8-12-09 Playlists…Listening to my collection
I have been making Playlists since the 70’s. I think the earliest surviving Playlist is from the fall of 1976 – a few months after I started working in a hippie record store. And for each and every month of the 1980’s – I have a monthly 90 minute playlist – two sides of a C-90.
In the modern age, I have both a Sony MiniDisc recorder and a CD burner. The playlists are presently generated as often as I can – and are usually made from vinyl onto a 74 or 80 minute Sony MiniDisc. I can make MD’s of CD’s, but now that I no longer have an MD player in my car, I make CD-R’s of CD’s to play in my car.
My non-linear brain came up with numbering the playlists, a while back. What was I thinking? I started generating ‘out-of-sequence’ playlists – just seemingly randomly picking numbers, at first! I sorted all of ‘em – and began filling in the blanks. Very soon, I will have filled up all of the ‘empty’ numbers – and have 100 numbered playlists.
That will be the basis for my first major writing project in a while. “100 Playlists – How I Listen To My Record Collection”. Those 100 playlists are mostly vinyl, but a few “CD to MD” ones are in there – sometimes just to help me get through a new batch of CD’s that had arrived in my collection. I can add other info to make the idea of this project more ‘read-able’ (brief biographies, details about which version of the vinyl it is etc.)
I do listen to a lot more music than what is on my playlists. I probably hear 6 – 10 whole CD’s a week in my car alone. But the playlists are “how I listen to everything”. “Hey, you’ve got thousands of records – do you ever play ‘em all?” – I used to get asked this a lot. Yes, I do. I can get through about 2,000 songs a year, using this “playlist method”.
I have already seen ‘playlist books’ on the market – from the likes of the Pitchfork website (or thereabouts). “20 Krautrock Songs To Download” and such-like. My playlist list will not suggest that you download anything – but that you might keep your eyes open, when sifting the ‘bargain bins’ of your town.
Still, I suppose there is the possibility that my 2,000+ song playlist will seem somewhat limited. Well, it is – that less than sampling 1% of my music collection. I know there are artists that I have ignored – and others that I “over-do”. In recent years, I have really investigated 10cc (& family), Mike Oldfield and Yello. But I don’t think that there is an inordinate amount of their music represented in my playlists. Yep, I still play a lot of stray Stranglers cuts, as they have so many albums & singles!
So, if you would be interested to see what 100 of my music playlists look like – drop me a line. I don’t plan on printing more books than there is interest for.