The CD Cull

New year, new CD collection.

December 2022 saw the Second Annual CD Cull, not quite as drastic as the Great Cull Of 2021 but still pretty ‘brutal’.

In this annual period of ‘reinvention’ and ‘rebirth’, some people throw out clothes, books and furniture – these days I look with fear and pity at my overburdened CD shelves.

CDs have lots of pros: sound quality, liner notes, cover artwork. But they are heavy, take up space, and looking at my stash is also a tacit admission of guilt at not getting to record shops as much as I used to.

But which CDs to keep? Of course there are the untouchables, in my case: Steely, John McLaughlin, Weather Report/Jaco/Wayne, Level 42, Jeff Beck, Syd, Ornette, Monk, Joni, Miles, Prefab, Little Feat, Marvin, Zappa, Scritti, Faith No More/Mr Bungle, It Bites, Danny Wilson et al.

Then there were the CDs I’m not altogether sure about but aren’t available on any other formats. So it’s a stay of execution for:

Lil Louis’ From The Mind Of Lil Louis
Robin Eubanks’ Karma

Then there are ones I haven’t listened to for ages. So I listened to them. Did I still want the below? Yes! They all screamed ‘classic’ pretty much from the first bar:

Human League’s Dare
Morphine’s Like Swimming

Brad Mehldau’s Places
Geri Allen: The Gathering
Brecker Brothers Collection Vols. 1 and 2
Gary Clail’s Dreamstealers

Little Axe’s The Wolf That House Built
Lonnie Liston Smith’s Cosmic Funk
Albert Collins & The Icebreakers’ Live ’92-’93
Blur’s Blur
Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin
D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar

But stuff has to go, so you need a system. There were soundtrack albums with one or two superb vocal tracks but which otherwise flattered to deceive:

Isaac Hayes’ Shaft
Marvin’s Trouble Man

There were compilation albums that were badly put together, inconsistent or lacking decent liner notes/info. So it’s goodbye to:

Roy Ayers’ A Shining Symbol
The Jimi Hendrix Concerts
Living Colour: Pride
On-U Sound’s Pay It All Back Vol.4
Ian Dury & The Blockheads’ Reasons To Be Cheerful
Peaches: The Very Best Of The Stranglers

Then there were the studio albums that had just a few good tracks and/or no musician details etc.:

Robert Palmer’s Double Fun
Angela Bofill: Love In Slow Motion
Propaganda’s Wishful Thinking
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Freaky Styley
Randy Newman’s Bad Love
Dee-Lite’s World Clique
Blur’s 13 (also in retaliation at Graham Coxon’s constant/irritating ‘shaming’ of the 1990s in recent interviews)
Van Halen’s Women And Children First/1984/Diver Down/Fair Warning
Zawinul Syndicate’s Lost Tribes
John Coltrane: ‘58/Both Directions At Once
D’Angelo’s Black Messiah

Finally, there are those CDs that are just appallingly remastered:

XTC’s Nonsuch/English Settlement
Bill Bruford’s One Of A Kind (2018 version)

I’ve probably left quite a few out here. Yes I’ll probably rue getting rid of some of ‘em. But it had to be done. I hope they have gone to a good home. Now, which CDs will kick the bucket in YOUR gaff…? (And a tip of the hat to the excellent Reckless Records in Soho, who always offer good prices/friendly service. )