Before we proceed…
I started this thing yesterday and have already had a big rethink about how it might go. While it was largely inspired by Woebot’s incredible list from a few years ago, I don’t think this exercise is going to cover all my absolute favourite records, but just ones I own and treasure, and which hopefully have a story behind them.
I’ve never really thought of myself as a collector and before the advent of invisible (digital) music, I was never really overly bothered about records as physical objects, it was always pretty much about the music itself. And nowadays, I’m not going to like something less because I only have it on my hard drive, but I do LOVE records, and as men (mostly men) of a certain age are constantly telling us on the internet, there is something to be celebrated in the tangible. I will post photos for all these records, but if you’re after some real physical format fetishism, head straight to Colin’s beautiful Hard Format site.
And yes, I’m already worried that I started counting down from 100.
99. David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name… (1971)
First solo album from that fucking filthy, disgusting, pompous, bloated, gun-toting, hippie junky misogynist degenerate, ex-CSNY member and appalling example of a human being. A rare example of a record where the story and culture surrounding it seem so wrong, but the music is pretty much pinpoint perfect in every way. For my money (twice, see below) better than anything by The Byrds or the like, and undoubtedly one of the greatest records of all time. Floaty, but intensely focussed, with a thick paranoid atmosphere, it sums up/laments the passing of the sixties as perfectly as Performance or Gimme Shelter, just with an added glint of West Coast sunshine. Or, as the cover indicates, sunset at least.
I was first given this in MP3 form by Scott Mapsadaisical during our “jazz years”. It was the odd one out, a pleasant afterthought, added to a CD full of files – we must have been at that midway point between the purely physical and purely digital phase – and as such it immediately struck me. When it was reissued on vinyl about a year or so ago, I finally picked it up. Of course, I then went to the States and found an original – which has a much nicer matte finish cover – for a lot less. Sadly, though it looks in near perfect condition, said original has some scratchy noise on the first track, so I’m not giving you the repress. You really should buy it in some form though. There are nice pictures of the vast crew of Cali hippie royalty/scum that played on it inside the gatefold and Crosby looks amusing, i.e a complete fucking state, on the back.
Oh, and that Indian girl? She wasn’t an Indian, she was the law.