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Saturday, May 30, 2009

W.W.C.T.G.Y.T.B.N.C.O.S.Y.A.O. Question

I think it was Mark Evanier who came up with the notion of the W.W.C.T.G.Y.T.B.N.C.O.S.Y.A.O. (the World Wide Conspiracy To Get You To Buy New Copies Of Stuff You Already Own). This is why I'm less than excited by the remastered Beatles music coming out 09/09/09.

I haven't done this in a while, but last week, I went to the library, got five CDs and burned them. I'm totally unapologetic about it, too, because every single album I've not only purchased but still own in vinyl. Until I get around to buying one of those turntables that will convert vinyl to digital form - I saw one listed recently for a little over $100 - then I will keep at it.

So what is on my little foray this week?

Boston- Boston. Yes, THAT album with More than A Feeling, et al.
Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young - Deja Vu - with four writers, they worked hard to be equitable, with each getting two songs, Stills/Young getting one, and the other song a cover of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock.
Devo- Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo - features one of my all-time favorite covers, Satisfaction. Incidentally, I have a schlocky instrumental album of Devo songs, done by Devo.
The Guess Who- co-founded by Randy Bachman, who later founded Bachman-Turner Overdrive, it has some decent songs. But the one that most fascinated me when i first bought it was a song I did not know before, Hang On To Your Life, which ends with the stark parts of Psalm 22.
Neil Young - Harvest. I listened to this album a LOT in my college years.

I could only take out five at a time. So what was interesting to me was what I didn't take this time:
Allman Brothers - Brothers and Sisters. I have a colleague who burns so much Allman music for me that I may have ODed on them.
John Lennon - Rock and Roll. I bought this album on December 9, 1980, the day after Lennon died; they were sold out of Double Fantasy by the time I got to the store (Just a song or strawberries) at lunchtime. This is an oddly unsatisfying album, one I didn't listen to much at the time. Mayne I SHOULD revisit for that reason alone.
Pretenders - the first album. It was a double album with out takes and alternate versions; almost certainly for next time.
Van Halen - the ONLY Van Halen I've ever owned, which I probably got for Happy Trails.

Oh, the questions: how do you feel about buying things (DVD, CDs) that you already own (VCR tapes, LPs or cassettes)? Do you avoid them? Pick only the core stuff? Seek out compilations? (Most of my early CDs were greatest hits collections of artists I already owned heavily on vinyl, such as Billy Joel and Elton John.) Do you have a mechanism to convert to newer formats?



Scott said...

Early in mine and Marcia's marriage, we were big on buying the replacements (both CD and DVD). Especially music, when it was remastered. After spending this money, and listening to them, I realized that I can't really hear a big difference. I was disappointed by these purchases. Now, even if we didn't have a child, I would not be doing this, except for a select few albums that had awful sound when first released.

Jaquandor said...

It depends, really. CD marked a major improvement over cassettes, and LPs had their own problems -- sure, they sound great, but over time they wear away, as the means of playback involves physical contact, after all. DVD marked a GIANT improvement over VHS, but no matter how many Blu-ray players I see demo'd in Target or Best Buy, I refuse to believe that Blu-ray is necessary. So I probably won't go Blu-ray until (a) it's standard, and (b) therefore significantly cheaper. And I'll devoutly insist that any Blu-ray player I get will have to play regular DVDs, most of which look just fine for me.

It's interesting that the trend in video is toward better and better picture, where the trend in audio is to greater portability, with trade-offs in sound quality, but there it is. My ears can't detect any massively appreciable difference in a 160 or 192 kbs MP3 and the original CD.

(Here's how lazy I've been on occasion, though: I've actually downloaded torrents of CDs I own, just because I didn't want to dig out that particular disc and go to the "trouble" of ripping it!)