The Music Blog: The Who, What Why of My Collection

I suppose there are people who collect music as a hobby, and they begin and end the process as a collector. They look for the best vinyl, they make it complicated. For me, until around 2006 I did not buy music with the idea of some sort of a collection. While they way I buy music since 2006 has changed slightly I buy few things with the goal of collection. I listen to everything I have and I take care of the music I have but preservation or keeping things pristine is not a goal. I am sure that it has some value and there are specific albums that I know have a little value.  I have spent a lot of money on my music but it is something I really love.

I am in my 50’s, recently had a birthday so if you feel the need to send me money so I can buy more music, or beer then that’s perfectly fine with me. I have loved music since I was a kid. I used to call in to the AM radio station that would take requests and try and think of something clever to say in the hopes they would play my request. The first album I bought or my parents bought was John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High and yes I still have the album. My parents had some high hopes for my musical tastes back then. The second album I bought was Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies. Thus ended those high hopes. I bought the music that I liked and that would be the pattern for most of my life.

I could not buy everything though. Even when I began work  and I would spend about  a third of my paycheck buying albums and then struggle to make ends meet I could not buy everything. I spent voraciously in the 80’s buying lots of heavy metal and buying lots of R&B records. I listened to very little popular rock and roll because I didn’t like it much. The arena rock of the 70’s had given way to something more commercial and cheap.

In the late 80’s I began listening to the music coming out of Seattle and the underground. Its the first time I really noticed there were wide gaps in my music collection. People talked about bands I didn’t even know. From the early 90’s I was a bit more serious about the music I bought. I did not buy mass quantities because someone recommended it or the cover looked interesting. I did not give things a chance. I bought what I knew I wanted.

Somewhere around 2006 I came across an article in Rolling Stone magazine about the 500 greatest albums of all time. I thought for sure that I would have over half of them but I remember the number; 127 only. I was really upset about this. So I printed off the list and began my first serious collection of music. It took me about three years to get all 500 and naturally I crowed about it. So a wise guy friend of mine asked have you seen that list of the top 100 albums of the 2000’s. Yea, no, what? I was off to the races again.

After that it was the top 100 blues albums, the top 100 jazz albums. I also began hitting the gaps I had in my music collection. What did I want, what did I need. I went back to artists I had previously neglected or stopped listening to. I loved Elton John and had several of his albums but I lost interest after the album Jump Up. Now I thought is a good time to get all of them. Bands that I loved that I didn’t have everything I went after. I would hear a song on the radio and think I don’t have enough of that artist. If this sounds a bit like an obsession a bit like a compulsion then I would not argue with you. There were a ton of one offs too. I always wanted Head East’s Flat as a Pancake and Nazareth’s Hair of the Dog. There are hundreds more. Recently I started buying vinyl again, old vinyl new vinyl. I am working on slowing down. Enough is enough right. How much is enough, how much is too much? Still working on James Taylor and the 50 greatest symphonies of all time and I want them on vinyl. I now have somewhere between 3500 and 4000 titles.

Some of the music I have I really love. Some of these albums have  tons of memories around and about them. Some of them I hate. I will never like the music of Frank Zappa or any associated acts which means no to Captain Beefheart. But I have them because somewhere they are on a list.

So as I sit here listening to the White Stripes with one more prequel blog to write I should let you know that I will be providing my opinion on the music I have. I have some well thought out ideas about much of the music I have and listen to and some of these opinions are contrary. I welcome comments as long as they are not personal attacks. I have no tolerance for that. But I love viewpoints. I love music.  I love stories. Itsthe writer in me. It matters to me, it means something to me.

So if you are sitting there wondering how I could possibly listen to nearly 4000 titles well you will have to wait for the next and final prequel blog. If you already know how I listen to all of this then the next entry will tell you why. I don’t expect you to understand. Always leave then wanting more.

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