When I was a kid, “oldies” music and movies seemed ancient. Even though I’m now in my 30s, the entertainment that I watched and listened to in my youth still feels pretty recent to me. Raiders of the Lost Ark wasn’t all that long ago, right? But comparing my distorted recall of childhood favorites to the oldies of the time jogs my memory in unpleasant ways. For example:
Listening to Michael Jackson’s Thriller today is equivalent to listening to Elvis Presley’s first album (1956) at the time of Thriller’s release in 1982. Elvis singles in 1956 included Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, and Love Me Tender.
If you’re around my age, how old do you feel right now? Here are some other examples of timeline twins:
Watching Star Wars today is like watching It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) in 1977. It’s a Wonderful Life was nominated for an Oscar the following year along with Ethel Barrymore (b. 1879) and Lilian Gish (b. 1893).
Listening to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit today is equivalent to playing Terry Jack’s Seasons In The Sun (1974) in 1991.
Watching The Godfather today is like watching Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936) in 1972. Modern Times was a silent film (Chaplin’s last).
Listening to the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks (1977) today…well, they didn’t really have rock or pop albums back in 1946. But popular songs on the radio were sung by Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Nat King Cole, and Dinah Shore, as well as many performers and their orchestras.
Back to the Future (1985) —> To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Die Hard (1988) —> Bullitt (1968)
Radiohead, OK Computer (1997) —> Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet (1986)
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