I nipped out to the shops today to pick up the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album. Rubbish cover. Rubbish title. Great band. I've been listening to them now since they released "Mother's Milk" in 1989, and they just seem to have been getting better and better. I have a particular soft spot for "Blood Sugar Sex Magik", but "Californication" and "By The Way" are outstanding albums. The socks-on-cocks funk rock workouts have now almost completely gone, replaced with beautiful melodies and harmonies... and much though Flea may miss them, they're a much better band without them.
Anyway. That's not really what I wanted to talk about.
"By The Way" was released in 2002, and I played the CD to death. Literally. It is now so scratched and scuffed that it will not play in any CD player.... but because it died in the iPod era, I haven't missed it all. Why would I? I have it safely ripped and can listen to it anytime. I haven't even bothered to blow another copy onto a blank CD....but I have still got the original useless CD. It's in the box and on the shelf with the rest of my CDs. I don't really know why I've kept it.
Come to think of it, I don't really know why I still buy CDs at all. I've made a special trip to the shop today to buy an album on its day of release, and all I've done with the damn thing is take it home, pop it into my laptop, rip it and then put it away. It would have been far easier (and quicker) to have just downloaded the whole thing from iTunes. I download individual songs all the time (most recently "Back Again" by Boy Kill Boy), but to date I've only downloaded one complete album: "Minimum - Maximum" by Kraftwerk. To be honest, I only downloaded that because I heard that the CD was copy-protected, and as soon as the download completed, for some reason I felt the need to immediately copy the album onto CD.....
It's not as though I even particularly treasure having the CDs as a physical possession, and I don't spend hours poring over the booklets either. Part of me is a bit nervous about having my whole music collection on a computer, but that won't really wash as an excuse either, as I've got a back-up harddrive sat on my desk (chiefly because it would take hours and hours and hours to rip all of my CDs again).
Scott Walker's new album (11 years in the making!) also came out today.... but perhaps not surprisingly, the shop didn't have it.
Maybe I should download it.
As soon as I have a reliable way of listening to an iPod in the car, I'm not sure I'll ever buy a CD again.