Tuesday, November 14, 2006


****!!!!warning - extremely self-indulgent post ahead!!!!****

In an attempt to stop my computer from falling over quite so often, I moved all of my ripped music to an external hard drive. Doing this also gave me the opportunity to go through my entire CD collection and rip the lot of them, rather than just the current favourites. I now have 6628 songs, 19.1 days and 25.76 Gigabytes of music to randomly jump through,* and the internal hard drive on my laptop is breathing a great sigh of relief.

It's taken a while to work through all 569 albums - I've only allowed myself to do a few each day as it tends to distract me from writing. But as it has built up, I've noticed a few interesting things about my collection.

Firstly, it would seem I made the bulk of my musical purchases in the mid to late eighties. This might explain why I was always skint as a student, though it's hard to compare those discs with the vast uncounted hordes of beer bottles that represent my youthful alcoholic indulgence. As we used to say in Aberdeen, 'If you can remember fresher's week, you weren't there.' I think someone might have come up with that before us, though.

But the music. Oh, the music. There are some things I'm so ashamed of I can only mention them in footnotes. But on the whole my eclectic and catholic tastes have stood up well. Wading through the collection has reacquainted me with early Chris Rea - hence one of this week's recommended listens. But who among you remembers Love and Rockets? Or the Throwing Muses? Colourbox, anybody? Somehow I was able to balance a liking for the Jazz Butcher and the Woodentops with an equally fond regard for Kate Bush and Simple Minds. Most Bauhuas fans would probably find Stephen 'Tintin' Duffy and Scritti Polliti a bit saccharine sweet, but not me. I had a mood for all of them.

Whether they'll all stand the test of time remains to be seen. One of the beauties of MP3s is that you can easily delete any song you don't like, so it doesn't come back again. I suspect a lot of Simply Red and the later Genesis albums (which were really just Phil Collins albums, after all) will go that way in time. We'll see.

There are some artists I've followed like the sad and pathetic fanboy that I am, down the years. Ripping all the CDs to iTunes is a much more graphic way of demonstrating how slavish one can be in devotion to a particular artist. I have ten albums by the Associates, featuring 97 songs, and Billy McKenzie died almost ten years ago. I've only known about the Arrogant Worms for about six years, and I've got ten of their albums - 145 songs. The Jazz Butcher stopped producing much new stuff at the turn of the century, but I've got all twelve of his albums and can hum almost all of his 154 songs. Julian Cope is another creative genius I've followed since his Teardrop Explodes days, back when I was in short trousers. His tally comes to a creditable fifteen albums and 200 songs.

But for sheer dogged fanaticism, the prize has to go to Robyn Hitchcock. From the Soft Boys in the late seventies and early eighties, right up to this year's release Ole Tarantula, I've followed him with all the slavish devotion of a chocolate Labrador puppy, which probably explains why I've got 28 of his albums, featuring some 379 songs.

Just don't ask me which is my favourite.

*it would be more, but I couldn't bring myself to rip Chris De Burgh** - a youthful folly for which I believe I am still making penance.
** and it was Patricia the Stripper, not that god-awful Lady in Red pap.


Blogger angie said...

I was/am a huge fan of the 4AD bands (Throwing Muses, Colourbox, et al), and any hardcore Bauhaus fan would be up on Love and Rockets & Peter Murphy's solo work. I confess to being ridiculously excited when I got to see Peter Murphy live. Julian Cope is a god...ah, art school dayz.

Can't get with you on the Genesis thing, though. Love Peter Gabriel, but Phil Collins is the Egg McMuffin of rock. Yuck.

Dammit. Now I'm gonna have to go through my cd's again.

November 15, 2006 4:43 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

I can't agree with you more about Phil Collins, Angie. Post Peter Gabriel, there were a couple of quite good albums - Abacab is excellent - but mostly it degenerates into MOR pap.

Oddly enough, I used to like Egg McMuffins - about the only thing in McDonald's I'd ever eat.

I saw Copey play Aberdeen once, and some idiot kept on heckling him to play old Teardrops tunes. Eventually he got so pissed off, he borrowed a tenner off one of the band, gave it to the heckler as compensation for his ticket, and kicked him out of the gig. What a showman.

November 15, 2006 4:53 pm  

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