Isley Brothers: If You Were There
On one of my trips to Charleston, South Carolina I stopped off at a store to buy an album I wasn't really familiar with: the Isley Brothers 3 + 3. It became a soundtrack for that sunny weekend spent on the beach, in fine restaurants, among good friends and relatives. Every time I got in my car, I played the CD ...which kicks off with 5 and half minutes of their huge 1973 hit "That Lady, Pt 1 & 2". Big memories? Not really. But every time I play 3 + 3 I feel like I'm back in one of my favorite places in the world.
I've tried the "soundtrack" trick a few times. Listening to Electric Ladyland in India. ( Its fiery wah wah guitar solos take me back to winding mountain roads and hand painted Coke signs) Grant Lee Buffalo's Fuzzy always reminds me how cold and windy San Francisco can be. Zappa's Grand Wazoo brings back dreams of China. Compared to photographs, music provides a subtle shortcut to memories and emotions. Try the soundtrack trick some time.