As a teenager working part-time, I spent most of my meager pay on CDs. I rarely rode the bus without a walkman or discman. In college, when mp3s burst onto the scene, I filled my hard drive with them. When I got my own car, I had boxes of tapes and CDs, and only music stations programmed on the radio. Later, I got an iPod, and nearly filled it with music. In our apartment, I have four different CD racks chock full of albums, and more in boxes. My latest iPod is nearly half full. My phone has about 20 albums on it. I periodically have to clean out the music folders on my computer because they take up too much space. I started a blog named after one of my favorite Faith No More songs. What I am trying to say is that I love music, and that over the years, I have listend to a lot of it.
I love music in the same way that many people love Netflix shows - all at once. I've always felt that if an artist or band is putting out an album, they want us to listen to the entire thing. Sure, I'll have songs that I like more than others, and sometimes I skip around to hear a particular song. In general though, I prefer to listen to the whole album. As a side note, I loathe Greatest Hits albums*, especially when they include a couple of unreleased songs, for a host of reasons, one of the biggest being that a band's hits aren't necessarily their best songs. Another reason is that when I hear a given song, I want to hear the next song on the album. The Greatest Hits albums that feature unreleased songs are the worst. I don't mind paying for music (though I'd be much happier about it if more went to the actual band), but if I like the band enough to want those extra tracks, I will already own the albums from which the so-called hits have been pulled. Now I have to buy them again? No thanks.
The point is, I binge. If your band puts out an album, I will listen from beginning to end. Sometimes, artists put out albums to support the one or two singles that are the only legitimately good songs on those albums. Why bother releasing that? Aside from contractual obligations, of course. Perhaps I am something of a dinosaur, a relic. In a day and age in which we can buy individual songs at will, in which we can pick and choose which songs to load onto our iPods, cell phones, or other music players (I left "Last Kiss" out when I uploaded Pearl Jam's Lost Dogs to my iPod), in which we can use apps like Pandora and Spotify to automatically generate random playlists for us, I still prefer the full album. Call me old. I dare you.
In the spirit of that love of full albums, I thought it would be fun to look back at some albums I used to spin in heavy rotation (I would make a joke about young people not knowing that CDs and records spun, but given that vinyl is seeing yet another resurgence, I think the joke would be wasted), but that I might have moved away from in the past few years, give them another listen, and write some words about the songs and the album.
Sound interesting? I hope so!
And yes, I know this should technically be "Stuff To Which We Listened", but I'm okay with dangling the occasional preposition. I think it sounds better, and it's my website.