Friday, March 7, 2014

Blood on the 8-Tracks, Track One: Limbo

Back during the same record store trip that yielded Soundgarden and Lucinda Williams link, I also found a couple of potential “re-buys” - records I already have, but could use a new CD copy of.

There were two in particular that I’ve had my eye on for a while. But it wasn’t because they were scratched, or had poor sound.  It was because I originally got them on 8-track.

You see, if I want to hear any of my vinyl albums, I can always just go to the basement, where I’ve got the old turntable set up. Ditto my cassettes.

But if I want to hear any of my 8-tracks, I’m stuck. These albums exist in a non-playable limbo because I haven’t had an 8-track player for over thirty years.

Greek Chorus: So what’s the problem, Jaybee? Just buy them as CDs.

Well, I know some people did this with their vinyl when CDs came along, but I’m far too much of a cheapskate for that. Otherwise I would have replaced all my Beatles vinyl by now.

But the more exact reason is this: When I buy a record, I don’t want to unwrap it, play it once and file it away. I’m a music addict, not a “collector”. So the “completeness” of my library doesn’t concern me. (Not as much as how its actual contents may be the reflection of a warped psyche.) I find such ambitions to be a pipedream, anyway, unless you’re the type who’d kick out a family member because you need the space for your Neil Young bootlegs.

When I buy an album I want to listen to it a lot. And this won’t necessarily happen if I’ve played the record to death already. Call it a record’s half-life.  Even the best records have them. Otherwise I’d still be playing Abbey Road every day.

Plus, there are other records out there, and I try - when all else is equal - to opt for the new.

And while I haven’t kicked out family members for Neil Young, I may have practiced birth control to avoid the situation. The house is only so big.

So when I do take the plunge, I want it to be worth it. Money-wise, plays-wise, time-wise, and space wise. Not everything makes the cut.

But that day, these two records did. (Okay, I admit it. They were only four bucks each.)

Greek Chorus: Hey Jaybee, were you planning on telling us what records they were?


Next Time: 1972

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