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Soothing The Savage Breast
The new MP3 format has the music companies in a tizzy.


"Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music."
- William Shakespeare,
"A Midsummer Night's Dream"


Be it the powerful voice of Aretha Franklin, or the bubblegum pop of the Pet Shop Boys, music is, and always will be, an integral part of the human experience. Music can tame a lion, soothe a fevered brow, turn a party around, and [as happens frequently in our neighbourhood] incite reckless violence and damage to property when the neighbours decide they're in the mood for that shrill cacophony of sound known as the Spice Girls ;-)

And so, whatever our disagreements with the Bard, we have to admit that, for once, he hit the nail right on the head with the verse above. Now if only he quit being such an incurable romantic... :-)

If you're a student of history [or just really, really old], you'll remember the Swinging Sixties, complete with vinyl records and bell-bottoms. And if you survived the Eighties, you'll definitely be familiar with the Walkman, Sony's most important contribution to the evolution of the human race. And then there were CDs, silver platters that freed us from the hisses and pops of traditional analogue cassettes with their laser-sharp renditions of all the instruments in an orchestra.

But we're just a few months away from the new millennium - and it's time for a new hero.

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