Saturday, December 31, 2011

But I Don't Care for Sugar, Honey, if I Can't Have You. Or your 300+ CDs.

"We sure own a lot of depressing music," said Mr Wrath last night as we were culling CDs. We're bidding adieu to almost two-thirds of the 350 CDs in our collection.

Mr Wrath is right: a lot of the music we listened to in the 90s is very bleak. Was that an overall musical trend for that period, or does everyone enjoy depressing music in their late teens and early twenties, or were we oddballs?

We copied selected tracts onto iTunes, then stuffed boxes full of the Tragically Hip, Watchmen, REM, Tom Waits, Counting Crows, 54•40, Crash Test Dummies, Billy Bragg, Jayhawks, Victoria Williams, Matthew Sweet, John Lee Hooker, Márta Sebestyén, Waterboys, Ali Farka Touré, Pursuit of Happiness, Spirit of the West, Kashtin, Bob Wiseman, Spin Doctors, Stan Rogers, Violent Femmes, Vonda Shepherd, Rankins, 10000 Maniacs, Bruce Cockburn, Melissa Etheridge, Captain Tractor, Waltons, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Pogues and others. It feels like I am giving away my youth. Acknowledging that I no longer remember the names of a single Tragically Hip song, makes me feel much older than admitting that my hair is graying, my knees ache after a hike, and that there are three black hairs growing out of my chin.

The Great 2011 CD Purge was also remarkable because I learned that my husband owns four Sinéad O'Connor CDs. I don't think he's played one in the last 14 years, but the idea of Mr Wrath listening to Sinéad O'Connor sing "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" even once, makes me giggle. For his part, Mr Wrath did not shame me for owning a Celine Dion cd. "I WON IT OFF THE RADIO!" I said far too loudly and much too shrilly. Then I sang a few choice lines from "Je Danse Dans Ma Tête" and Mr Wrath ran screaming from the house.

Know what else is going away? Annie Lennox's Diva. In the early 90s every time a boy broke my heart I'd listen to (and sing at top volume)  "Walking on Broken Glass." I was -- obviously -- an overly dramatic ass. Listening to the lyrics now makes me cringe, but the video is rather amusing. Look at young(ish) Hugh Laurie!

• • • • •

Do you still have your CDs? What's the most embarrassing CD you own(ed)? Anyone have suggestions for reinventing old Ikea CD towers? 


  1. I sold off my once mighty collection of 400 CDs about 7 years ago when I made the switch to digital. It took me about six months to rip them all to iTunes, then another couple of months to sell them on eBay. That money helped make a down payment on our house, so I'm not sorry I did it. The music is still there, although much of it I don't listen to anymore.

    The most embarrassing CD I've owned? It's a toss-up between the debut discs from Clay Aiken and O-Town.

  2. I still have all my CD's and I'm not too embarrassed of any of them, not even Tom Jones Greatest Hits. I remember finding that my husband had Please Hammer Don't Hurt Them, which I find quite frankly hilarious.

  3. AND John Malckovich. He's in there, too. Yes? That is him, eh? Hugh Laurie still looks like Wooster.

  4. Never mind my worst CD. I can top that!!! I saved my Milli Vanilli cassette. When everyone else was burning theirs in protest, my grade 7 mind told me to keep mine "because it will be the only one left and therefore worth money someday"...bahahahaha!

  5. We have been loading all our old cds into itunes this month, since our last computer hard drive crashed and we lost everything. I think my husband stopped buying anything but classical or instrumental music sometime around 1995.

    But I refuse to put his Steely Dan on the ipod. I hate Steely Dan.

    I have oodles of contemporary Christian music from my teen years. Strident, musically uninteresting stuff.

  6. First of all, you were a teenager in the 90's?!? Second of all, we have two brand new Ikea CD towers still in their boxes!! Thirdly, most embarrassing CD...I would have to say the Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam CD we bought (legally downloaded) after he announced that he agreed that it wouldn't be a bad idea to kill Salman Rushdie...damn that Cat Stevens, why does he have to be such a good singer?!?

  7. Aqua. Because I LIKED "Barbie Girl".... *shame*

  8. oh, I still have CD's though I think I sent my most embarassing to the troops in Iraq when we sent a care package. I'm sure they really loved me for this.

  9. I simply cannot comment....ALL my cd's are embarrassing. My discovery about my husband was his collection of Dido cd's, um ok.

  10. I still have my CDs too - not nearly as many as you, maybe because my husband only had about ten when we moved in together. I like a lot of music that I should probably be embarrassed to like - I have the CD that Breakfast at Tiffany's song was on, not that I remember who sang it. Must investigate this 'sending bad music to troops in Iraq' thing - if we send them Celine Dion does that mean the terrorists win?

  11. @Bibliomama -- I loved that Breakfast at Tiffany's song! Maybe if we send Celine Dion cds to the terrorists they'll surrender? What if we just sent Celine to al-Qaeda strong holds? Would they flee in terror?

    @Jenifer -- in the box is the one and only Dido cd I owned. Do you want my copy?

    @FOM -- I'm sure the soldiers appreciated your taste in music. "We are fighting for freedom to listen to BAD POP MUSIC!" they cheered before going out on patrol.

    @Marty -- Barbie Girl!? I'm having flashbacks!

    @Bernie -- Ikea must have made a fortune selling cd towers to the masses. I still like Cat Stevens old music, but I have no idea what to make of his later political comments. He wrote Peace Train!! I love the Jann Arden cover of that song.

    @Veronica Mitchell -- Steely Dan! And after I read your comment I remembered to do my monthly back up of our hard driver. THANKS!

    @Megan -- Milli Vanilli! Let me know when you put that up on Ebay.

    @Kimberly -- when exactly did Hugh Laurie make the transition to HAWT? Because, you're right, he looks very Bertie in this video.

    @Nicole -- One of the cds that I'm not giving away is Tom Jones' Greatest Hits!

    @Idaho Dad -- Good for you! I think we've missed out on the "selling cds for money" moment. You timed that perfectly.

  12. I just told my son if I had had my way he would have been named after Hank BECAUSE of a waterboys song. But then.. could not locate the CD.

    Have 'em but they are falling to ruins.

  13. Fun fact: Annie Lennox was pregnant when she shot that video. I get very nervous watching her frantically run down those stairs in that gown. At least John Malkovich is at the bottom to cushion her fall.