If you don’t feel like shelling out big bucks for original, 1970 versions of the two Syd Barrett albums (The Madcap Laughs going for $130+ while Barrett goes for $200+), might I frugally suggest this 1974, two LP comp, Syd Barrett. Containing all the tracks from his (only) two albums, in their original order, this poor man’s treasure can easily be yours without the need to pick up a part time job.
More of a suggestion than an overly-simplified examination of the material, my hope is that the money saved on acquiring this reissue will afford the opportunity to accumulate additional records, that previously may have been financially out of reach. Or, it very well may be that you’re not a fan of the mad-hatted ramblings of Mr. Pink Floyd, in which case this offer of goodwill would go vigilantly uncared for. Either way, Syd Barret remains quintessential ear candy for those funny, sunny mornings with your honey love.
The 33 1/3 book series by Bloomsbury Publishing is a perfect collection of nerd-focused musical insight into the historical happenings of the development and recording of some of the most essential albums ever released (depending on whom you ask, of course… judge me not by this collection, you will). With 90 books currently published, and many more in the works (including upcoming releases that will warrant almost certain purchasing by yours truly… Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables; Freedom of Choice), my (current) collection of a measly 17 (or 5.29%) books from the series is, I feel, a decent start, and acts as a non-audio musical oasis of printed, historic pleasure.
I’ve finished The Village Green Preservation Society, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Led Zeppelin IV, Paul’s Boutique (working on my third time through… it’s that good), Use Your Illusion I and II, and Double Nickels on the Dime, and am currently in the wee pages of Let it Be. (Check out the 90 titles here.)
If you’re in the mood for a quick, compact, in-depth analysis of some of the more quintessential albums of modern day rock (generally), look no further than 33 1/3. They’re cheap, and they look majestic all lined up on a bookshelf, or so I tell my significant other.
It is the humble position of The Prudent Groove that all record collectors, who don’t already know this… the obvious… steer crystal clear of any and all picture discs. Sure, they welcome a glistening pyrite-like flash of abnormality, but unless you’re a gleeful youth, skipping is probably not on your day’s agenda.
Discovering a record that skips is not unlike finding a wallet on the beach containing no money. The wave of excitement is quickly drained upon this startling realization and, in this case, if a relatively hefty sum is paid for said skip-it record, its inclusion in your library rides that fine line between, “I should sell it, but wouldn’t want to burden a brother / sister collector with these woes ” and “well, I should just throw the damn thing away.” So, here it sits… unplayed… but looking as beautiful as a Saturday morning.
Stay away from picture discs kids. They may offer a bit of visual life in the mostly black world of vinyl, but every single one is prone to skip, and could turn out offering more resentment than entertaining pleasure.
Pink Floyd’s bevy of psychedelic, mind-expanding rock n’ roll continues to spark a wide and varied spectrum of individual, and self-important interpretation with seemingly every unique spin. From their plastic, cookie-cutter-outlook-crushing, interstellar Syd Barrett days, up to, and including, the never-too-overstated masterwork from the prestigious Roger Waters, 1979’s The Wall. Their work can be dissected and analyzed both as individual pieces, bricks if you will, or we can evaluate and examine their musical foundation as a whole.
This post, not unlike your standard, sluggish, overly simplified cluster of molded cement, by itself, offers no protection, provides no structure, and requires minimal user involvement. But… stack these posts, and the foundation to a lifetime of investigating, examining, rummaging, inquiring, and collecting begins to take form.
This isn’t a post about Pink Floyd, but rather a commentary on the perspective in which we choose to approach any given subject. For me, that subject is record collecting, and with each new addition, there is attached to it a story; a vivid memory, not unlike a time capsule of both the recorded material, AND the personal fable that surrounds its threshold-breaking inauguration into “The Collection.”
As a whole, the infrastructure of my music library expands infinitely in every conceivable direction within the X, Y, and Z-axes, and each record, each thin-layered medium to share and transfer waves of sound, represents a single, plotted point throughout this never-ending, collector’s journey. All in all, each new circular disc is just another brick in The Groove.