For most people, “First Album” is pretty high on that list of nostalgic firsts we carry with us through the years. And for pretty obvious reasons, as our first taste of owning recorded music taps into numerous aspects of growth and childhood. It’s a stamp of sorts, and a signpost of a certain point in our lives.
For me, it was the Police’s Synchonicity. A present from my sister from Christmas of 1983, it came wrapped inside a box for a pencil sharpener (I even recall this confusing me, and at first pretending to act excited about receiving a pencil sharpener for Christmas). I seem to recall it having been something I really wanted, and listened to the hell out of it, particularly “Synchonicity II” and “King of Pain”. And naturally “Every Breath You Take”, but by the time ’83 came to a close I’d heard that song to death on radio and whatever pre-MTV video shows (my town didn’t get MTV privileges until ’85) existed on cable at the time.
Happy to say that 25 years later, I still have that original first cassette. The liner notes, already precariously perforated, have crumbled apart, but other than that it still plays well despite a quarter century of heavy, fairly consistent use. For that matter, it was left out overnight in the rain on a tennis court at my high school back in ’91 and didn’t miss a beat.
I’ll give it the full review treatment soon enough.