Monday, 30 May 2016

Love Over Gold

To state the obvious, I am the person who I am today as a direct result of experiences I had during younger years. The less obvious insight is that I should be thankful for the circumstances I grew up in, as they obviously favoured me; I do wonder how many people receive as many opportunities as I have had.
Since I posted a lot recently on the way music had touched me, I will demonstrate the point through music yet again.

I clearly remember the way Love Over Gold, Dire Straits' fourth album (the one playing as I'm typing) entered my life.
My siblings were arguing who would be the one that buys the new album when it comes out. At stake was the question of in whose room will the album get stored when not in use. My sister won, by default, on account of my brother being away the day the album came out. I still remember that evening, when she arrived at my uncle's house (I was already there) carrying the new treasure and asked, ever so politely, if she could put it on.
We were all mesmerised by Telegraph Road. It is clearly a case of "they don't do them like that anymore", a mainstream song that's almost 15 minutes long, but there you go.
And it's not like the next track, Private Investigations, was a slouch either.


Going back to the subject of childhood benefits, I would like to discuss Industrial Disease (side B's first track, given those were the prime days of vinyl).
I actually heard the song a while before it was released on the album. Voice of Peace, the visionary pirate radio station playing off the shores of Tel Aviv, played it one evening when I was recording them on a cassette. In those days of contents deprivation (a stark contrast to today's contents saturation), that meant I had a treasure on my hands - a new Dire Straits song I could listen to again and again!
Nowadays we have fewer incentives to listen to one song repeatedly, given the ease with which we can always get the even newer song. There is, however, a positive to listening to a song again and again: for this native Hebrew speaker, the sophisticated language of Industrial Disease provided me with one of my best ever English lessons. Not to mention a very large window into the so very foreign British culture.
My point is simple. Through repeated listening to my favourite music, and later repeated viewings of my favourite films on VHS and later Laserdisc, my English skills have established a better foundation than school lessons could ever provide. Later on, these skills had me cruising through the English side of my university studies (I can't say I cruised through most of the other sides). Of course, nowadays I live in an English speaking country, reading and writing in English by default.
I think Love Over Gold sums this aspect of my life quite neatly.

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