On May 24th, 1981, I was given a present for my birthday. I wouldn't realize the importance of this gift for many years. At the time, it was little more than two pieces of cardboard glued together with black and white artwork printed on the outside, and a vinyl disk housed within.
I was ten years old, and my best friend, Eddie, had given me a copy of The Game by Queen.
I didn't know it at the time, but this gift would leave me flat broke for many, many years. Even more broke than your average ten year old, which is pretty god damn broke.
My 'problem' began innocently enough. First came The Game. This led to Escape, by Journey, and Abacab, by Genesis. And John Cougar not-yet Mellencamp. And The Police. Men At Work. The J. Geils Band. Asia. R.E.O. Motherfucking SPEEDWAGON!!!!
By the time I purchased a Joan Jett album in 1982, I was out of control.
...and it's gone.
1983 brought Yes. More Journey. More Police! More Men At Work! More! MORE! MmmmOhhhhhhrrrrrrrr!
G. O. N. E.
All of it. Gone.
...and I should have seen it coming. The future was foretold in the words of the closing track from the album that began my addiction back in the spring of 1981.
It started off so well
Said we made a perfect pair
I clothed myself in your glory and your love
How I loved you
How I cried
The years of care and loyalty
Were nothing but a sham it seems
The years belie we lived a lie
I love you 'til I die
It's all gone.
Though the LPs were big and beautiful, with gorgeous art on the cover and even more printed on the paper sleeve that held the record itself, they became obsolete. Cassettes were portable. And then cassettes became obsolete because CDs were digital! And then came MP3s, which were sharable. And mp4s, which are really M4Ps, which is precisely the point!
The slate will soon be clean
I'll erase the memories
To start again with somebody new
Was it all wasted,
All that love?
As one format gave way to another, so much was lost.
Vinyl was scratched.
Tapes were eaten.
Everything was quickly becoming obsolete.
Oh, thank god for the compact disk! CDs were to be my saving grace. They were digital! They would live on forever!
But on a dark and dreary day in 1994, my CD of Dusk by The THE was stolen. This meant I had to either live without it or buy it again. Who could resist The THE? No one! I bought it again. I could accept this as punishment since Id been the dumbass who left it behind after an airshift at my college radio station.
The real issue here is obsolescence. Obsolescence leads to so much music being lost.
How many times do I have to buy The Game? Apparently, the answer is three. I've owned it on LP, cassette, and finally CD, which I've imported into my Mac as m4a files.
Dusk? I've bought it twice - both on CD.
But now, today, I find myself the owner of a cracked CD by The Tragically Hip. It's their 1996 masterpiece Trouble At The Henhouse. Trouble indeed. Oh, the agony!!! How did the disk break? It's been sitting undisturbed on the giant CD rack in my living room.
Ack! I'm so bothered by the idea of buying music I already own. DAMN!
When will this cycle end? Stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off!
...but not before the next New Pornographers album comes out on eMusic later this month, because I have a feeling it's going to frigging ROCK!
...ugh. This viscous cycle is a game.
come, come, Come, COME!
Play the game
Play the game
Play the game
Play the game
Everybody play the game
I hear ya...my favorite Matt Johnson CD is "Soul Mining." I love "Uncertain Smile."::::: | August 9, 2007 8:40 AM
News For The World was one of my first records and I've had to buy it a few times. I lost a lot of my vynil during college thanks to shitty roommates and parties.
I might have to go see if I can find a used copy of the Game on CD because that really was a classic.::::: | August 9, 2007 11:37 AM
Your selections are eerily similar to the pile of my first few dozen records.
Abacab, The Game, Styx' Paradise Theatre, and Steve Winwood's Arc Of A Diver sat alongside Devo, Bowie, Blondie, and Squeeze on the shelf.
Time to buck up and buy back those LP's for (most likely) $1 each at your local shop after you get that USB turntable.
Somehow playing records is more rewarding than the too-easily accessible "virtual" media.