Tuesday 8 April 2008

zed's dead baby, zed's dead....

>>>>> ST's ALPHABETICON - miscellaneous <<<<<

Previously in the Alphabeticon: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, singles, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Blimey. If you thought that the rest of the Alphabeticon was a bit of a slog, you wait until you get through this lot. I some of this stuff is really great, some of this stuff is really awful. Some of this stuff is only here because, in the old days, if you wanted to get hold of a track, you weren't able to just download it from iTunes or from some file sharer somewhere. Oh no. Sometimes you actually had to buy an album that the song was on.... from a shop! You'd have to leave the house and everything. And most shops were shut on Sundays. And Bank Holidays. When "The Holy Bible" came out, the Monday after the Reading Festival in 1994, I couldn't buy it because all of the shops in Milton Keynes were shut for the August Bank Holiday. Imagine that.

But I digress. Here, in (almost) all of their glory, are those CDs sitting between the Zs and the CD singles on the shelves of one particular room in my house.


542. Help
543. Help – A Day in the Life

Well, obviously these are alright, aren't they? These are the two charity albums, each one recorded in a single day and with all of the profits donated to the Warchild charity. That's fair enough, isn't it? There are even some good songs on here. Listening to "Help" was the first time that I heard "Lucky" by Radiohead, well before its appearance on OK Computer. "A Day in the Life" contains a beautiful song by Gorillaz called "Hong Kong". Worth the price of admittance on their own. And it's all for charidee, innit? Very much downhill from here though. There's even some classical later on. *shudders*

544. Pulp Fiction OST
545. Spider-Man OST
546. Bram Stoker’s Dracula OST
547. A Life Less Ordinary OST
548. Star Wars A New Hope OST
549. Star Wars Episode I: A Phantom Menace OST
550. Empire Strikes Back OST
551. John Williams conducts the Star Wars Trilogy
552. Forrest Gump OST
553. Trainspotting OST
554. Rocky Horror Show – original London cast
555. Spaced - soundtrack from the TV programme

Ah, soundtracks. Some of these are easy to explain and are probably owned by millions of people.... all capture a moment and contain some fantastic tunes. If there's a student who was at University in the 1990s, I'll be astonished if they don't own the Pulp Fiction or Trainspotting soundtracks, and I'll also be amazed if there's any male in their 30s or 40s who doesn't own (or wish they owned) a bit of Star Wars soundtrack. That can't be just me? (although, in my defence, I should say that I picked up the two Star Wars OSTs from the staff shop for £2 each less staff discount. They were giving them away.). Some of the others here? A Life Less Ordinary and the Dracula soundtracks were gifts. Forrest Gump contains some really fantastic songs and is a good collection in its own right. Spider-Man? Rocky Horror? Hmmm. Dunno. Why have I still got them? Hmmm. Dunno.

556. The Best of Blaxploitation
557. The Look of Love – The classic songs of Burt Bacharach
558. Reloaded 2
559. Cigarettes and Alcohol
560. Unbelievable
561. Respect – the soundtrack to the Soul Generation
562. Best Punk Album in the World Ever
563. Music to Watch Girls By
564. Motown – the hits collection volume 1

Right. These are the classic kind of CD that you purchase just after you've started to have a CD player in your car, but before the arrival of iPods. They vary in the amount that they were advertised on the telly and how naff and dated they look now (just how many of these generic indie compilations did they produce in the Britpop era?). Some contain songs by people like Toploader, but they also generally contain a number of tracks that you probably otherwise wouldn't own. The Punk album is a good example actually: it's got really shockingly bad packaging, but it's actually a really good collection of all those great songs that you otherwise might not own. "Into the Valley", "New Rose", "Another Girl, Another Planet", "I Am The Fly"... stuff like that. Yeah, maybe now you could download them... but would you ever get round to it. And I won't hear a word said against the Motown, Soul and Blaxploitation collections either. Or the Music to Watch Girls By one..... In fact, I should rip a few more of these onto my iPod.

565. Beats by Dope Demand vol IV

I bought this (and I really had to hunt for it) simply because I was looking for "Battle of the Planets" by Fader Gladiator. It's a very short, dubby remix of the Imperial March from the Empire Strikes Back as featured on an Episode of Spaced. It's probably on iTunes now. Still, it's a bloody brilliant record. Geeky, perhaps, but brilliant.

566. The Wild, Wild West
567. The Mighty Wurlitzer

I picked these up from the bargain bin in Our Price at a time when I was doing a regular radio show at University and always on the look out for a good bedding track to talk over. I found a couple of corkers here: the mighty wurlitzer is.... some bloke playing well known songs on a wurlitzer organ. The Wild, Wild West is.... a collection of instrumentals played largely on a guitar of things like the Bonanza theme tune. Brilliant. I think they cost me £1.

568. Multibionta – chilled
569. John Peel’s Festive 15
570. Best of 2005 Vol II

Freebies. Possibly never listened to, and perhaps (especially the Peel one) containing at least one thing I will like. If not, then I should probably just chuck them out, eh? I mean, who else has actually hung onto a CD that they got free with a pot of multivitamins? I mean, come one!

571. Q Best of 03
572. Q best of 04
573. Q Mellow Gold
575. Q Rule Brittannia
576. Q Covered 86-06
577. Q Here Comes the Sun
578. Q Glastonbury Jukebox
579. Q Lennon Covered
580. Q The Album
581. Q Essential Dance
582. Q Essential Glastonbury

I've actually already binned about 20 of these, and this lot must have arrived after the last cull. I was gifted a subscription to Q in 1995, and for some reason I have never quite got around to cancelling, even though a once interesting magazine has degenerated into an advertorial parody of itself, packed full of utterly pointless lists (does anyone really believe that the first two Oasis albums are the greatest British albums ever? And if so, are they the same people who voted the second Keane album as the 7th greatest British album ever?) I really must stop the subscription, but you always need something to read in the lavvie, don't you? Actually, I've found one or two good songs on this lot. The "Covers 86-06" album is even quite interesting... and well before the Live Lounge really took off too.

584. Empire Ultimate
585. Word of Mouth
586. Now Hear This

More magazine freebies. I've actually got about ten of each of those Word of Mouths and Now Hear This's too.... but they look the same and I can't be arsed to listen to them, nevermind to sit here and catalogue them. More candidates for the bin, I suppose, although I'm acutely aware that actually these can be a really good way to discover an artist. I should probably listen to them whilst reading the magazine (perhaps even the bit that tells you about the bands on the CD). Will I? Nah.

587. Louise Attaque – Louise Attaque

Oh Hello. This looks a bit out of place in here. Sounds a bit French... must be C's.

588. Mozart – Requiem
589. Pavane by Faure
590. Faure – Requiem
591. Satie – Oeuvres pour Piano

Ah, classical music. I simply do not understand classical music. It's not as though I haven't tried. God, I've tried. There's something about it that my brain just will not accept. It makes me tense and ultimately gives me a headache. I have to try really hard not to be inversely snobby about people who know and like classical music... not everyone is pretending they like it just to be cool and appear intelligent, after all.... at least I don't think that they all are...but I just don't get it. Sorry. C, of course, absolutely loves it.


So, there you have it. I'd do a "lost in iTunes" section, but by its very nature, you don't really get a miscellaneous section in iTunes because the software files everything away neatly for you. It's only in a proper, honest to goodness, pile of records that you get a "everything else" section, isn't it?

That's it from the CDs sat in that one particular room. Next time, as a special one-off and to put this whole stupid feature to bed, I'll have a quick run-through the CD tower that holds some of C's record collection. She doesn't listen to music much, and certainly not on CD. She has an iPod that I have loaded for her, and she tends to make do with that. In fact, perhaps we'll find that a good number of those CDs were gifts from me in the earliest days of our courtship, and thus, like all good compilation tapes, will say far more about the giver than they do about the recipient of that gift.

Something to look forward to, eh?


  1. I was at University in the 1990s, and am in my 30s. I own neither Pulp Fiction nor Trainspotting soundtracks. I also don't own the Star Wars soundtrack. Be astonished.

    Do you think the freedom of information act would allow me to request the names and addresses of those people who voted for Keane? (It's OK, LB, I already have yours)

  2. How abt your CD singles then? Surely a feurtile ground for some ropey purchases no (for example I have a Manchester United FA cup single although in fairness it was a gift)? Or did you cover them already during the regular run through the alphabet? I don't think you did but I can't be @rsed to go back and check....


  3. fertile...... you try and fix a mistake (furtile), and you just end up making it worse....must be a moral in there somewhere...

  4. oh, and Des, I've done the singles man!

  5. Ian - obviously I meant to say that I just *knew* that you would be the exception to those rules....

  6. Why thank you!

    If you're stuck for something to do, you can come round and catalogue my CDs.

  7. but Ian, there are only two Keane CDs and one wombats CD - what's to catalogue?

  8. Everyone has to start somewhere.

  9. may I offer you the chance to do ours: a slightly meaty collection that even includes some classical...

  10. That John Peel Festive 15 CD(free with Uncut, yeah?) is worth a listen. Better than most of these magazine freebie CDs, there are some really interesting songs on there.