The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Friday, January 19, 2007

Perfect Collection?

Perfect Collection

I frequently find myself entertaining the thought of a “Collection MK II”. That’s right – I’ve spent 40 years assembling a vast collection of music – and now I want to do it a second time. Am I nuts?

Well, if I just picked up cheap duplicates of hard-to-find CD’s, then I suppose it’s innocent enough to start doing this (“The Price of Love” by Jay H. Alanski, for instance). But – when I re-sort my list, I see items that I would not want in my “second collection”. It’s just a spread sheet, so I can allow myself to play around a little bit with the concept.

In recent years, little paper album cover CD’s have become very popular in the collecting community – and in Japan, specifically. They truly attempt to capture some of the aesthetic pleasure of owning an original LP of the title – but it’s a CD – in some cases, re-mastered in 24bit. Wow.

So, if I were to assemble a “Perfect Collection”, I suppose it would contain mostly re-mastered titles…or original issues on LP, when applicable – whatever delivered the sound I was after (in some cases, the original LP definitely has “better sound” than any CD issue). With “bonus tracks” on re-mastered CD’s – just how many singles would I need in my 2nd collection?

I have a few massive collections – notably Split Enz and Frank Zappa. I suppose I would keep those collections, each numbering into the hundreds – but…how many artists do I want to exhaustively collect?

I sort and re-sort my list – how many titles can I get it down to? At present my music list is at around 20,500 – which can be whittled down to about 12,000 titles. Dang, that sure is a lot of “non-essential” titles, dude. Yeah, it bothers me to keep a CD for 1 or 2 tracks – but there are definitely a few that are kept for only a couple of songs.

Of those approx. 8,000 “non-essential” titles – many of them would be my experiments of trying new artists, such as the several hundred pre-1970 country & western LP’s I was interested in a few years ago – definitely some of them would make it to my “Collection MK II” – Jimmie Driftwood, Jim Reeves, Billy Edd Wheeler, Ernest Tubb etc. I’ve definitely got some un-essential easy listening LP’s…

Where do I put my “Collection MK II”? Shall I get one of those Sony hard-disk machines that hold 650 hours of perfect digital sound? I bet that would eliminate a ton of those CD’s (and CD singles) where the title is being kept for only a song or two. And it feels a little bit more tangible than merely having an MP3 of the title. Or do I just dump the “two tracks” at a time to MD or make a CD-R of ‘em?

It’s definitely attractive to think about boiling down my audio (and video) collection. Let’s get those filing cabinets in here, man. I have work to do!


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