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December 10, 2006

Harmony FM

Harmonyfm Downstairs in our guesthouse the soundtrack to the bar is almost exclusively "Harmony FM". It is pretty much wall-to-wall 70s easy listening - or as they put it, "Super Oldies für Hessen!". Tracks like "Where do you go to my lovely?" and "Seasons in the Sun" are the staple. And "Nine To  Five".

Plus in the last week the Christmas music has started - things like "Driving Home for Christmas" by Chris Rea, or "Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time" by the McCartneys (Paul and the good wife).

I still get a shock when some terribly uncool music is played on the station, and I find myself singing along because the track featured on the in-car radio stations in 'Grand Theft Auto: Vice City' - things like "Waiting For A Girl Like You" by Foreigner or "Broken Wings" by Mister Mister.

What I find most distressing about it all is that occasionally they play something I really like - "Don't Dream Its Over" by Crowded House, or "Careless Whisper" by George Michael, and I suddenly realise that the music that I grew up with has slipped into the land of easy listening nostalgia in Austria. Next to The Carpenters and Stevie Wonder's really bad stuff.

Still it wasn't just the young people at the XfM night that started making me feel old in musical terms.

Take the Arctic Monkey's "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" with the line:

"I bet that you look good on the dancefloor, dancing to electropop like a robot from 1984"

1984?

In 1984 I was 13. If you are 13 listening to that song now, 1984 is as distant to you as 1962 was to me when I was thirteen. And, bloody hell, 1962 was in black'n'white!

And then I also realised that following the Gowers Review's recommendation that copyright on recordings isn't extended beyond the current rate of 50 years, all things being equal, I should still be alive when the Duran Duran back catalogue starts coming out of copyright in 25 years time.

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