters Voice thing in front of the speakers for a while; then I go outside. Music defines a total environment. Straight musicians understand that kind of involvement, of course; but you can’t really communicate to the outside how a hundred thousand children of muzak freaks who in most cases never bother to study or even think about music, are involved in a single art form to the point where they virtually stake their entire sanity on it. Go to a house and someone hands you a joint in front of a record player and it’s assumed that you’re going to sit for a couple of hours, not talking, hardly moving, living to music.”

It’s so rare these days that you see a group of people sit quietly in a room and really listen to music. Even if that’s the intention, no sooner has the first track started than two begin talking, or maybe another answers their mobile and is chatting away to someone elsewhere. Even silence is deceptive, as on the scene ‘breaking news’ is conveyed to absent friends via text, twitter or facebook.

These people may think they’re listening, but their ears are passive – they’re hearing but not feeling what they hear. To truly listen is to actively absorb yourself without distraction – to respectfully pay the proper attention that the artist who made that music hoped it would be given.

For the people John Cunnick was talking about, and many others from that far out era, listening to a new album was an event that quite often was shared in the company of likeminded souls. People would listen first and talk later, exchanging impressions of what they’d just heard, further enriching an experience that was both communal and individual. Music was at the forefront of their existence, part of their very lifeblood.

Those of us who would claim to be keepers of the flame, ‘living to music’ here and now, have a big responsibility – we can’t allow ourselves, amidst the sensory saturation that accompanies our contemporary existence, to forget how to listen.

In true ‘living to music’ tradition I’ve arranged to come together with a group of friends from time to time to listen to a favourite album, the first of which will be Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ at 9pm on Sunday August 1st. Further to this it’d be great to do something here in 2010 that wouldn’t have been possible in 1967 (at least not without great preparation), which is to share this experience with others, who could listen to the same album at the same time, but from whatever part of the world they might live in – the internet then allowing us to exchange impressions afterwards with others who we were with, not physically, but in spirit.

Let’s flash mob the music from near and afar, inviting our friends to join us if they feel inclined. If you can’t make our date and time set your own – spread it out like the branches of a tree, feel free to tweet, text, whatever you do to spread the word between you and your circle of friends. The more of us the merrier. However, this is also something you can do alone in the knowledge that others elsewhere will be sharing the experience with you.

But first we need some guidelines, so may I suggest:

1. Put the date in your diary – you’re likely to completely forget about it all unless you treat it as an appointment. You can either invite others to join you, or listen on your own.

2. Whoever does the inviting is responsible for making sure they have a copy of the selected album to play via the format of their choice. If the recording you have is a re-issue that includes bonus tracks make sure that you stop it at the correct point, unless you want it carrying on into an outtake or b side that the artist didn’t deem suitable for inclusion at the time, but the marketing men cynically exploited years later as a surefire way of selling it all over again to obsessive ‘must own every note they ever played’ fanatics.

3. If you’re in a different time zone you could either listen at exactly the same time, which would of course mean that if you’re on the opposite side of the world you’d be listening in the morning to what was, at source, being played at night, or alternatively you could keep it to the same date and time wherever you may be, which would stagger the process as the world revolves. Whichever way, it would still equate to the shared experience we’re evoking.

4. If you’re listening with others, gather together at least half an hour before the pre-arranged time, get the small talk out of the way and make any necessary preparations beforehand to ensure there’ll be minimal distraction during the listening session. Once the session has begun don’t be breaking the atmosphere by popping out because you need a drink, or you forgot to go to the toilet, or you just remembered that you haven’t tucked the kids into bed, and so on and so forth.

5. Turn off all mobile phones (better still, leave them outside of the room completely) and unplug landlines if possible.

6. Enter the listening room at least 5 minutes before you start the music, so you have time to settle and assume chill out mode.

7. If you’re late arriving, don’t disturb the listening process by entering the room once the music’s started. It’d be better for the others if you sat it out this time. Stopping and starting again would break the flow, defeating the object of what you’ve set out to do.

8. Once the album has finished spend some time sharing your impressions with those who’ve gathered in the room with you. If alone, quietly sit with your thoughts for at least a few minutes.

9. When the session is at an end you might want to connect to others who’d listened elsewhere via this blog, which provides a central hub if you’d like to see what people have to say in a wider context, or your social network of choice. The important thing is that the vibe is spread, so that more people join in the next time.

These are only suggestions and you might not want to be quite as draconian about things as I suggest, but I maintain that without an attentive structure in place it’d be easy for the whole thing to lapse in focus and unravel. If you feel I’ve overlooked anything obvious, let me know, although this will certainly iron itself out once people have been through the process for themselves, and reported how it went.

I hope you give it a try and see what happens – from small acorns and all that. It’d be a buzz for me if I knew that a dozen people elsewhere were synced in to the same experience, so what type of energy could be created if it mushroomed to a hundred or more, with people far and wide pocketing together for this virtual happening.

, , , , , ,

43 Responses to Living To Music

  1. Stu June 28, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    It’s a great idea, the date is in the diary!

  2. Mark Cathcart June 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    In the CD liner notes for Gil Scott Herons “I’m new here” it makes exactly this point. Set aside time to listen, not in a car, not on an MP3 player not while reading etc.

    Sundays at 3pm in Texas doesn’t work, but 9pm would… it’s in the diary!

  3. Richard Maher June 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    I love this Greg, thanks for the inspiration and for keeping the true spirt of music alive

  4. Cedric Woo June 30, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Very good idea Greg, “listening” to music is a long lost hobby for sure. Maybe you need some guidelines on the music source though, as those listening to Marvin via mp3s through headphones or crappy speakers won’t get the same experience as those using dedicated hi-fi equipment, and in some cases couldn’t even share impressions…

  5. Dancing James July 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I love finding the time to totally immerse myself in music.

    It reminds me of perfect evenings with friends or solo.

    In the diary.

  6. Pablo Contraband July 4, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    Hi Greg,

    Good idea I’ve just re-posted the concept and linked back to here



  7. Duncan July 12, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    When I was a child growing up in the 70’s, my mum never let me watch TV until newsround came on. So throughout the day I would be subjected to Radio 4 – Archers, Play for the day, Desert sland Discs etc etc… It’s something I got used to and eventually embrace and enjoy.

    When I came back home from Uni in the mid 90’s, and told my mum that I’d rather be upstairs listening to music, I thought that she would be proud of my enthusiasm and devotion, I was, however, being “antisocial and bone idle”.

    I knew something was very wrong here.

    All I know is that listening makes me feel big and clever and somewhat absorbent!!

    Looking forward to listening to Marvin – I’m in. Especially excited, because I have not listened to the album before.

    Thanks for the suggestion I will forward the idea to many.

  8. Irfan Rainy July 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Hi Greg and all fellow ‘ music lifers ‘. The idea of joint listening, which for myself as a teenager, used to happen practically every week throughout the mid 80s, is very romantic indeed but the accessibility of music has changed this personal pleasure beyond all recognition. During the era of vinyl, the sheer excitement of buying a single yet rare imported 12″ and taking it home to listen was something to behold. This old school sentiment is very noble but I do think choosing Marvin Gaye’s seminal lp is a great choice of music to begin with. I bought the extended orchestral versions on cd a few years ago and it’s truly essential listening. I personally think a listening club involving half a dozen serious music lifers meeting and discussing together is also a positive way start with this great experience. Let’s discuss further Greg. 🙂

  9. Alexis August 1, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Well I have always played the first track (danced, sung along) and switched off after that.
    The simplicity of production and arrangments, using voices, claps, percussion and shouts is fabulous. If you can sing, why mess it up by producing the fk out of it!?
    Track 2 has a lovely jazz feel to the melody, which I had not heard before.
    Track 3 is exactly what D’Angelo freestyling is trying for.
    Track 5’s harmonies on God is My Friend, made me sit up!
    Track 8 had my head travelling all over the place, totally Lush, which brought me to
    Track 9 making me wanna holler and the reprise.
    The whole thing feels like an experiment or long jam, with some moments of clear genius shining through.
    Only 9 tracks and you will be lucky to find one good track in 16 nowadays!
    Let’s go back to this.
    Thanks for the shout Greg. I bought (my dad and I bought) a new stereo/cd/cassette player the other week and I have been playing my vinyl loads more.
    This though has made me think of taking the time at the end of EVERY day to just appreciate a piece of music. To really get back to thinking about the whole concept of recording and what’s regarded as good and bad (all subjective and very, very personal ofcourse).
    All in all, a fab evening’s music.x

  10. Nadia August 1, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    This album and event are beautifully matched for me. The need to be listened to, to really be heard, without interference and the need to hear what is really going on with others define them both in my mind. The only way real connections can be made between people and that’s how I feel after having listened, knowing that others were doing the same…..connected and I just want to say…. I really care.

  11. phil hongkins August 1, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    “of its time” thats how i describe this album ,america was a crazy place to be in those times particularily if you was a young black male. dread how these artists used the power they possesed to speak to millions of people all over the world to let us all know just what was in fact going on. thank you mr gaye for ALL your works you left us enriched

  12. dancing james August 1, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    that was brilliant

    started off listening to the original and then restarted from the top with the detroit mix, when i remembered i had the box set at home

    it was perfect to give the different arrangement a proper dedicated listen

    so rarely do i find the time to sit down to a complete album, had started off the year with cosmo and adam with classic album sundays – a big roast and then a classic album and this continues the concept

    by revisiting something that is part of our common musical heritage, hearing the breaks that have been used elsewhere, the elements that have been borrowed and copied, reinterpreted and covered we can see yet another level that this album continues to resonate around us, let alone the core messages which are so relevant today

    greg, thank you so much for making me sit down, and by my inaction be able to reappreciate this

  13. Alexis August 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    I forgot to add (as those above have) how the lyrics are still (very sadly) relevant today! Pollution and hatred and love and caring!
    We obviously all do care.
    Great night, cheers xxx

  14. Felix August 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    After speaking to my brother on the phone to remind him (he’d already improvised his own listening, with his wife and 3 year old daughter, an hour earlier, specifically so little Jess could get hip to the vibe before bedtime, and – inevitably – shake her ass alongside her mum and dad) I settled in and put on my vinyl copy of the album (a 1971 pressing with gatefold sleeve). Keen to sync up with the proposed 9pm ‘kick off’ time, I made the school boy error of foregoing a last minute clean of the vinyl in favour of a quick smoke in the garden.
    Big mistake, but more of that shortly.
    Side 1 went marvelously well for the most part, every bit the segued masterpiece we know so well. And maybe that was the one problem for me; the knowing it so well, I mean. I found myself drifting off and not actually ‘hearing’ all of it, mostly during the songs that our collective musical memory banks have logged in the ‘All Time Classics’ section. That said, some of the changes, or blends, between tracks, really caught me unawares; and I found a renewed admiration for the sheer richness and detail in the arranging, singing, production and playing, let alone the lyrical content. I felt reading the lyrics along was thoroughly in the spirit of the occasion, and I realised this was something I’ve not done for at least…ooohh…twenty five years, or so; and I think this was where I started to drift. I began thinking about the times Marvin was writing about, and then my thoughts turned to the man through whose musical ‘eye’ we are invited to see the world for the duration of the album. Undoubtedly a ‘troubled man’, for me it is the tension between his inner, tumultuous, voice, and the subject matter he felt duty bound to write about, that makes this such an ultimately melancholic and hugely moving experience, both lyrically and musically speaking.
    Side 2 was a revelation, or more specifically “Right On”, which I have to admit to having never listened to properly all the way through. And it is incredible. Maybe my enjoyment of the rest of the better known tracks has been tarnished by over-saturation, as I mentioned above, but this seven-and-a-half minute opus to me is the highlight of whole album. For the time being at least it is my tune-to-be-obsessed-with-until-I-know-it-inside-out. I drifted AND remained focussed throughout the entire track, it has that kind of effect, like good meditation. Truly wonderful, as is the whole album, obviously, but this, for me (for now, at least) is its zenith.
    And, unfortunately, this was where the problems started, because during the opening bars of “Wholy Holy” the true extent of the damage to the vinyl reared its crackly, repetitively distracting head. Where I was able enjoy the faint crackling and even the occasional scratch, on Side 1, as part of the ‘ambience’, by midway through Side 2 it had become a clear and present distraction. Very annoying. I was forced to halt proceedings (something I really didn’t want to do), lift the needle out of the sacred groove and anoint the surface with ablutions, which thankfully returned the experience to a far more pleasurable place.
    Thanks Greg, great idea, great vision.

  15. Vics August 3, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    I have always loved Marvin Gaye and this album in particular, mainly due to Greg’s influence, i have to say, but have always loved soulful music. ‘What’s Going on’ is very powerful i would say, you can hear the pain and sorrow in his voice and his soul, he was obviously finding life hard but you can also hear the rejoicing for life too. Every tune, every song, holds a message and an approach to life. Have listened to this album so often yet every time you can find something to marvel in it, you cant help but move to it too i find… it never sounds old, dull, boring… its just an inspiration and i give thanks and praise for Marvin’s time on this Earth. Love and respect of the highest variety, Marvin, you were and still are, A legend, and you will never be forgotton!!

    Amen! Looking forward to the next living to music, Greg, much love xx

  16. Garry Pennington August 4, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    My old mate Greg, what a great mind you have. A great concept for others who may not have “listened” to music before. I for one have always listened to music this way, it’s seems un-natural to me, not to “listen” to music, otherwise why play music. That’s why music being played these days in the wrong place, time, setting, reason, presentation, seem so pointless and frustrating to me, but that’s another debate for another time. Back to 1 August 2010.
    Unfortunately, being away on holiday, away from my PC, I didn’t know of the event until after the event, but in a strange twist of fate, had the album on my ipod, amongst other Gaye albums, and can only say “great choice, Greg”. I have owned and true listened to this album for many years, I am glad to say, and it truly is a masterpiece. My copy is on vinyl which in my humble opion only adds to the enjoyment, even when listened to via ipod etc.
    A number of years back, on a Sunday evening I used to tune into a radio station being played by another good friend of mine, Ray Rose, to “listen” and enthuse about the music he would play and also the “way” he would present the music. Something all too rare I feel these days. God I miss those Sunday’s. Alas, ratings stopped the show, as is usually the case in commercial circles.
    Can’t wait for the next one, Greg and co-listeners.

  17. Chris Q August 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Whats Going On is an album I have grown up with, remember I first heard it when I was around 10 yrs old (through my brothers who were and still are extremely big fans of Marvin.) and subsequently has become one of my all time fave albums ever. I listened to it alone, thru my ipod. To hear it now through “fresh ears”, listening intentively, understanding what the whole album meant, was an extreme joy.

    To me it is a seminal album, its just a relevant today as it was back in 1971 because of the issues it covers. Marvin’s angst about his brother being in Vietnam can be heard in his dulcit tones and beautiful harmonies. HIs religious beliefs are shared with the world and they are obviously a huge part of his life. The music played is provided by The Funk Brothers – the folk ehind all the Motown hits – who, I think for the first time ever, were credited on this album.

    All in all, it was a joy to listen to this again and to this day it moved me emotionally.

    Thank you Greg for making us all realise what a beautiful album this is!

  18. Mark Cathcart August 10, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    I had to think about sharing this. Sundays at 9pm have been an odd time at my place the last few months. The new season(3) of True Blood is on HBO at 8pm Central time. I have a Canadian pro triathlete who lives in the house with me, and around 6:30pm Sunday evenings a load of other women have been showing up to socialise, and watch True Blood. Some weeks we have full meals, others finger food, sometimes just drinks. They are often here until 10pm.

    And so it was last week, with the Candian away racing, some other people out of town, and some “tensions” between a couple of the other women, I find myself alone for True Blood. When it was done I switched off the TV, switched off all the lights and set on the floor, back resting against the couch. It’s Marvin time.

    I ran the full gambit of emotions, sat alone in the dark. From the hairs standing up on the back of my neck through Whats Going on, and Save the Children, to the sorrow and holding back the tears while listening to Mercy Mercy Me – thinking about the times Marvin spent with Belgian concert promoter Freddy Cousaert, and what a sad figure he cut in that documentary(what was it called?).

    It seemed ironic that it all ended with Inner City Blues. Sigh such a loss.

    I was left wondering if I’d cheated by not listening to the Vinyl version, where there would have been a break in the middle. Often that time between standing up, turning the album over allowed your mood to change, to lift, to settle, depending on what you were listening to. There were often those sprints to see how quickly you could turn over the 12-inch vinyl to keep the beat alive. This wouldn’t have been one of those times, sat alone, wondering about a love lost.

    Hang ups, let downs
    Bad breaks, set backs

  19. jaime read August 11, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    what an album and to think barry gordy didnt even want to release it as he saw it as to political! it was only at Marvins insistence as he said he would never do anything else if this was not released. similar story with the classic “papa was a rolling stones” which the temptations didnt want to release for fear of upsetting there dads. Love the fact that whats going on and mercy me have exactly the same chords bit trainspotter this but for those interested they are(e c#m7 a b) the simple songs are allways the best. allways try to play this album right through to good to skip. A couple of suggestions for later listening allthough not in the same vain. ian dury and the blockheads “new boots and panties” a record i have been listening all the way through since i was 6. “live at the lyceum” by bob marley , bob dylans”Desire” one for those who say they dont like dylan i think, allthough”blonde on blonde” is another dylan emotional journey and dare i say bruce springsten’s”darkness on the edge of town” get out there people there is a lot more to music then west end/salsoul/james brown/arthur russell as much as i love all that stuff sometimes u need to let go of your thoughts and listen with your heart. keep up the find work greg peace and love

  20. Dave Green August 11, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Looking forward to the Pink Floyd night as i get the joy of listening to the original quad vinyl copy of Dark Side Of The Moon through a full 1973 quad system incorporating the same stunning Celestion Ditton 66 studio monitors the lp was recorded with @ Abbey Road…. (i’m a bit of a fan of the album to be honest)

  21. Steve October 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Re Abbey Road ,
    Set the alarm to 5.45 am,
    resigned to the fact, I didn’t manage to get a copy in the pouring rain yesterday,
    I got the track listing off discogs, and wrote it down, so I could
    sequence the album on youtube.
    Made myself a coffee and jiggled round the kitchen to “come together”,
    settling down, for the beautiful “something” the mind wanders through past life experiences,
    slightly irritated by the quirkyness of “maxwell’s silver hammer” and quite macabre lyrics.
    Octopus’s garden instantly reminds me of times spent with Sgt pepper album.
    The cool blue’s of I want you, hard not to sing along.
    The comforting intro of Here comes the sun and a warm sensation envelopes me, as I notice the sun peaking through my closed curtains, and I think of you guy’s listening in the dark over in England,I make a mental note of how great the pitch is in this track, really sinking into the experiance now, and start to feel the momentum of the album.
    “because ” drifts along beautiful harmonies swirl around the head ,
    “you never give me your money” such a sentimental piano intro, just lost in the verse,
    other standout moments were 1,2,3, 4 ,5 ,6, 7 all good children go to heaven, great hook.and hypnotized by the sound effects at the end of the track.
    The guitar intro of polythene sam reminding me of” the who” ,
    By the start of Golden slumbers, my favourite track on the album, I was in full karaoke mode, Man that track evokes such strong feelings in me, so anthemic , by the end I feel a bit of tingling sensation knowing we shared this experiance on a global scale,
    Thanx Greg and everyone who did the same, and the neighbours who probably woke to my computer belting this out. Peace Steve

  22. dancing james October 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    It was lovely to again set aside the time to listen to an album in its entirety. I remember a period of my life where in my arrogant youth I assumed the Beatles were just over rated. Though as I got older started to realise how much they had done that was truly amazing.

    Listening to this I was blown away by their strengths as a blues band. Come together and Something both set the tone for a lot of what is to come. The girlfriend was resisting being made to listen to the album, “not being a fan of the Beatles” and its the quirky tracks such as Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Octopus’ Garden which irk her, and I can understand.
    However the crescendo of I want You cutting out to Here comes the Sun more than makes up for it.

    Sections of the album are amazing, the flow of tracks on the 2nd half continuing the musical narrative. Its weird that the chorus of Carry the Weight felt so familiar while the rest of the track seemed utterly novel to me.

    I would not call this a perfect album, but it has many fantastic moments of brilliance, the harmonies and musicianship taking me out of my bedroom into a whirl of liquid melody and dirty blues.

  23. Howard Hill October 10, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Sorry I’m a bit late commenting about this but it brought back wonderful memories. I was 16 when Abbey Road came out and living in Runcorn, Cheshire. On Saturday nights I used to travel around with my mate on the back of his scooter going to parties or dances in church halls in the surrounding villages. I remember vividly one night someone saying that we MUST go to a particularly party. MUST because they were going to have a copy of Abbey Road which had, I think only been released that day. When we arrived the album was playing as it continued to be all night and a gaggle of people were standing round the record player reverently handing round the cover – which I have to say seemed a little disappointing after the triumph of Sgt Peppers. However, it is a perfectly constructed album and now living near St Johns Wood I find it wonderful that every single day that same zebra crossing is full of tourists from around the world recreating that walk to the annoyance of motorists. Not sure if many of you will have heard it but soon after it was released Booker T & the MG’s released a cover version titled McLemore Ave which was the home of Stax records. Listening to the original again prompted me to dig out their version and I personally I think its wonderful with lots of Steve Croppers restrained guitar work (“Why play 10 notes when I can get away with 3?”) Thanks Greg for this wonderful innovation. I appreciate this and just about every new mix of yours that I hear.

    Howard Hill – Eclectika Sessions.

  24. Peter Andrijeczko January 18, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    As someone who has cared passionately about music, particularly great British rock music, for about 40 years, I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments behind LTM and listening to great albums from start to finish is something I do regularly anyway – it’s just a shame that sitting as a group listening to the same piece of music, and then discussing it afterwards,just doesn’t happen these days because everyone’s too busy.

    However, I do take issue with some of your comments in point 2. above. Personally, I have albums in my collection that I have enjoyed over and over again for almost 4 decades (so far) and therefore having bought that album 2 or 3 times on different formats is still a small price to pay for something that has given so much enjoyment for such a long time.

    I abandoned vinyl many years ago, I don’t want to get into discussions here about whether vinyl or CDs sound better (my view is that there have always been good and bad masterings in both formats) but I do personally like the fact that I sometimes get the opportunity of buying a remastered album with additional tracks on it – no, I’m not usually that bothered about demo or outtake versions of existing tracks on the album but it is good to hear non-album tracks that were maybe single B-sides at the time or live tracks, especially if they are out of the huge BBC archives of live concerts or artist sessions. Besides which, if you don’t like them then don’t buy them or just stop playing at the point where the original album ended.

    I think it is important too teach people about how to relax and enjoy a great album because doing so is a great thing for the soul – but let’s not go over the top here because then it just turns into music snobbery.

  25. greg wilson January 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Hi Peter – think you might have misunderstood what I was saying in point 2.

    Taking ‘Ziggy Stardust’ as an example, on the CD there are 5 bonus tracks. Being a ‘Ziggy’ fan, on a personal level it’s great to have these additions on the CD, but for someone not aware that these weren’t on the original album it spoils the intended flow, with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’ no longer the concluding track – 2 of the bonus additions were outtakes that never made the final cut, whilst 2 of the others were demos of tracks already included on the final album. I just wanted to point out that whoever is hosting the session needs to check that it’s as the artist originally intended (stopping the CD, if necessary, before the bonus tracks).

    With regards to formats, I’m certainly not a vinyl purist – my main objective is to get people listening, regardless of format. So I think we’re singing from the same hymn sheet here.

  26. Mark Cathcart January 19, 2011 at 4:33 am #

    Greg, completely agree about the extra tracks on re-issues. If they are so great, put them on and extra CD/DVD separate from the original tracks.

    As an OCD type person, I got frustrated when I buy complete MP3 download albums, they are often not tagged correctly, the in-dash player in my car plays in alphabetical order no matter how tagged; Windows Media player plays them based on tags; VLC does for some but ignore others. Beatport downloads are working out pretty well since the started putting sequence numbers on the files…

    And then, what really is an album now? If today was 2041, do you think anyone would remember that we used to listen in an order we assumed the artist wanted… by then will albums even exist? What was the last great “concept” album you owned where all the tracks followed some theme and were meant to be played in order ?

  27. Dan January 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    So has this project/experience continued? Better tune into Greg’s blog more often. (just happened to link to it the other day from a BBC story on Classic Album Sundays someone had posted on Facebook.)
    I have some local vinyl aficionado friends who wanted to start a little vinyl salon, where we’d get some like-minded freaks together, in a home with a good sound system; everyone brings a favorite record, we’d play it and talk about it.
    Greg you are so right, listening is a lost art. I kind of miss 40-to-60-minute sessions spent with the latest release on LP, only breaking from listening to turn it over…

    I’d recommend Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers and/or Vetiver’s Thing of the Past as good contenders for your project, one is a classic, the other is more recent (and contains all covers of songs from the 60s-70s) that sounds *wonderful* on vinyl; LPs are not dead, nor is the spirit of the music they contain.
    Dan in NY

  28. Vics April 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Loved this weeks L2M, Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’…..!! Took me back to my youth and my party days hehehe, had me dancing round me living room and i remembered all the lyrics like they bought it out yesterday.. love the tones of Bobby’s drawn out voice, bless him. Love all the tracks, but ‘loaded’ still has to be the most memorable! Love ‘Damaged’ too, shows a sensitivity and spirituality too…

  29. Trish November 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Sorry, I can’t just sit and listen to “Off the Wall”. I have to dance!

  30. equitysoftware March 24, 2021 at 6:29 pm #

    HILoved this weeks L2M, Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’…..!! Took me back to my youth and my party days hehehe, had me dancing round me living room and i remembered all the lyrics like they bought it out yesterday.. love the tones of Bobby’s drawn out voice, bless him. Love all the tracks, but ‘loaded’ still has to be the most memorable! Love ‘Damaged’ too, shows a sensitivity and spirituality too…


  1. Living to music | REDUX RECORDS - August 2, 2010

    […] on August 2, 2010 by Andy Whittaker Greg Wilson is encouraging people to listen to music over at his blog, nothing original about that you might be thinking, but the way he is going about it is.  […]

  2. Greg Wilson – In Conversation « Loop - September 22, 2010

    […] https://blog.gregwilson.co.uk/2010/06/living-to-music/ […]

  3. Living To Music « Deceptive Resolution - September 29, 2010

    […] Living To Music by Greg Wilson. […]

  4. music like dirt » A few of my favourite things 5 - October 17, 2010

    […] blog is always a great read and he’s come up with the inspired concept of  ”Living To Music” get-together’s.  The idea is to come together with a group of friends, turn off your mobile, silence your […]

  5. Greg Wilson – Living To Music « We Love… Life - January 6, 2011

    […] Read the rest at Greg’s insightful blog, here… […]

  6. Classic Album Sundays | Londonist - January 19, 2011

    […] listen to classic albums in full without interruptions. The idea was inspired by a blog post from DJ Greg Wilson who felt as though listening to music had become a passive activity. Rather than it being something […]

  7. Digital Exodus – Record Listening Clubs Arise In UK « alison mccarthy - January 24, 2011

    […] of August to listen to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, he encouraged readers of his blog to not only do the same, but to spread the word to others through Twitter and Facebook to create a […]

  8. Living To Music – Grace Jones ‘Nightclubbing’ « Rock's Backpages Blogs - March 4, 2011

    […] This Sunday (March 6th), at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here: https://blog.gregwilson.co.uk/2010/06/living-to-music/ […]

  9. Classic Album Sundays « Rock's Backpages Blogs - March 4, 2011

    […] Living To Music guidelines: https://blog.gregwilson.co.uk/2010/06/living-to-music/ […]

  10. Radio LoungeFM: Bewusst gehört - der Club zum gemeinsamen Musikhören - Österreich entspannt. - July 25, 2011

    […] DJ Greg Wilson, als er einen Eintrag in seinem Blog verfasste. Er hatte recht. Und löste mit seinem Artikel einen positiven Effekt aus. Damit die Musik wieder in den Vordergrund rückt, griff DJane, […]

  11. inACTIVE Listening « bubblebeach - November 27, 2011

    […] on to the reason for this post.   After reading an article from Greg Wilson’s blog titled Living To Music where it talks about exactly this. Listening to music with full attention on the music.  It got […]

  12. Protein - Future of Music Listening part two || Insider London blog - January 4, 2013

    […] LIVING TO MUSIC […]

  13. Listening to music | Life, Technology and more… - February 5, 2013

    […] contact and innovative UK Dj/Producer Greg Wilson has a 33-minute interview, I assume based on his Living to music series that he has been running for a couple of years now. Greg talks about actually sitting and actually […]

Leave a Reply