During the early days of the pandemic I decided it was finally a good time to catalog my record collection on Discogs.
A few hours into the process, which took about two weeks, I quickly realized there were quite a few albums of considerable value that I hadn’t listened to in years. Ones which were more valuable to me as revenue than property.
It doesn’t mean those albums are garbage, but perhaps just not anywhere near the go-to they once were, if they ever were. When I was younger, I tried to buy all the cool albums, whether I was a fan or not. I figured, I’m cool, so it’s only logical that I’ll like the cool albums. But upon examination, that’s actually rarely the case. I also bought a lot of stuff just because people told me to. Hell, I still do that.
But, what I really want to look at here today is albums and artists that I did really enjoy once upon a time, but can’t stand at all anymore. It’s the exact opposite of what I wrote about last time. Here goes…
Rush. I had five Rush albums and sold them all. I like prog, but Rush’s real proggy stuff is too pretentious for me. I actively hate Hemispheres, and find most of that ’70s stuff of theirs too shrill, vocally. Rush are annoying, but I do still love Spirit Of Radio and What You’re Doing. A few others as well.
The Clash. My girlfriend’s boomer ex is a huge Clash fan — he’s even got a tattoo. Of course, The Clash have lots of great songs, but much of it is far too ska for my taste. Good or bad, I’m not allowed to play it at home anymore — so I sold it all off.
Misfits. I was as shocked as anyone to discover I had five Misfits records. That’s cool to say, but dreadful to demonstrate. Five minutes of poorly recorded two-chord songs about ghouls is about all I can manage anymore. Some bands always were no more than mixtape bands.
Grateful Dead. I always suspected they were boring, but that didn’t stop me from acquiring a mass of vinyl. The bluesy early stuff is shitty. It’s shitty blues music. The Americana stuff is hit and miss and everything after 1970 is indeed boring. Except Touch Of Grey.
John Lennon. I know, but wait … hear me out. The solo stuff — it’s not very good. Plastic Ono Band is fantastic. And there’s a bunch of great songs on Imagine. But Some Time In New York City, Mind Games, Rock And Roll and about half of both Walls And Bridges and Double Fantasy are lame. Too drunk to be consistent, and altogether too much awful Phil Spector production. Case in point: I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier. Just awful.
George Harrison and Ringo Starr. George made one great album — All Things Must Pass. Everything after that until Cloud 9 is a crappy record with one good song on it. Ringo made one good record: 1973’s Ringo. Everything else is stupid novelty bullshit.
Leonard Cohen. I only like the early stuff where he actually sings. Everything else is just a dreadful death march. I bought up a bunch of it back in the day, but only the very early stuff still gives me the feels.
The Blues Brothers. When I was a pre-teen I thought The Blues Brothers were so cool. I loved the movie, the SNL appearances and had three albums — Best Of, Briefcase Full Of Blues and the movie soundtrack. I can’t even listen to them for a minute now. I hate most boogie, except Canned Heat and J. Geils Band.
Elton John. Elton was my first musical love. I got into him at the worst time, around 1977 when I was four years old. He was on The Muppet Show, and then everything just got worse and worse. I was a completionist — and owned every single album. But in the past two years I’ve sold off everything after Blue Moves.
The Pogues. I really liked them in high school, but these days I can’t stand any Celtic rock.
Kraftwerk. I tried, God knows I tried. But, I prefer Neu! and Can.
The Who. Maybe it’s just because Live At Leeds is so damn good that almost everything afterward sounds horrible, except Who’s Next, of course, which is inspired. I tried to enjoy Quadrophenia, but it really should have been a single album — at best. Who By Numbers and Who Are You are terrible albums, as are the two post-Keith Moon ones, except for the singles (You Better You Bet and Eminence Front). I got rid of all of it — even my copy of Who Are You on red vinyl.
Frank Zappa. The first song of his I ever heard was Baby Don’t You Wanna Man Like Me? I sure loved it. But now I hate it with a passion. In fact, I can’t stand any ’70s and ’80s Zappa at all, practically. The bathroom humour, quickity quips and songs about erections and orgasms. It makes me feel embarrassed to play it, even when I’m alone. Love the early Mothers stuff, though — and most pre-1973 albums. His live albums might be the worst of all.
Reggae. I’m out. I’m not sure why it happened — perhaps it was due to my time in the Madawaska Valley in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when it seemed like all anyone wanted to hear was Lee (Scratch) Perry, Toots And The Maytals and Bob Marley. With the exception of Jimmy Cliff‘s awesome The Harder They Come, I have no space for reggae in my soul anymore. I got oversaturated.
Guided By Voices. One of my favourite bands, but I’ve come to the place where I firmly believe you only really need three of any of the following: Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, Under The Bushes Under The Stars, Mag Earwhig! and Do The Collapse. There are dozens upon dozens of others, and Pollard solo albums too. It’s too much, too samey. I got rid of about 15 of them — and apart from Propeller and Vampire On Titus, I can’t tell you what was on them.
The Kinks. I came to The Kinks late, probably around age 23. David Watts was one of my favourite songs to cover and I bought up every album. I have since got rid of everything except some early albums: Muswell Hillbillies, Lola Vs Powerman and Village Green Preservation Society. It’s entirely possible I prefer Dave Davies’ songs over Ray’s. And I can’t believe I’m saying that. Low Budget is an awful, awful song. Destroyer is a ripoff of All Day And All of The Night. Come Dancing? Ugh. And altogether way too much of the ultra-English stuff. I just can’t anymore. It gets almost George Formsby-esque at times. Let me out.
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Area Resident is an Ottawa-based journalist, recording artist, music collector and re-seller. Hear (and buy) his music on Bandcamp, email him HERE, follow him on Instagram and check him out on Discogs.