Much like my wife, I enjoy lists. I don’t mean to-do lists, however. I’m talking about lists such as the Time 100 Best Books Since 1920, or The AFI Top 100 List. There’s something appealing about a list created from arbitrary standards, be they personal preference, sequential, or even “influential”, that appeals to me.
One such list that is dominating me at the moment is the subject of my other blog, The Edwardian Adventurer: The Doctor Who list. Originally started to develop the discipline of regular writing, The Edwardian Adventurer has been an at times exciting, at times frustrating and tedious exploration of the BBC science fiction classic Doctor Who. The mandate of the blog is to watch every episode, from the 1963 debut episode An Unearthly Child to whatever episode ends the current run. This will be well over 700 episodes, over 700 individual blog entries, when all is said and done. Having recently completed the first 100 entries, I am starting to look ahead. What happens when I either catch up, or run out of DVDs due to money or lack of release? There are further Doctor Who lists beyond the show. Doctor Who has infiltrated a variety of media, from novels to audio dramas. Truly, the consumption and analysis of Doctor Who can last a lifetime.
But with as much fun as this other blog can be, I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of Doctor Who. It is one of my favorite shows, to be sure, but it is not my desire consume nothing but Doctor Who for the rest of my life. Plus, I’m a sucker for more punishment. Thus, I felt complete, child-at-Christmas joy when 1000 Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die arrived at the used book store where I work. I love music (how many people would really claim otherwise). I used to play guitar until pains in my hands and arms became too severe to deal with. But when a person enters the world of music, and I mean truly enters it in a way beyond listening to it on the radio while driving or having it on as background at work, it never completely leaves your soul. You begin to pursue it, to make connections to what has come before and what comes after. You begin to appreciate music as a tapestry of human achievements, dreams, hopes, and fears for all of history. Music is an exploration of the worldview of the musician, a way to see how he, she, or they coped with the world they found themselves in. Music is the Rosetta Stone to the soul.
So, with book in hand, I set out with Tom Moon as my travel guide through the history of recorded music. I note with joy (and pride) that I have a few of these albums in my collection already. But to be less biased, I will go in the order of the book: alphabetical. I will do my best to approach each work with as little preconceived notions (either positive or negative) as possible. I also acknowledge that I will fail in that particular goal. But I promise to give each album a fair shake. Or one week, because that is often when the library wants their CDs back. At the end of the week (or less time if I truly connect with the album), I will do my best to express the context for the album, why it is important, and what I thought of it. I think this blog will be a lot of fun.
Although, the first album is ABBA’s Gold. Perhaps I spoke too soon.