Monday, May 5, 2014


When a CD collection as large as mine comes up in conversation, one silly question that almost everyone asks is, “do you listen to all of them?

Well obviously not all at once.

If I played them around the clock, it would take roughly two years and forty-five days to get through them all. That assumes an hour each, and does not factor in multiple-disc sets, but I also have duplicate titles (when they reissue certain artists, I am a sucker for the bonus tracks), so those two factors probably offset each other.

But it does raise an interesting point-how do I make sure each CD has a fair chance of making it into the CD player?

After all, a lot of artists may simply not be noteworthy enough to strike my mood-even if I loved their album, there’s a good chance that I’d forget about Four Way Street (a Philly band with ties to other bands I like a lot), for example.

This would in no way be a reflection on the artist-it would simply be a function of numbers.

And in the numbers lies the solution to my problem!

I decided to pick a handful of discs at random each week (or so), in an effort to make sure I get to some of the titles I may not otherwise pick up.

And like a true accountant, those numbers are randomly generated in Microsoft Excel-this selection could stand up to a Price-Waterhouse Cooper's audit!

And at the end of the week, I would post about what I have been listening to. Hence the title.

So here's what I'm listening to...

Gin Blossoms Live In Concert

A band from Tempe, Arizona I discovered while living in Philadelphia. Back in those days, record companies promoted bands, and I got a sampler cassette in the mail that I wore out prior to purchasing the New Miserable Experience album.

I moved to Arizona in 1995, but have never managed to see the band live. 

This recording is a "warts and all" affair from 2008, and features most of their hits from the early 90's as well as songs from their reunion CD.

This is not from the live album, but was their first hit single, reaching number 25 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Michael Jackson-Got To Be There/Forever Michael

This was a recent purchase, although I owned Got To Be There on vinyl and CD, I'd never seen Forever Michael on either format and picked up this two-fer import.

Wow, does GTBT bring back memories. I played my copy of this vinyl record to death back in 1972, although soon after that I graduated to rock and roll and did not revisit Motown until after high school.

Fortunately, the Michael Jackson music that resonates with me is from this era, before his downward spiral, allegations of child molestation and untimely death.

The music was young and innocent, Michael seemed young and innocent, and I was eleven. And boy does this album take me back! 


This did not come up as a random number-this is a new one that arrived in the mail Friday.

John Waite does not produce a lot of material-many of his albums have a couple of phenomenal songs and a lot of filler. 

Waite’s new greatest hits album is a thrilling retrospective of more than 40 years in rock and roll, 

From re-recorded versions of signature classics (“Back on My Feet Again,” “Isn’t It Time” and “Missing You”), hard-hitting live renditions (“Head First,” “Saturday Night” and “Change”) to more recent introspective fare (“Suicide Life,” “Downtown” and “Bluebird Cafe”), Best goes a long way in proving there’s many miles to go before he sleeps.


  1. I have always liked the Gin Blossoms.

    Michael Jackson seems so happy and spunky. It just makes me sad how his life turned out.

    I have always loved the song Missing You. This was the first I've seen of his collaboration with Alison Krauss. As I think you know by now, she is one my all-time favorite singers. That said, I believe I prefer the original to this duet. Go figure. I bet you didn't know this was shaping up to be BOTB...

    1. I actually plan to use the song in a future BOTB...

      Stephen T. and I have discussed MJ many a time, and I get his point (that MJ would not have settled on the allegations if he were innocent), although part of me still maintains that he was not in right mind so maybe the thought of defending his name did not carry the same weight it would have for others.

      It saddens me as well with how lis life turned out-my love of music started with the Jackson 5, and a lot of that was because of Michael.

      If only some of the innocence from our childhood could last a little...although I suspect current generations get a far smaller share than I did so I'd best not complain.

      This duet was my real introduction to Alison Krauss-I'd heard of her before, but had never listened to her. While her genre is not my favorite, she has a wonderful voice. Loved her work with Robert Plant-his best solo effort in my opinion.


  2. LC ~
    I like this concept, and it looks like this is the beginning of a series(?) If so, I'm into it!

    Too bad John Waite felt a need to "re-record" The Babys songs! John Waite was the "voice" of The Babys, and that was a very underrated Rock band (the drummer - Tony Brock - and the guitarist - Wally Stocker - are two of my all-time favorites in the Realm of Rock).

    I was just inspired me to put on my Two-Fer CD of The Baby's first two albums (always were their best, in my opinion). So, 'Looking For Love' kicks off the CD, and it's the ONLY song that I can say has... "The PERFECT amount of cowbell". Ha!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. You can always have more cowbell, Stephen!

      I think the re-recording has a lot to do with royalty issues-a lot of bands seem to be doing this. Graham Parker compiled a set of rerecorded songs that was only available to advertising agencies (although I found a copy on eBay) expressly for the purpose of having the songs placed in commercials. I think between advances squandered on drugs in the studio and contracts that did not contemplate things like product placement and download royalties, the artists kind of get screwed with those legacy recordings.

      The remakes are interesting, but do not trump the originals (the Babys song choices are not your favorites anyway).

      I'm still not sure how this will look as a series, but someone asked me that question Friday night, and I looked at her and had to bite my tongue to not be a wise-ass. Of course I do not sit and listen to all of them every day. But I listen to some of them every day. I thought this might be a way to rediscover titles I'd forgotten about, although what I post will probably be less "review" and more what the music means (or meant) to me.

  3. I think your CD collection might actually be bigger than ours.

    I loved John Waite's "Change." The first version in 1982. Otherwise I preferred his work with The Babys.

    1. Diane- I love that song-that's my girl Patty Smyth (of Scandal) doing the background vocal!

      He's had a lot of great songs, but sadly not many great albums, although Temple Bar from the early 90's is one I'd highly recommend.

    2. PS-I almost forgot....if your CD collection is anywhere near the picture above (which represents the half of the room you can see with the help.

      I had a friend Kent who has the same sickness I have (big music collection), but I think the birth of his daughter cured him, as I passed him a few years ago.

      When Tower and Circuit City went belly up, those bastiges oversold to me....

    3. PS number two-my apologies to Kent-I have a friend Kent!

      Just because we are not the world's best at keeping in touch does not make he nd his wife Sandra any less my friends!

      It's just been a while since I've seen them!

  4. My kids grew up to me listening to New Miserable Experience. Lot of good memories with that group. But Till I Hear It From You later on was the one I loved the best.

    1. It was sad that the original songwriter/guitarist could not deal with his demons...I think had the band stayed intact, they would have gone on to great things.

  5. I used to really like the song "Missing You" and bought the cassette that it was on, but it's the only song that I remember. Haven't heard it in quite a while.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    1. The song still holds up, Lee-although now I think there are four versions to choose from (the original, duet with Alison Krauss, an acoustic version, and the "2014" re-recording).

      The original is still the best.....