Systematically listening to the music

Rubber_SoulI have something north of 1400 compact discs. I haven’t actually counted them, but the Wife bought some furniture designed to hold 1200 CDs, which is what I guesstimated that I had, but I had CDs left over. Oops.

In order to justify having all those shiny discs, I need to actually PLAY them once in a while. So I have a system: movie soundtracks the month of the Oscars (February or March), Broadway music in time for the Tonys (June), TV soundtracks whenever the Emmys take place (August or September).

I own a number of compilation albums I play, dependent on genre. In February, Black History Month, it’s soul/r&b/et al, except for Motown, which is in November, for Berry Gordy’s birthday. April has jazz; September has folk, in honor of my late father; November is rock and roll, for Dick Clark.

Most of my music, though, is tied to artists. I tend to play them on the artists’ birthday week, and I have a blue binder to check out upcoming natal days.

What if it’s a duo or group? Often it’s the artist I most associate with the group, such as Peter Noone, a.k.a. Herman, of Herman’s Hermits. Or if there’s no single key person, it might be the artist whose birthday comes earlier in the year. Phil Everly’s birthday was January 19, and brother Don’s is February 1, so I play them in January.

Some specific arcane rules
ROLLING STONES:
Mick Jagger’s birthday is in July, so I play the commercial albums I bought. But someone gave me a disc of all their albums up through 1980, so all the albums I ripped are played in December, for Keith Richards’ birthday.

BEACH BOYS:
Brian Wilson’s birthday is in June, so I play the bulk of my BB albums then. But both Dennis and Carl Wilson were born in December, so I play the box set then.

POLICE:
I have a bit of Sting’s music, which I play in October. But the Police I play in July for Stewart Copeland’s birthday, earlier in the year than Andy Summers’ December birth.

SIMON & GARFUNKEL:
LOTS of Paul Simon gets played in October, so the S&G is played in November, for Art’s birthday.

THE WHO:
Since I have a few Pete Townsend solo albums, which I play in May, the group’s output I play in early March, for Roger Daltrey’s birthday.

THE BEE GEES:
Barry, the oldest, is born in September. But the late twins, Maurice and Robin, were born in December; that wins out.

THE MONKEES:
Both Michael Nesmith (1942) and the late Davy Jones (1945) were born on December 30.

CROSBY, STILLS, NASH, AND YOUNG
I have the least solo work by Graham Nash, so the group gets played in February.

THE SUPREMES:
I play the group in early March in honor of longest tenured member, Mary Wilson, listening to Diana Ross later in that month on her birthday.

THE TEMPTATIONS:
Though it’s untrue, I think of the group with two primary singers in its prime years, David Ruffin (b. January 18), lead singer on most of the early hits, and Dennis Edwards (b. February 3), the prominent vocal on most of the psychedelic soul albums.

THE BEATLES:
Since John Lennon started the group, I play the core British albums, plus the Past Masters, which has the singles and EPs, in October. I also play the collection of Tony Sheridan and the Beatles collection which contains Ain’t She Sweet and Cry for a Shadow.
George was the first Beatle to visit the United States, visiting his sister Louise and her husband. I play the American albums in February.
Paul is one of the two survivors, so in June, I listen to the post-breakup stuff, such as the Anthology, BBC, and LOVE albums.
I don’t play Beatles albums in July for Ringo’s birthday, but I DO play Beatles COVER albums, which almost outnumber my Beatles collection.

There are even more rules, but I’d better stop now!

 

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