It. Is. All. Streaming. Nowadays.
(Except where it isn’t, of course. Not everything is available online, yet. I can only play CDs in the car.)
But, not being twenty-three any more, I don’t actually want to have shelves full of CDs on the walls of my house. Books furnish a room, obviously, and I think you can make a strong argument for a block of vinyl albums looking agreeable too. But CDs? With their nasty plastic cases that catch the light and reflect it awkwardly? A bit naff, no? I’m old now. I think a vase or a picture or something looks nicer than a row of These Animal Men CD singles that I will never, ever listen to again. Call me a monster if you must.
And once you start putting your CDs in storage boxes you realise those chunky plastic cases are just taking up space. Long before I decided to Marie Kondo those bad boys I had swapped the outer cases for lightweight sleeves (and yes, I know, the thought of all that wasted plastic is sickening, but they were all purchased pre-streaming, we just didn’t think back then, we were stupid – and streaming isn’t exactly environmentally friendly either). The best way to enjoy music and protect the planet is to join your local folk club, but fuuuuuuck that, right? We all need to make sacrifices to save the world. I know that. I have given up flying and have stopped buying food that has travelled half way around the world. Don’t make me listen to Mumford and Sons.
Marie Kondo says to get rid of anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’ when you hold it. People do tend to overemphasise her belief in this principal. She does acknowledge that some things we own are necessary even though they don’t fill our hearts with joy. She doesn’t expect your toilet brush or your insulin or your toothpaste to spark joy. When it comes to music though, she is bang on the money. I had kept CDs for years that contain recordings of music that clearly sucks by bands that obviously suck. I kept CDs that I will never listen to again. Until today I owned three Morrissey albums. Objectively, I know that Sing Your Life is great but Morrissey’s voice is a voice I never want to hear again (unless it is saying sorry for all the terrible things he has said in his life- and even then I think I’d prefer to hear it second-hand, a small article in the newspaper perhaps, “Morrissey apologises for being a awful racist”, something like that. Something to glance at briefly before turning to the football.)
So yeah, I culled my record collection. I eliminated the CDs that didn’t spark joy. I sold some stuff, charity shopped some other stuff, and threw some stuff away. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I kept a lot of cds. I kept more than I probably should have. Nobody’s perfect.
The CD I added to the Big Christmas Day Giveaway box was a limited edition single of Jerusalem by The Fall. It consists of two three inch CDs in a sleeve. You don’t see three inch CDs very often, do you? It really is quite the curio*. What a lovely prize, yes?
*Look, if you don’t like it you can always sell it, yeah? Apparently it’s worth about a tenner. Knock yourself out, mate.