Wednesday 5 September 2007


I have way more CDs than I know what to do with. Shelves and shelves and shelves of them. I also have them lying in piles near all of the stereos in the house, in the glove box of my car, in the boot of my car, piled on my desk at home waiting to be filed.... all over the place really. Quite a few of them have now been ripped onto my computer and loaded onto my iPod, and thought that's where I listen to a lot of my music, I still buy and listen to CDs.

It's not even that I'm that big on the physical product itself. I don't really pay much attention to the cover art (the only album cover on any of my walls at home is a big poster of Abbey Road), and hardly ever read any of the inserts either. To be honest, the only reason I don't download all of my music is that I don't really trust my computer enough not to have a backup copy (and yes, I do backup my laptop) and even though have an iPod connector in my car, I am still quite likely to take a CD with me to listen to.

Still, I've never said there was anything rational about it...

I must have spent thousands of pounds over the years. It's probably best not to think too much about it really.

It's not that I resent having these CDs - far from it. What gets me is there must be loads that I've hardly listened to. Perhaps some that I've never played more than once.

Why don't we find out?

I'm going to run through my CD collection one letter of the alphabet at a time, and I'm going to list all the CDs I find on my shelf. This isn't going to be an exhaustive list of all the CDs that I own because I'm only going to list the ones on the shelves. I reckon that if they're not on the shelf, then they're probably near a stereo or in the car, and I've probably listened to it in the recent past. I'm interested in the ones I haven't touched since I last moved house. What's their story? Should I listen to them or just get rid of them? What horrors lurk in there from my teenage years?

I'm going to beginning at the beginning.....

ALPHABETICON - Part i: A<<<<<

...which excludes both Arcade Fire albums, the last Arctic Monkeys album and the new Athlete album as they're all in the car.....

1. The Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

Well, hands up who hasn't got this one.

2. Alice in Chains – Dirt

I dug this one out again the other day in a fit of nostalgia for "Them Bones", and I ripped it and put it on my iPod. It's a brilliant album. Still sounds as good today as it did when I was 17 when I bought it.

3. Aerosmith – Permanent Vacation
4. Aerosmith – Greatest Hits (the old one)
5. Aerosmith – Pump
6. Aerosmith – Get a Grip

Another relic from my teenage metal years. I adored "Permanent Vacation", waited impatiently for "Pump" and then discovered that Aerosmith went back for years and had some pretty good stuff in their back catalogue too (I think I have "Toys in the Attic" on tape. By "Get a Grip", my love affair with them was over, and it was all songs about blowing up asteroids, fathering an elf maiden and nonsense like that from this point onwards. Having said that, I still wouldn't mind seeing them play live....

7. The Auteurs – New Wave
8. The Auteurs – Now I’m a Cowboy
9. The Auteurs – After Murder Park

Brilliant band, and "New Wave" is probably one of my all-time favourite albums. As track 1, side 1s go, "showgirl" takes some beating in my books. I'm not so keen on the other albums, but that's partly because I can't get past how good the debut album was. They were bloody robbed by Suede in the Mercury Music prize that year. Robbed!

10. Athlete – Tourist
11. Athlete – Vehicles and Animals

This is quite anal this, isn't it? Odds on me never getting to Z? Quite high. Anyway. I loved Athlete after I saw them live at Old Trafford cricket ground when they were a long way down a big bill supporting REM. I love the quirky, plinky-plonky sound. The second album got them the audience and an Ivor Novello award (for "Wires"), but I've always preferred the debut. Sadly, on a couple of plays, the new album sounds very disappointing. Rudderless and dull. Oh well. I'll see how it sounds live in a few weeks.

12. The Avalanches – Since I Left You

I couldn't name a single song they've done past "Frontier Psychiatrist", which like any sane person, I adore.

13. Louis Armstrong – the Ultimate Collection

I've a Louis and Ella somewhere too. Genius, obviously.

14. Ryan Adams – Gold

Highly rated and much written about in the music press, so I went and bought it. My view? meh.

15. Anthrax – Attack of the Killer bs

It's an album of B-sides. Do you see what they did there. If memory serves me correctly, one great song and a whole lot of rubbish. I haven't listened to this since about 1988.

16. Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes
17. Tori Amos – Under the Pink
18. Tori Amos – Strange Little Girls

I think I bought the first album quite close to it's release, and I followed her for a little while and then lost interest. Not something I listen to a lot, but I do still like this stuff, especially "Little Earthquakes". I'm not sure where I heard about "Strange Little Girls", but I think I picked up this album of covers for £5 in Fopp... it's got some really odd choices on it: "Reign In Blood" by Slayer, "Happiness is a Warm Gun" by the Beatles, "Bonnie and Clyde'97" by Eminem... but it's bloody great.

19. AC/DC – Back in Black

Surprisingly dating back to about 2001, and not from my heavy metal years... but a classic, obviously.

20. Audioslave

I was mad keen to get this just before I left for a weekend in France, but I couldn't bloody find it anywhere. Listening to this now, apart from "Cochise", which I love, I can't really be bothered and just reckon they'd sound a lot better if they really were Rage Against the Machine.

21. Air – Moon Safari

"Sexy Boy" and some other songs. I'm sure this is very good though, and I really ought to get past the first track from time to time.

22. Antony and the Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now

Another one I don't listen to much, but it's a superb record. Actually, does anyone listen to this all the time? Some albums I can't take off my stereo (Maximo Park's last record being a great example), but others are kind of nice to have once in a while. A bit like Calvados.

23. Ash – 1977
24. Ash – Meltdown
25. Ash – Free all Angels
26. Ash – Intergalactic Sonic 7s

I bought 1977 on the day of release in HMV in York and got a free Ash frisbee. I bought the singles collection for the car and because I was too lazy to make my own. Good singles band, although I've not sat through a whole album for some time now (probably since "Meltdown" came out). Not bothered with the new one, interestingly.

God. This is going to take ages. There's bloody loads of "Bs" for starters.... including a bit of Bon Jovi.



I still want volunteers for the shuffleathon.

In so far: Tina, Sarah, Cody Bones, Mark, Michael, Hen, Cat, bedshaped


  1. 26 As??? Bloody Hell - and I thought I had a lot of CDs!

    And come on folks, sign up for the Shuffleathon, you know it makes sense...

  2. not 26 As. 26 As on that shelf in that room. I can't be arsed cataloguing the whole lot... partly because it would mean tidying up. I'm interested mostly in the stuff I haven't listened to in ages to see if there's anything good in there....

    I've had a quick look at B, and I could be doing this for some time.

    Oh well. I've nothing better to do.

  3. I don't know how I missed the announcement of the new shuffleathon. Of course I'm in.

    It will give me a reason to work out how my CD burner works. I've only had the PC for a year...

  4. I must have missed the shuffleathon post. I'm in, as long as I can find out where a post office is.

  5. The Anthrax album is excellent - I haven't got the Artic Monkeys, who the hell are they?

  6. oh, i'd better give it another listen then.....

  7. Is that the Backstreet Boys cd I spot there.
    You sly devil you.

  8. I'm in a similar boat with you, only I made it a point to rip as many of my discs as I couldn't onto the comp... although early on I was dumb and did partial discs because of hard drive space. But yes, there are so many songs that just get lost in the shuffle... this is gonna take too long, I'm gonna have to do a post on my musical geekiness.

    Although, on your A's...
    1. Dirt was by far Alice In Chains best disc, but pretty much every single disc was excellent.

    2. Audioslave - I hated the first disc when It came out, besides Cochise and Like a Stone. The later albums are much better... you just have to like Cornell as a vocalist. He tends to get only extreme ratings from people, either one of the greatest or the most overrated.

  9. Umm... *hands up* I don't have any of those. In fact, I think I only have 3 albums to my name (Elsha has stackloads somewhere).

    On the other hand, I have an extensive collection of computer games...

  10. The Great Grape Ape6 September 2007 at 09:54

    Anthony & the Johnsons. Me !! I listened to it virtually non stop for a few weeks. Although interestingly it was not immediately after it was released (when I listened only about 10 to 15 times) but after seeing them live and realising JUST how good it was.
    Being a blog free lurker (albiet long standing) I am not sure I qualify for the shuffleathon but if you let me play I promise I will create a blog specifically to review the cd. It might even persuade me to do an intermittent "You must hear this" music blog.
    My take on cds is if I am never going to listen to it again, it must go. Which still leaves me with more cds than I morally feel comfortable with.
    Has there been a discussion on this 'ere blog about 'alphabetical' vs. 'genre' ? I must confess I am a subsciber to 'genre' myself but perhaps that is a discussion for another time.

  11. The Great Grape Ape6 September 2007 at 10:01

    And you do realise you are inviting a raft of "Whatno" comments ? As in What no Abba ?

  12. GGA - welcome, and yes of course you are welcome to take part in the shuffleathon.

    Re. the "whatno" debate, well I guess it starts here, although I do have the catch-all that this isn't claiming to be a definitive list of what's in my collection. Having said that, Abba? Are you having a giraffe? It's not something I consider to be a great loss to my collection (and no, I don't have "Waterloo" in the car)


  13. and genre - yes, I sometimes wonder if I should do a big reorganisation, but I've largely been an alphabetical man as it's just easier.... I don't even really use the genre thing on my iPod.

    Autobiographical.... now that's a way to file CDs.

  14. I listen to I am a Bird Now a lot - it's a brilliant record to have on while you're lying in the bath after a crap day at work, but I definitely think you need to be in the mood for it.

  15. The Great Grape Ape6 September 2007 at 12:53

    Having a giraffe ? A bit although I am not ashamed to admit that I am an Abba lover. Having said that, I don't think that Ash and Abba are that far away from each other. Sometimes Ash feel like Abba times Sonic Youth. I have recently been re-listening to the first three Abba albums (yes,seriously) which tend to get short shrift even from Abba lovers (probably due to the high cheese factor which I cannot dispute)and they are clearly heavily indebted to the mighty Quo. Which I had never ever noticed before. Or maybe Status Quo stole their best riffs from Abba. Who knows ?

  16. Swiss -

    Gold is by far the worst Ryan Adams disc. Seriously. And for a guy who is as prolific as RA is, that's saying something.

    Heartbreaker, Love is Hell are much better, and Rock N Roll would be more towards what (I guess) your style is.

    This guessing of styles is why we need to trade discs.

  17. I came the same conclusion a few years back. I resolved to not just look at them but listen to them all. It took me about 50,000 miles of pretty consistent listening to get to M. Then I got hooked on the Today programme and PM and stopped...

    You are SO wrong about Abba.

    Also, my hand is raised regarding arctic monkeys, and the title track of the avalanches album is also good. Air: try tracks 4,7,8.

    Have you got anything beginning with Z?

    I have 36 As, by the way.

    Stick me down for the shuffleathon while you're at it.

    Autobiographical? No Fucking Way!

  18. No ABBA?

    Against the law, surely?

  19. You've got Back In Black but not Powerage?

    Let us never speak of this again...

  20. Count me in for Shuffleathon '07.


  21. A shuffleathon could be fun (just have to work out how to write stuff to a cd).

    I'm in.

  22. I have approximately 120 albums in the A catergory. I look at the number of shelves the letter A takes up, and work ou there's 80 to a shelf...

    Count me in for that shuffleathon. I've got the music in me....