Friday, 20 November 2009

Constant rotation

At last count I think I must have nearly a thousand of them. Plastic circles, 12 centimetres in diameter. Writing on one side, shiny on the other. A time traveller exploring my house would surely wonder what the fixation was with all these discs.

He'd also have a bit of an issue with the dust bunnies in the living room, but that's another matter.

My CD collection goes back right to the beginning of my adult life. A few months into gainful employment and I persuaded Comet to let me have a hi-fi on HP. While this had the usual record and tape deck, it also came with something very new and very scary for the 1988 me; a CD player.

I remember anxiously putting everything together in my bedroom, being slightly freaked out by the warning label about laser radiation. And then, like a spotty Edison waiting for someone to invent the second telephone, it occurred to me that this technology was all very nice, but needed to be put to practical use. Getting a CD to play on it could only help.

That first one? "Love Over Gold" by Dire Straits. It was the eighties - it was probably a bye-law. I have no other explanation.

So started a love affair with the CD that has remained to this day. I love everything about them; going to the store and riffling through the racks, grasping the shrink-wrapped cases, tearing them open, reading the booklet. Then that first play.

It's all about the music. I have CDs of quiet reflection, CDs of raucous expression. CDs that make me laugh, CDs that give me the shivers. There are the worthy ones I bought when I was finding my way. The one-offs I got on the basis of one track and then regretted. The surprises. The growers. Those that are never out of the car. The ones quietly collecting dust in the spare room.

But I can remember them all. I recall where I was when I got each one. What was I doing when this one came into my life? What made me buy this one? How did I feel on hearing this one?

But surely this is anachronistic? After all, as a member of the iPod generation I can simply download music and carry it around as digital files. But my CD collection is more than just a load of music; it's a journal of my life.

There are some things you just can't do with zeroes and ones.

2 comments:

Dory said...

Soooo true.

1988, huh? I was way behind you... got my first CD player for graduation in 1991. First CD... Time, Love, and Tenderness. Yeah, that took a lot for me to admit. But I know this is a safe place. ;)

tNb said...

Beautifully written, thanks. I'm fondly remembering my CD collection, somewhere en route in the Atlantic ...

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