Listening to the past

I use Music Collector to track my music catalog, and according to the database, I purchased only 53 titles with a 2010 release date. That number may be inaccurate since titles may be counted twice if I both downloaded it and bought a CD. Still, 53 is less than the number of titles I purchased that were released in 2009 (61), 2008 (96) or 2007 (92).

Another inaccuracy with the database is the date of purchase, which I don’t actively track but can approximate by the numerical ID of the database (high numbers == more recent purchase). So as an experiment, I cross-referenced my purchases in Quicken with my music database and grouped those purchases by year. Then I further grouped the results by release date. (I like data entry. Sue me.)

The earliest year I have purchase data is 2007, when I started tracking my finances in Quicken. In 2007, I purchased and downloaded 196 titles, 65 of which were released that year. That means 131 titles were catalog. (But I own 92 titles released in 2007. Why the discrepancy? Because 27 of those titles were purchased in subsequent years.) In 2008, I bought 69 new releases out of 159, with 90 catalog titles. In 2009, 51 out of 112 titles were new releases, leaving 61 catalog titles. 2010 — 53 out of 115, with 62 catalog titles.

The numbers are clear — catalog makes up the bulk of my listening now.

That’s the reason I haven’t published a Favorite Edition List for 2010 — I haven’t listened to enough new releases to confidently pick 10 favorite titles. And honestly? Some of my favorite titles I listened to in 2010 were catalog.

John Adams’ Nixon in China, Santigold’s self-titled debut, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, Lisa Stansfield’s Affection … I probably spun these albums more than I did Antony and the Johnsons or the Magnetic Fields. (In fact, I know I did because I wasn’t particularly charmed by either of their albums.)

Before the relaunch of this site five years ago, I was on a mission to find new music. Now, I’m old enough to let writers more age-appropriate to tackle that task. My sense of discovery is in what I missed when I should have been listening to it.

A friend of mine in 1987 attempted to introduce me to Strangeways, Here We Come by the Smiths, only to take to it 23 years later. Emmylou Harris’ Roses in the Snow just demonstrates I ought to just fill out the rest of my collection with Blue Kentucky Girl, Elite Hotel and White Shoes. The "Saved for Later" queue in my eMusic profile includes titles by Sugar, ABC, the Police and Yvonne Elliman.

This site has always been a reflection of what I listen to, and these days, little of it is actually new.