Do you remember the song that was playing when you had your first dance, or your first kiss, or your first everything else? No, me either. It’s not as easy to recall the soundtrack of your youth when you’re past the age of 30, and the only time you listen to music is when you’re at the gym, ear buds uncomfortably wedged in your ear, or standing in line at your favourite coffee shop.
If you’re feeling a little wistful for the old days and for the days when listening to the radio with your friends felt like an event, then you might want to check out the website Nostalgia Machine (via FastCompany.com).
The simple, minimalistic site lets you plug in any calendar year between 1960 and 2013, and then spits out the top 100 single songs of that year for your amusement, enjoyment or wistful reflection.
I plugged in the year 1997, a pretty significant time for me as it was the year I left home and went to university. Some of the songs that Nostalgia Machine threw my way: “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks and “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow.
Not all of the music was good, but all of it was familiar and scanning the list was oddly exciting as if I was recreating a time in my own life starting with the audio.
Even better: Nostalgia Machine lets you listen to the music. The site spits out both audio links and video links where available.
Trust me when I say that you will get lost in Nostalgia Machine, especially if you go into 80s territory, which is a veritable memory minefield. But in a good way. Just make sure you don’t have to be anywhere important for a while before you check it out.