Found at the back of a drawer (sort of) #2

I pulled up outside my parent’s house yesterday to Rod Stewart blaring out of the front window. This was unusual on two counts; my parents never played loud music with the windows wide open for fear of annoying the neighbours & the room where the music was coming from is the room where they’ve put up their seven grandchildren on and off over the years in bunk beds that belonged to my sister. The room was dedicated to them with toys and books which were either our own when we were younger (ancient Lego etc) or handed down by the older cousins for the younger ones to play with. It isn’t a room where you hear a lot of Rod Stewart.

Anyway, turns out they’ve decided to reclaim the room now that overnight stays by grandchildren have become rarer. They’ve created a chill out snug. They’ve pulled their remaining vinyl from the loft along with some very old tapes which either belonged to me and my siblings or which they bought from Britannia Music Club (anyone remember that?). AND and….who knew??….but you can still buy a system with radio, tape deck and turnable. My dad was very proud of himself for having found it. Goodness knows what the sound quality is like, Rod sounded alright from the front drive tho.

It was great to see some of my old tapes again. I thought they were lost tbh. The aforementioned Thompson Twins was there, along with King, Madonna, more Duran Duran and U2.

Ah nostalgia.

(I’ve written this in my phone on the way into work in London, so apologies for errors etc)

27 thoughts on “Found at the back of a drawer (sort of) #2

  1. There is an interesting (to various degrees) and ever-proliferating series of arguments around musical nostalgia that is played out everywhere that people discuss music. I’ll happily admit that my music collection is dominated by music I grew up with, but all those CSN(&Y), Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Genesis, Rod Stewart, King Crimson etc albums are balanced out with plenty of 80s and 90s music too, plus old blues and soul, jazz, classical, folk, electronica, trance and other stuff. Every year there are new artists and new records by newer artists to discover. My latest musical crushes are all linked; Kamasi Washington, Thundercat and Flying Lotus, and I am also very much enjoying bands like The National and White Denim at the moment. There is always something new. My problem is more about how to afford buying it all and where to store it.

    • I love all those artists you mention at the back of your comment, Carole (except Flying Lotus, I can’t say I’ve heard any of it). For my sins, and I know there are folk on here that will disapprove), but I’ve cut down on what I buy in physical format because of space issues and I subscribe to that well known music streaming service. I actually love it because I find new artists all the time and can check out their back catalogue very easily. I don’t want any of my old tapes I found at my mum and dad’s, but it was lovely to see them.

  2. I still have 300ish cassettes which I never play – they’re nearly all bootlegs, I doubt if anyone would want them and it seems a shame just to bin them, so they’re sitting uselessly in a box under the bed until I feel more ruthless. Vinyl I sold years ago; I needed some money for train fares. I kept about 6 albums I thought I’d never find again – I even bought a turntable and an .mp3 converter thingy but I have never bothered to put it together, so that’s under the bed too. My CDs are in the bookcase; the ones I like best are on my iTunes and the rest never really get an airing. I have YouTube playlists; Spotify playlists and ITunes playlists; I listen to the radio in the car; and I have about 3000 songs in my ITunes. I also have Joc’s old iPod with some of her wonderful music on it. Added to that people send in loads of new stuff to The ‘Spill. I’m kind of addicted to downloading and OD’d all at the same time.

    • You must have a huge bed is all I can say! 😉 I have over 4000 tracks on iTunes and a load of CDs stacked on shelves going up my stairs – not entirely sure why they are there, just no other space for them. I have loads of Spotify playlists too. Can’t quite get on with the whole YouTube thing tho – I can’t do the gardening/cooking/go for a run while watching YouTube. Not a fan.

  3. Let me begin with a favorite story from way back.
    There was this couple rather like a pair of affluent Spillers, he squanded thousands on first edition vinyl, he had every album, unplayed and pristine. She slaved over hot stoves. Middle aged he then met the dream of his life, you fill in the details, he left with her in his Mercedes for the South of France; everything went swimmingly. Until his bank account went red.
    Of course he called ‘her’ and said, ‘Darling, I’m having this slight problem, could you do me a favor and sell my record collection and send me the money?, ‘Of course’ she replied.
    She put the appropriate ad in the local paper and awaited a response, it was soon in coming.
    There was a knock on the door and a nerdy looking bloke stood there, ‘I’ve come about the records’ he said, ‘come in she said, they’re in the living room, I have something cooking in the kitchen, I’ll be right back’.
    When she came back he was drooling and wondering which one he could afford, What do you think’ she asked, he was non-plussed.
    ‘How about 5 quid for the lot? Do you have a van?
    Well the deal was transacted and she shipped ‘him’ the cash complete with a sales receipt.

    I don’t want to imply that I’m in a similar situation but old age and large collections do cause some slight concern. My wife is not in the least bit interested, I don’t think she would know how to play a vinyl LP. I suspect that there might be a ‘best offer’ ad on Craig’s List at some future date when I’m no longer concerned.
    Some years ago I calculated the weight of 5,000+ albums, it was between 2.5 and 3 tons!
    Only the ‘cream’ have been transferred to iTunes, there’s currently 10966 of them! They get played.
    I have over a thousand cassettes, mostly created by me and I’ve never had any problem playing any of them, some are close to 50 years old; I think it comes down to the quality of the playback machine. I have several, all good.

    • Lovely set up and story gf! Yeah, 5000+ albums must affect your floorboards etc, but if they get played then it is worth finding the space. It sounds like you are almost as good at collecting devices to play your music on as you are at collecting music…!

    • That reminds me of a passage from High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. Rob (the first person narrator) ends up in a reverse haggle with the woman, trying to offer her a half-decent price for rare records she wants to give away.

        • It had never occurred to me before that the first part of that passage might be a sort of record-dealers’ ‘urban myth’ that he worked into the story. He’s written and developed it in such a way that it’s both funny, and sheds light on Rob’s – deeply, deeply flawed yet very likeable – character.

  4. The first 5 years of my music buying life (13-18 years old) were all cassette (Early 90s stuff like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Wonder Stuff etc – all shop bought tapes). I got a CD player for my 18th birthday which meant that my time at university was dominated by CD (mid-late 90s Britpop classics Blur, Oasis, Bluetones and a thousand more obscure ones, Arab Strap, Spiritualized, Belle and Sebastian etc). For my 21st birthday I got a record player which led to 4 years of record buying (late 90s/early 2000s – Badly Drawn Boy, Sigor Ros, …Trail of Dead, Le Tigre, lots of electronica and garage rockin’ White Stripes, US hardcore etc). When I moved to Japan in 2002 I switched back to CD for a year (lots of Japanese stuff – Ex-Girl, 5,6,7,8s, BBQ Chickens) before buying a portable record buyer. I haven’t bought a CD since about 2004, but buy vinyl pretty much constantly according to how much I can afford (not much at the moment!). I love the current cassette underground scene, but listen to it all on Bandcamp rather than buy the tapes.

    All of my cassapes and most of my CDs are in my mum’s house somewhere (I think) and that’s fine by me – if it’s not on vinyl it probably won’t get listened to anyway!

    My music tastes have changed a lot since 2004 though, I now have a decent amount of jazz and a whole load of metal (grindcore/black/thrash), noise, alt-country and experimental that don’t exist in my CD and tape collection….I wonder what my collection would like through a venn diagram of different media….?!

  5. I think sometimes that’s the nice thing about finding some old music you’d forgotten you owned; it reminds you of how your tastes have changed and progressed.

  6. I see “Now That’s What I Call Music 3” in the photos. I’ve got the first NTWICM album on vinyl. Apparently we’re now up to number 97.

    I’m feeling my age.

    • Indeed. That was mine and the first Now album I owned. I do have a couple of the far inferior Hits compilation albums too. Having said that, you see far fewer of them knocking around than you to the NTWICM compilations.

  7. I reluctantly turned to digital downloads only about 4 or 5 years ago having previously needed to have a tangible CD, which was often ripped and then only occasionally played on long car journeys. Seems daft in retrospect that I resisted buying digital downloads but was simply ripping a CD into i-tunes and then loading it onto my trusty 160GB music player.

    Anyway storage of CD’s and the quantity of new music being released led me to dispose of the majority of my collection via MusicMagpie (other methods of selling CDs are available). I retained several special ones: a gold collector’s edition of Bat Out of Hell, a Springsteen boxed set and booklet combo amongst a few others.

    I then jumped headlong into streaming via Google Play and as I said in my ‘What Have You Been Listening To? post is brilliant,no storage problems, only have to have my phone and no additional I-Pod and I’ve got the biggest library imaginable so if I want jazz on a Sunday morning when I’m cooking brunch or classical on a Saturday evening having a G n T it’s all there at the end of a simple search.

    HOWEVER – special occasions demand vinyl – certain classical LP’s are a must as even I don’t think digital playback is as good a reproduction for a full orchestra that vinyl provides and I’m tone deaf.

    I also have an extensive collection of rock albums, those that I didn’t sell at a car boot sale when I replaced my entire collection with CDs in the late 80’s / early 90’s. I also selectviely purchase new vinyl releases and also much to my chagrin purchased several of the Zep remastered LP’s though i still have original versions of III and Presence alongside some original Genesis, Yes and Queen LPs.

    • It depends partly on whether you rip CDs into a “lossless” file format (eg. .wav); or, if you use MP3, whether the music in question is suited to the devil’s psycho-audiology that removes 80% of the information in the signal but leaves you with a recognisable song.

      • MP3 unfortunately 😦

        My ears cannot tell on rock songs but classical pieces are washed out and quiet nothing like the warmth, depth and volume of vinyl, even LP’s that are 30 odd years old!

    • Funny that you mention rock albums and car boot sales. When I was on holiday in France a couple of weeks ago, we went to a vide grenier (empty attic) sale, the French equivalent of a car boot sale. There was a stall selling classic 70s and 80s rock albums, all clearly second hand. The prices started at around €15 for the more beaten-up ones but most were €20 or higher. Led Zeppelin III was €25.

      • Hi Carole that doesn’t surprise me with the resurgence of vinyl. Unfortunately I sold mine for probably a quid a go when everyone was turning to CDs!!!

    • Which reminds me that I still haven’t put together some tracks for you that I said I would off the back of your “what have you been listening to” post…must do that.

      • haha Sarah.

        I think you do enough with all your interesting posts, can’t seem to find the time myself, have all these ideas but never seem to get round to actually publishing anything.

        I was far more prolific a couple of years ago but just seems that there’s always something else that takes priority currently.

        I owe some earworms to Ali too!!!

  8. Sometime over the last year I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never digitise the music I have unless it’s a special request. I’m going to have the music on the old formats until they wear out.

    But it’s not only old stuff, I also really prefer to buy new music as a physical copy – I rarely buy digital copies unless forced to. That was underlined by my eldest mentioning that it is obviously important to me. And if he gets that it is part of my identity and who I am, that’s how it should be and the album covers and lyric sheets should be on display and strewn across floor. 😀

  9. Hah! I thought I was the same, but my car died recently and work dictates that I needed a replacement. The new motor – well, new to me – has a USB socket. My music buying tends to involve Amazon’s “download it now & get the CD sent to you free”, so I’ve now (without really trying, or digitising my older stuff) got about 1500 songs on a memory stick the size of a cigarette lighter.

    Even if that’s only replaced the CDs that I carted about in the last car, I think I’m saving money on fuel already.

    Incentives are the key. 😉

    • Hi scott, my car music system has got a SD Card slot – an absolute godsend these days, just carry a few micro cards around and you can access so much music than a few CDs shoved in the glove box 🙂

    • Yes, I’ve got a USB slot in my new (well bought in March last year) car. One day I’ll get round to trying it out.

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