Friday, October 1, 2010

Music Addiction & The Physical CD

I really can't get these bloody wrappers off fast enough- can you?

I've come to the conclusion I now know what it takes for me to purchase a physical CD in 2010. Do you still purchase CDs? For quite some time now I've essentially been downloading music. Mind you, I'm all about artist support. I want to pay for it. It's the right thing to do. Granted, it's a bit frustrating at times.
I have a healthy love and habit for all things English. I actually switched countries on iTunes recently in an attempt to grab songs from the United Kingdom. EENNHH! The buzzer let me know I was not allowed to do that and sent me packing. I'm all about borders and legally entering countries so I went about things the only legal way possible. If the rare song or the new recording isn't available on iTunes it's off to Amazon or some valid variation thereof. I find that if I'm looking at a NEW CD release like the latest from Maroon 5, Hands All Over, and I find I'm probably looking at a potential 5-6 song download, then I draw the line. That's it. I'm spending the extra two bucks for the full CD for a crack at the liner notes to boot. The wonderful bonus to all of this is that I actually retain a hard backup.
By and large friends there aren't that many CD releases where I simply have to have the full CD nowadays. Case in point: I downloaded about three songs from the NEW Goo Goo Dolls recording Something For The Rest Of Us. I purchased one song from Dido's latest, Safe Trip Home, that qualified as listenable. I grabbed three from the NEW Crowded House Intriguer. This was a tough decision because Neil Finn's latest with the band sounded like an all around solid piece of work. There's still potential there for a buy.
So the purchase of a full-length CD just isn't an imperative as it was for me ten years ago. Still, there are some artists I simply can't resist. You have your bands too I'm sure. Well, for me, OMD [Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark], one of the forerunners for clever electronic pop, has managed to keep my attention when others have fallen off the map. The Human League is high in that category too. They have one, Credo, due out before Christmas and prolific they're not. Their last classic Secrets came out in 2001. a-ha allegedly gave their last live performance before disbanding and released one new single. I imported the CD because that was the best option. The song is called Butterfly, Butterfly [The Last Hurrah] from their latest retrospective a-ha 25 [The Very Best Of].
More importantly, OMD's Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphrey's reformed [finally] for a NEW OMD CD called The History Of Modern. Yes, that's me opening it this evening. I can't tell you how excited I was to skip downloading to take in the whole collection. The group still including Martin Cooper and Malcolm Holmes has reunited for their latest oxymoron-titled masterpiece of a gem. With one foot to the future and one sound foot in the past, the CD is a nifty, sparkling collection of pop that is simply perfect. There aren't many CDs I get excited about, but this is one of the few in 2010. Additionally, I picked up the UK CD single for their song If You Want It, which included an exclusive b-side called Alone. I still have to grab those rare b-sides and they don't last long for the groups that used to be considered popular Popular Music. Do you remember searching for the b-sides? I remember filing through vinyl 12" record bins to get the rare stuff and then burning those rare vinyl items to CD-R. Ah, what a wonderful world of dynamic technology, ever-changing and ever-costly.
In fact, my love of music is so powerful I once began writing a book on 80s music. Can you imagine Musings Of An '80s Music Fanatic? It could have been. I had two literary agents and the rejections kept on coming despite some nice support from those agents. It never came to pass. The book was shelved, while my love for the music of the 80s remained and life moved on. This led to writing for a music publication for a time called The Lexicon. The editor was a fine gentleman and I penned a number of exciting interviews with Naked Eyes vocalist Pete Byrne, Spandau Ballet vocalist Tony Hadley, Icehouse vocalist Iva Davies, Double vocalist Kurt Maloo and finally Duran Duran at The Mercer Hotel in New York City following a performance on one of the morning shows. I spoke with Frank Zappa's guitarist, Warren Cuccurullo, in the dressing room, vocalist Simon LeBon and keyboardist Nick Rhodes, a class act, while girls gathered for a night on the town. All were a unique bunch of musicians and artists. I may bring you an 80s classic right here from time to time.
Like any fan of music, some will qualify as classic masterpieces [Thompson Twins: Here's To Future Days], while still other CD classics may be considered the classic guilty pleasure [Cutting Crew: Broadcast]. We all have them. So be gentle. But there you have it friends, my excitement for '80s music continues to offer a well of inspiration. So apart from being a frustrated writer, the music worthy of my addiction and my hard earned dollars today is the sound of artists worthy of a tangible purchase and my premeditated disregard of the virtual download. And while this is endlessly subjective where do you stand on music today and how to get it?


le0pard13 said...

It's great that you choose to write about this, Gordon. I didn't know this about you, and I'm more than intrigued. If that book ever hits the light of day (bookshelves), I'm buying it.

As to where I stand on music and how I obtain it. I've moved over the years to more downloads. Mostly, through iTunes (since I've been given iTunes gift cards in the past), and some Amazon MP3s. Still, not everything is there online. So, I will look at Amazon (and sometimes their marketplace) and other online retailers for the actual CD.

I'll then rip those CD tracks using Apple's Lossless format to get them to my iPod (a 160 GB classic model). BTW, I vote for more music posts from The Sci Fi Fanatic! Thanks for this, my friend.

SFF said...

Thanks Michael and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, it never quite came to pass, but had a good portion completed. Given your rousing vote of confidence, more music to come then.

I definitely connect with you on music. You and I both have a love for it. I like when you go there. : )

Unknown said...

Excellent post! I would also be right there if you ever decided to do a book on '80s music as that was a large part of my life growing up.

As for getting music, yeah, I mostly download stuff from iTunes but for bands/musicians I really like I will buy their CD. I just find that with a lot of new music I only really like one or two songs and rarely the whole album.

SFF said...

Thanks J.D.- very nice. Well, I'm right there with you. I rarely buy the full CD anymore simply because the option exists now to purchase on a PER track basis. We never had that.

The New History Of Modern by OMD is good. It's not my favorite but I think the first four tracks are stunning. After that, its a mixed bag. The Right Side, Pulse and maybe one more are also very good. Still, OMD is one of those groups I would loyally follow off the cliff.

My most anticipated CD is the NEW Human League CD which is slated for 2011 according to the latest information. Anyway, I digress, thanks for sharing your input J.D.