30 songs in 30 days: #29 – “Back in the Saddle” (Aerosmith)

Day 29: A song from your childhood

Okay, yes, today’s entry is not actually “from” my childhood. It came out about 5 years before I was even born. But I was a kid when I first heard it, so I’m counting it.

As mentioned previously in this series, a lot of my early musical tastes came from my older brother, with whom I shared a bedroom for a number of years. Some of the atypical music in my collection I owe to his influence: the Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, and a lot of 80s music that I might otherwise have been too young to notice on my own. But he introduced me to a lot of the classics as well: the Beatles, by way of our parents, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith, to name a few. I associate Aerosmith especially with my brother and my childhood. He had their first “Greatest Hits” album (the red one with the best of their 70s songs), which served as my initiation to their music. And “Back in the Saddle” is one of my favorite songs not only from that compilation, but from the entire first decade of Aerosmith’s career. Hearing it instantly takes me back to childhood summers, long before I knew what the lyrics were about. For me, it’s a reminder of the days when bro and I would play Wiffle ball in the back yard, or when I emulated him as he organized his extensive baseball card collection. It also exemplifies my budding awareness of music, especially rock. It was a simpler time, before alternative, grunge, post-grunge, alt-metal, nu-metal and heavy metal dominated my music library. Thanks, bro, for laying such superb foundations for the development of my musical tastes.

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