Collecting vs. sampling an artist
3-10-09 Collecting vs. sampling an artist. How do you resist the all-or-nothing urge?
When I was younger, it was simply a case of buying a few singles by an artist that had good ‘A sides’. In the CD era, I could usually wait until I found an inexpensive ‘best of’…and hope that it had the songs I wanted.
Before becoming convinced about an artist, I might even try to make sampler LP’s or CD’s make do. A good example would be for the Swiss group Yello. For ages, my Yello collection consisted of the “Nuns On The Run” original soundtrack CD. It virtually doubled as a “Yello’s Greatest Hits”! But the video age helped me along; I saw the video for “Goldrush” on MuchMusic, and knew I wanted to hear more. Next step: try a few 12” singles. Oops. Then I found a European pressing of one of their first two albums…then the scales tipped, and I wanted everything I could find by Yello. So, it took a while.
Sometimes I investigate artists when I am trying to make a compilation of a genre that’s new to me (or one I haven’t already flogged to death). A good example would be the current set of stuff I’m working on: Motown Records 50th Anniversary. I do not collect a lot of R&B LP’s or 45’s or CD’s – but I do enjoy a good compilation, by theme. I have a hit ‘n’ miss Motown collection, and I find that the recent Universal US “20th Century Masters” CD’s sometimes really take care of whatever it is that I felt like I didn’t have enough of – The Marvelettes, for example.
A lot of my collecting has been while thoroughly immersed in a scene / genre, such NZ artists. I would get whatever I could find. The “NZ bug” was essentially replaced with a “Japanese bug” (of roughly ’94 – ’00). While doing those genres, it was easy to resist going full-bore into “new artists” (to me). A single or a track on a sampler would sometimes suffice.
Another that limits ‘going whole hog’ is availability. Can’t really get going on an artist with a considerable catalogue if there’s nothing / not much available locally (like mainstream Australian artists, The Whitlams, anyone?) I would’ve bought a ton of it when I was hot on them, but – having to mail-order everything from
I still haven’t found the ‘08 A Certain Ratio CD, “Mind Made Up”. I only just got the ’08 Grace Jones “Hurricane” CD. Neither of these are readily available, in
By the way, I am checking my recent re-issue CD’s to see if I have any other SACDs lurking in my collection. So far, I have found a few “DSD Mastering” CD’s (notably Mute Beat “14 Echoes + 1, 20th Anniversary Edition”).