October 3, 2002

From the Horse's Mouth

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a. Trying to buy a classic album, say Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, nicely priced at $7, only to discover that a deluxe double disc edition was released and the original $7 album was taken out of circulation to slash competition. The reissue is a hearty $24.99. Moreover the various outtakes from the recording sessions benefit only the hardcore fan and for the uninitiated dilute the power of the classic album. Culprits: Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On; VU – Velvet Underground and Nico.

b. Having made the dreadful mistake of buying a best-of collection you realize that the artist kicks enough ass to necessitate the purchase of individual albums. However the individual albums inevitably lose flow and steam since the songs will have inconsistent amounts of novelty and the songs from the best-of stick out like sore jagged gems. Culprits: Bob Marley — Legend; The Clash – The Story of The Clash.

c. Encores — love ’em, can’t live without ’em, but can’t see a show without thinking of how contrived and artificial the culture of encores has become. Culprits: every fucking band.

d. Their first band was beyond words; their first solo outing was damn fine; after that they magically transform into prolific waste machines. Album after album of utter shit. Yet the impression of the first band is branded, thus time and time again you’re driven to check out consequent excrement they spew. Culprits: I’m looking at you, Iggy and Lou.

e. To avoid pet peeve B you decide to purchase an album by some artist you don’t know much about. Unfortunately, their career spanned many decades and included quite a bit of utterly useless material. The decision-making process in choosing the album is hellish especially if you refuse to go for the most obvious choice, yet don’t wanna end up knee deep either. Culprits: The Kinks.

f. Utter lack of systematization for artists that predate the time of albums. There are hundreds of various collections with tremendous overlap, no logic and even less explanation. Culprit: Leadbelly.

g. Listening to OK Computer, Exile on Main Street, or Funhouse for the first time and realizing that as long as you live you will probably never hear anything better. There’s the immediate excitement but then comes the fear.

Archived article by the dark horse