How To Turn Adults Into Children 101

The smell of that sweet leaf burning in the air, the crisp imagery of a Harmony Korrine film, the sound of Wu-Tang Forever – certain things have the capability of transporting you back in time. The experience is almost lucid and triggers a rush of amazing deja-vu that help you to relive key moments in your past. In NYC last summer, we were sitting in the Meatball Shop when we heard a familiar old rock song. Following that, we heard more and then one more. Ears perked up all over the restaurant. It became clear we had other Canadians in our midst.


The Big Shiny Tunes era was a special one. The concept of compilation albums was still relatively new and it gave access to a wide breadth of music from differing genres and artists that you might not generally be exposed to. As a Canuck, this compilation LP released from Much Music was a staple in every kids portable Walkman. Eventually it spanned 10+ editions in the series, but only the first few mattered. As point of interest, the first edition went 3x platinum in Canada and sparked what would become the best selling compilation series in Canadian history.

Ask any kid born in the 80’s about their Big Shiny Tunes moment – then wait. They will not only respond with an intricately detailed experience from their youth, but they’ll dive into three or four more that trigger you to conjure up some of your own. The power of music is never more evident than in nostalgia.

Most insane to me is how the sequencing impacts these memories. In a packed bar, engaged in dope conversation with close friends from all over the world, a single song is powerful enough to cut through the noise and evoke those emotions. “Sweet Dreams” by Marilyn Manson is going to get just about anyone excited. But following that with “Scoobie Snacks” is practically a guarantee that you’re about to get the best damn hour of music you’ve had in a long time.

The demise of the series came well after its initial impact and when sales were already floundering. Its too bad because MuchMusic and its first retail compilations had a massive impact on those generations. Lately, there hasn’t been as much of an impact from the station but they are still a Canadian institution with a rich legacy and a huge foothold in the culture of the youth. In 2015, I am looking forward to seeing the team at Much turn the corner and start putting out more content that can be reflected on 20 years later.

Twenty years? Time for a new legacy.

Remember – chew with your mouth shut and don’t forget to bring that #THORO to your borough.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 7:12 am and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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