By Janelle Gleason
It started with a simple hunt to find "Purple Haze."
I encountered many classic oldies along the way, but once I discovered the brilliance of "Abbey Road," it was decided -- my dad's music collection was cooler than mine.
In an era filled with the likes of Fergie and Justin Timberlake, the music from my parents' teenage days is a refreshing break from the synthesizers and hormone-charged lyrics of today's pop. Not only did I score some new music (for free!), but I also formed a stronger bond with my dad through listening to the same music, talking about our favorites, and sharing the same musical tastes.
So no matter what you're into, try digging through your parents' music. You'll get more out of it than just a few catchy tunes.
The Beatles: Arguably the most influential band of all time, the Beatles have affected millions of people around the world. Their music serves as the basis for many of today's leading acts, and their classic songs have lasted more than 40 years, aging very gracefully. For a new twist on the vintage masterpieces, make sure you check out "Love," soundtrack to the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name, featuring remixes of the old favorites done by the Beatles' original producer, George Martin.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience: An absolute essential for every guitar player or rock music fan. Hendrix created his own unique sound, which has yet to be duplicated by any other artist. His distinctive style was not only heard in his music, but also seen in his trademark psychedelic fashions. John Mayer and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers both cite Hendrix as a prominent influence in their musical careers.
Led Zeppelin: The world's first heavy-metal band, Led Zeppelin paved the way for many of the metal bands that are so popular today. Zeppelin added an interesting aspect to some of their songs by alluding to "The Lord of the Rings" in "Ramble On," "Misty Mountain Hop," and "The Battle of Evermore." While few, if any, have ever successfully recreated the imaginative guitar riffs of Zeppelin, their music lives on.
The Police: Take echoing guitar, a solid drum beat, and a melodic bass line sprinkled with Sting's vocals and lyrics on top, and you have the Police. Reaching the height of their popularity in the '80s, the Police often are overlooked as one of the great rock bands. Their lyrics are refreshingly intellectual, due to the fact that lead singer and bassist Sting was a schoolteacher prior to the rock star gig, and may require a second listen to understand the full meaning.
Janelle Gleason attends St. Francis High School in Sacramento, Calif.