3 March 2018

The Winter Purge - Albums which have gone the distance



Ah, winter - the time I prune my CD collection!

It might seem old-school, quaint even that I have a CD collection in this hipster & digital era, but I have always had a backup.  There have been far too many times that I have lost a collection when a laptop has died on me, in the days before "clouds" and portal hard-drives.  So, I keep what I call my core collection.  This is the CD's from which I would start a collection from scratch if required, the very essence of what I consider to be the albums I couldn't live without.

Now, due to space constraints and not being able to use CD's as furniture, I regularly go through the collection and remove albums that I have either duplicated, grown out of, regretted purchasing or want to give to other's so they can find the joy of the music within.  I've only ever one used Music Magpie (not too sure if they have this in America, but basically, they take stuff off you for next to nothing - so you can feel like you got rid of some stuff for money), but mostly I hand out to friends or take to charity shops.  I tend to think of certain albums as ones you own for a bit, enjoy them and then they are set free.  During my recent review of my core collection of albums, I decided to write an article about some of the albums which are going to new homes.

I will be looking at ten of my former CDs, feel free to judge me at your leisure.

Radiohead - OK Computer

Does this count as a controversial choice?   To be honest, it really shouldn't be.  The main reason for OK Computer being here is OK COMPUTER OKNOTOK 1997-2017, the re-release of this album with lost cuts, demos and a remastered version of the main event means that the original is redundant.  To be honest, it's not even my favourite Radiohead album, I've always preferred The Bends.  But I cannot deny the impact that occurred upon its release, the ramifications are still being felt to this day.

The Golden Republic - The Golden Republic

I never got around to following up my interest in this band, or their next incarnation, The Republic Tigers.  I first heard The Golden Republic on Pandora, back when all you had to do was to give a US zip code (for the record, I used 90210 as it's the only zip code I knew at the time).  I found an American band who had a bit of a Beatles vibe, mixed with the Jayhawks, a bit of Cracker and a lot of quality American Indie.  It seems a shame to be parting with this CD, but I only really listen to one song, the delightful "Full of Yourself". I'm still going to check out The Republic Tigers at some point if only so I can follow-up this article.

Suede - Suede

At one point in the UK, you couldn't move for a photo of Suede, looking all moody and brooding.  Suede (AKA as The London Suede in the US) (in my mind) are one of the finest band to come out of UK 90's indie scene, their mixture of shamelessly ripping off David Bowie and T-Rex was so appealing,  with such art-house song such as "Animal Nitrate" (about under-age homosexual sex), "Metal Mickey" (inspired by the remake of the "Shoop-Shoop Song" by Cher and "The Downers" which is cited as one of the first songs to kick-start the Brit-Pop movement.  This is another case of upgrading, but I am still to purchase the deluxe version of Suede.  Therefore, its destined for a new home, and I have kept other albums by the cheeky lads.

Poison Idea - Feel the Darkness

I have no doubt I will purchase this bad lad again, I've already purchased it about eight times since it's 1990 release.  I like to share this one, it's a quintessential American Punk release that people need to hear.  Even twenty-seven years after it first erupted, it still sounds relevant today.  I know which of my friends is going to be acquainted with this one, may the Deity have mercy on his soul!

De La Soul - And the Anonymous Nobody

De La Soul is one of the best rap acts ever, anyone who says otherwise is wrong.  As much as I enjoyed And the Anonymous Nobody when I first heard it, I've not listened to this reviewing it last year on a late round-up blog.  Even then, it was a short paragraph on my other blog for a round-up piece.  Sure, it has some sick cuts, rhymes that will grab anyone's attention, but it's been gathering dust in my collection.  If I have not listened to it for that long, and I've not really had the itch to do it digitally either, then it should go to another home.  It's not that I've lost interest in the album, but I'm more likely to listen to something else than put it on again. So now I want to pass it forward, I just want someone else to find it in a charity shop, get that joy (and shock) of it being there and enjoying the ride.

Morrissey - Vauxhall & I

This is an album I'm letting go with a heavy heart.  For many years, Vauxhall & I was a mainstay in my collection, to be honest, I would have put it in my top ten albums ever at one point.  Songs like "Speedway" and "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful" were numbers I used to welcome as old friends, have on in the background which doing stuff in the house, and rising a dry smile to my face.  But you may have noticed the words "used to".  Well, Morrissey has always had a big mouth (pun intended), he has always spoken his mind, but recently he has really upped his shit level game.  The man is not recognisable from the indie maverick of his early days, he might deny it, but he has left those ideals and roots way behind.  Now, every time I listen to his music, all I hear is his right-wing, Brexiter words, and the songs now sound hollow.  So yeah, this is the last time I'll be writing about this stain on humanity - thanks, Stephen, you stupid fucking muppet!

Ben Folds & Nick Hornby - Lonely Avenue

On paper, this album should be a dream come true for me.  Ben Folds is one of the biggest musical influences in my life, I listen to at least one song by Mr Folds once a week, if I don't then it's a week wasted.  Nick Hornby has written some of my favourite novels, especially the book High Fidelity.  But a brilliant author is not necessarily going to be a great lyric writer, Lonely Avenue is proof positive of that.  The lyrics feel as if they were written before the event, as if Mr Folds is trying to cram them into his music, smashing the lyrical equivalent of a square peg in a round hole.  There are some nice moments such as the heart-breaking "Picture Window", but for the most part, it felt akin to when Elton John was given permission to write his own lyrics.  On the occasions when Bernie Taupin was out of the room having a sandwich, Elton (as great a musician as he is), could not write lyrics for shit.  I take no pleasure in saying that both men are better than this, but this album is a low point.

Early Man - Closing In

DEATH IS THE ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS!!!!!

YYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAA

AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The opening line of the third song from the 2005 release has always been a high point of modern metal for me, with its huge Black Sabbath influence there for all to see.  The rest of the album follows a similar pattern, it's Sabbath/Amplifier worship created by two guys in a small room. At the time, I was obsessed with "Death Is the Answer to My Prayers" and nothing else, which still sounds amazing all these years later.  I love this album, so why am I letting it go? I'm not setting this one free because I've grown bored of it, I just passing it on so someone can get that same adrenaline rush when they hear that song.  They're gonna be in for a treat.

Panic! At the Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out

Many years before they became the shit fest that produces the woeful Death of a Batchelor, Panic! At the Disco were actually a functioning band and not a solo career in disguise.  Songs such as "London Beckoned Songs About Money Written by Machines", "Time to Dance" and "I Write Sins Not Tragedies", with their pretentiously long titles have aged to various degrees of decent, to God Damn awful.  I don't regret ever owning this, but also don't want it to be part of my collection anymore.  To be honest, I thought/hoped I had lost it a while back, but here it is - my eternal bad penny!  If I find it in my collection again, I'm gonna sign myself up for a mental evaluation.

Deftones - Adrenaline

Out of all the albums on this list, this one will most certainly get me in trouble because I am also about to admit I have ditched my whole Deftones collection.  The main reasons are the need for space (have you seen how many Zappa albums are out there!), and the fact that I've not listened to this or any Deftones album in such a long time.  I've always blown hot and cold with them at the best of times and whilst albums such as Adrenaline, White Pony and Koi No Yokan are great records, they will be welcome with open arms into someone else's collection.  But they were just gathering dust here, what is the point of having something that I will very rarely listen to?  I would rather hand them to someone who will appreciate them, someone who'll love them, rather than keeping them under a pile of growing dust whilst I listen to Marquee Moon by Television or Thin Black Duke by Oxbow.

Part of the joy of owning a record collection is knowing when it's time for certain albums to move to pastures new, knowing that your own tastes have changed and that it's time for someone else to have that record.  When you find out that you own two versions of the Ryan Adams album 1989 (don't judge me guys) or any other album if I’m honest, then it’s time to clean your collection up.  These albums and much more have ended up in charity shops around the North East of England, hopefully getting so funds to some great causes and giving some record collectors a little joy, the surprise that these albums have made into these shops and the satisfaction that these are now in their possession.

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