Who’s the Daddy? column

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So it turns out U2 could barely give their crappy new album away as millions of teenagers woke to find, and I quote, “Old man music” on their iTunes playlist.

How times change. I remember when their overblown, pompous The Joshua Tree record came out in 1987 and one in four albums sold that week was that one.

But that’s not the only thing that’s changed about music. A teacher in daughter #1’s school last week asked a class of 14-year-olds how many had heard a vinyl record being played.

The answer? One. Our eldest daughter, who in the recent past has been threatened with forced listening of The Orb’s quadruple live album from 1993 if she exceeded her moaning quota for the week – that’s eight sides of more or less nothing.

We pay £10 a month now to Spotify, which means we rent just about every tune ever recorded. Our kids now see this service as a basic human right along with food, shelter, warmth, a fast broadband service and Netflix.

Of course, on Spotify you can put together a world-class playlist of hundreds of songs in a matter of minutes and send it to whoever you want to show off how effortlessly cool you are – I think the term these days is humblebrag.

Back in the day one of the many joys of a new girlfriend was the painstaking process of making up a mixtape of all your favourite tunes, and some you’d barely heard of but you put them on anyway because you wanted to show off.

This was almost as much fun as all the teenage fumbling as you got to foist your musical taste on someone else, even if your material was getting a bit thin halfway through side two of a TDK D90 cassette.

Our kids laughed so hard they could barely breathe when the boss told them I made a tape for her just after we got together in the summer of 1995 – full of Britpop cut with dialogue from Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Clerks soundtracks which were achingly trendy at the time.

But kids today (there, I said it) will never know the deep joy of rewinding a loose tape with a pencil through one of its spools, shoving it into the cassette deck and pressing play.