Replay has been a huge success, with almost 1,500 tracks spanning over 50 years added to date. What’s more, in October, we launched a brand new way to view and share those nostalgic moments: our ‘Map of the Tracks’.
What makes a memory, well, memorable is as much about the place as the time and the sounds. ‘Map of the Tracks’ lets you explore Southampton and the past, with dozens of pins locating the songs of memories of your fellow alumni. Check out the interactive map now, and relive your student days. Here’s just a small taster of the submissions you can find:
I remember this track playing constantly during my last summer term at Southampton. I had stayed on for an extra year to take a PGCE, so there were no exams, and the sun seemed to shine every day. I remember long lunches on the grass outside the Union, and nights spent in local pubs or at student parties. And great friends, lots of talk, laughter, and flirting! But underneath, I think we all knew that a very special phase of our lives was ending. This track perfectly captures the mood of my bittersweet memories of that term.
Yazoo – Only You
Jennifer, 1982, Students’ Union
I was one of those checking tickets in the tunnel between the Union and Refectory the night that Led Zeppelin played. For some reason, people I barely knew were telling me how great I was, or similar and entirely coincidentally of course, they had no tickets. Ended up sitting behind the band (and the speakers), which was a great spot. The campus was crowded with people from all over the country, who were able to listen quite comfortably outside! I was with my girlfriend, who became my wife the day after she graduated, and here we are 47 years of marriage later with children (one a Southampton alumnus). There was a whole lotta love that night!
Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
John, 1971, Refectory
I vividly remember listening to a preview of this song whilst in the shower on the morning of my black belt grading, which is relevant to the lyrics too. However, I remember thinking how critical it was to my studies at the time, and thinking how much I would regret it if I didn’t graduate. It really helped spur me on at a really difficult time, and will always remind me of that singular moment.
Reverend and The Makers – Heavyweight Champion of the World
Nicholas, 2006, shared accommodation
The experts’ opinions
But what makes something like Replay so appealing to us as humans? The research of Tim Wildschut and Constantine Sedikides, both Professors of Social and Personality Psychology at the University, looks exactly into that. It all comes down to one important emotion: nostalgia. Thanks to the pair’s work, our perception and understanding of the feeling is developing rapidly.
“Nostalgia is a sentimental affection for experiences in the past; it enables someone to simulate the presence of others,” explains Tim. “Simulation can make you feel more connected or more loved, even in times when you’re lonely or don’t have your friends in that immediate area. People really enjoy this experience, and even though it may be negative in some ways, it doesn’t mean you have to shy away from it.”
The positivity that nostalgia can bring about certainly goes some way to explaining the appeal of Replay, and indeed any opportunity to reminisce about the past. Our experts’ research in this area has resonated widely, even being the focal point of articles in The Guardian, The New York Times, and more recently Esquire. Employees at Spotify have also corroborated the magic interaction between music and our formative years. Clay Gibson, a product manager at the company, explains:
“We’ve found that, regardless of their current age, people tend to over-index for listening to songs that came out when they were roughly 10 to 22. It was important to us not only that you remember the song, but also that you care about the song – that you have a meaningful connection with the music.”
Feeling a bit nostalgic for your time at the University? Why not check out our brand new decade-by-decade playlists on Spotify – each with the top ten tracks submitted by your fellow alumni.