This may sound weird, but these are two albums—maybe the only two, I'm not sure—that have strong sense memories associated with them: specifically, smell. For me, I mean. Any time I hear songs off one of these albums (actually maybe particularly the first few tracks from each), I can smell it, smell the albums. I'm being completely serious, here.
I guess what I'm smelling—or remembering smelling, or memory-smelling—is the liner notes, those little booklets that
used to come Jesus, do come with CDs (the format is not yet dead!—poor fuckin' CDs). I mean, Blood Sugar Sex Magik in particular definitely did smell like something. Something about the paper, or the ink they used—something. Has anyone else had this experience? One funny thing about the phenomenon is that I find I can't generate the smell myself (in my head, I mean) at will—from memory, as it were. It just comes to me when I listen to the music. But funnier yet:
What was the smell of Blood Sugar Sex Magik? Well—
You know when you go somewhere new and then later it becomes very familiar and you look back and it's as if you've got two different mental maps of the place that look quite different, one current and one old? (I think it's usually because the maps are rotated differently, like east–west.) This happened to me with the college I ended up going to: at some point I thought back and found I had a very different picture of the campus from when I was a pre-frosh.* I could "see" the same buildings and geography, but it was all sort of in the wrong place. I think I originally saw the big library as "left" instead of "up"...?
Anyway (and this is surely because the strong sexual content of that Chili Peppers record made a huge impression on me when I was in—what, eighth grade?), some part of my brain still has that Blood Sugar Sex Magik smell filed away (incorrectly, I now know, but apparently all the same ineradicably†) as (I'm sorry) "vulva smell."
Good night, everyone!
* Is "pre-frosh" not a universal term? I used it recently and a (college-educated) friend of mine was baffled.
† Like the part of Zaphod Beeblebrox's brain that he cordoned off from himself under neurosurgical lock and key.