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Right now, I am listening to Hooked on Classics for the first time in over a decade, and it's almost embarrassing how much I'm enjoying it.

For those who have not encountered it: it's a series of medleys, taking the most stirring bits of various famous classical orchestral pieces and stringing them together over a pop beat. It's cheesy. I'm sure that as someone who generally appreciates classical music in its more dignified form, I'm supposed to think it's cheesy.

But I completely adore it.

My parents had it on vinyl when I was growing up, and it was one of my favorite records to listen to. It was energetic and interesting and more complex than most rock music, and I loved it. The cover features a shiny silver G clef on a staff of multi-colored neon, and as a child, I always thought the neon lines looked like toothpaste; I have vivid memories of rolling around on the carpet frantically rubbing my teeth with my finger as I listened to some of the more boisterous medleys. And it did stand me in good stead later--it gave me familiarity with the themes of lots of major classical pieces, and when I met the full pieces later, I immediately recognized them as something I liked, and wanted to hear more of.

I mostly stopped listening to it after we got a CD player, and the record collection fell into disuse. And somewhere along the line, when I was still young enough to absorb such comments uncritically, someone made comments that implied that it was Stupid and thoroughly Uncool, and so I put it out of my mind. But a few weeks ago, I looked online and found a copy of it on CD, and it just arrived today. And now I am listening to it, and discovering that it's still enormously entertaining, and that I still remember it as though I'd listened to it last week. I was cheerfully bouncing around my living room conducting, and it startled me when the CD failed to skip where the record always used to.

Apparently, there are more albums where this one came from, and I may have to go look them up...


Jan. 26th, 2008 06:45 am (UTC)
I HAD THIS! My grandmother gave me a cassette Hooked on Classics when I was nine. She said I would love it, I looked at it sideways and didn't think so. I played that cassette till it magnetized. It was my little secret because I felt that it was stupid and uncool and never shared this thing that gave me such joy with any of my friends.

To this day I'll be driving around listening to Trans-Siberian Orchestra or Mannheim Steamroller and Hooked on Classics with pass though my mind for the briefest of moments.
Jan. 27th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
That's delightful. I still find it in my mind occasionally too--I'll be listening to something and in my head, almost unconsciously, I'm hearing a drumbeat behind it. Until recently, I had almost forgotten why.

I vaguely recall playing it for my best friend sometime in middle school; she had a track record of accepting my secret weirdnesses, so it seemed worth a shot. She smiled and listened and seemed to enjoy my enthusiasm, but it didn't do much for her otherwise, so far as I could tell. I didn't play it for anyone else.

It's nice to have it back in my collection.

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