In the era of digital music, it can be very easy to erase your musical past. In the days of cassette tapes and CDs, we were physically linked to the tunes that we chose to listen to. For instance, my current music library on iTunes does not really suggest that, as a young, impressionable teen, I was highly into the music of such punk bands as Blink 182, Green Day, Midtown, Sum 41, Newfound Glory, Fenix TX, and the like. While I still have some CDs floating around, and some of these bands have made it past the digital divide (namely Green Day and Midtown – great for the gym), the rest of that stuff essentially disappeared as I came of age, so to speak.
My point (which I am slowly losing track of) is that, with kids today, they’ll have no record of their musical past unless they actively choose to keep one. If they like a song now and are embarrassed by it five years from now, they’ll just delete it. This is why I choose to keep MMMBOP by Hanson on my iPod forever. Do I like Hanson? No. Would I like the song now if I heard it for the first time? Doubtful. But I, along with most other sixth grade girls in 1997, was pretty into that song. And if I delete it, there will be fewer things in the world that will bring me back to that time and the memories associated with it. The same principle applies to WANNABE by the Spice Girls and other embarrassing songs that I cannot think of at present.
A music library can, and should, evolve as we do. But there are some things that should be kept around indefinitely. Chances are it’ll be something that makes you think, “Ugh, what what I thinking when I was listening to this?” Our music should be an aid in representing not only who we are, but who we were.