I love to learn new stuff, even if it’s not intentional. “Reaction videos”, judging by the number of hits when you plug that in your chosen search engine, are a big deal. You can watch people react to all kinds of things, but my chosen ones are music.

In these videos, people watch videos of songs they have never heard before and give their reactions. Sometimes it’s a genre of music they’ve never listened to before, but a lot of times it’s younger people listening to old music. I’m old enough that I know a lot of songs, so for me it’s more like listening to an old-fashioned mix tape.

Once the reactors have done a few videos and gotten a bit of an audience, they get requests for songs they should try. I don’t know if there are only a limited of people who watch these and make requests or if it has something to do with the algorithms that lead people to these videos from social media sites, but there are a lot of reaction videos about The Righteous Brothers and Queen.

Maybe the draw is the amazing quality of those voices. If you’re old enough that these two bands are not new to you, can you remember how you felt the first time you heard those voices? I mean, to be able to hear them for the first time again? That is some joyful stuff.

I’m not going to choose and link to reactors for you because finding your own favorites is half the fun. But I will link two great reaction songs.

This is my favorite song by The Righteous Brothers. It was released in 1966, which was 54 years ago. Only 11 years after the end of World War II. I was just a baby then. Ok, a toddler.

This Queen song was released in 1976, but most reaction videos seem to use this live version from Montreal in 1981. I graduated from high school in 1981, so this song is right in the time of my life when every song meant something and still brings up memories. Oh yeah, and it’s kind of funny how most of the reactions to this live version mention all the beer on the piano.

Check out some history in the form of music and your own memories. Think of your favorite band or song and plug the name and the word reactions into your preferred search engine.

Then even if it’s not your first time, close your eyes and listen as if it is.