Agony Shorthand

Monday, February 10, 2003
YOUR FAVORITE UNDIGITIZED LPs?….I’ve got an idea for a little interactivity here. I've heard that's big on the World Wide Web. So you know as well as I do that the past 10 years have been an absolute goldmine for getting untold amounts of out-of-print musical treasures reissued on CD. Forty-fives and LPs that commanded upwards of $20-$200 and beyond are now easily found and cataloged on 77-minute CDs, whether it be Killed By Death-style punk rock, Jamaican 60s rocksteady or no-fi British art-punk from the early 1980s. That’s just great. But what about all the LPs that for whatever reason have not found their way onto CD? The big-ticket examples that I know of are the three terrific, impossible-to-find Neil Young albums that he’s decided to keep off of CD (I should say LEGIT CDs, since these all exist as bootlegs): On The Beach, Time Fades Away and American Stars & Bars. I haven’t read the recent biography (“Shaky”) yet – my sources tell me it’s quite good – so I’m not sure what his beef is with getting these digitized. (Note: some clues may be found here). But whatever, they’re a holy grail for Neil CD completists.

Why would anyone care, right? If you have the LP, then what would you need a CD of it for? I suppose it depends on the way you listen to your music. When I bought a car with a CD player in it, and then followed that up with a computer with a CD burner, it totally changed the way I listen to music. Portability became a no-brainer. No more making cassette tapes in real time; no, I’ll just burn your CD in 10 minutes, thanks. You know the drill; this sort of thing is discussed ad nauseum in the tech and the popular press, and it’s made former LP junkies re-think their once-ironclad allegiance. Anyway, so that’s led to a new obsession for me – “digitizing” (there’s that word again) my LP collection – the ones that may never come out on CD (you know the Neil stuff will eventually). With the help of a perpetually-on-borrow pre-amp from MW (kudos to you, MW), I can actually make decent copies of LPs and 45s that no sane record label would ever release again, create custom compilations, record my massive flexidisc collection, etc. People like Paul Marko and the UK Punk ’77 site can even sell your records back to you on CD.

I’ve put together my own list of LPs I’d love to see someone release on CD someday, so I don’t have to roast it up myself. Bear in mind that because my, uh, “era” is 70s-90s stuff, I don’t have any treasured 50s or 60s records listed that I know about in LP form only:

1. FLESH EATERS “Forever Came Today”
2. GIBSON BROS “Big Pine Boogie”
3. DMZ “DMZ” (debut Sire LP)
4. AVENGERS White Noise EP and “Avengers” CD Presents LP
5. WORLD OF POOH “The Land of Thirst”
6. TALES OF TERROR “Tales of Terror”
7. FLESH EATERS “Hard Road To Follow”
8. FLESH EATERS “No Questions Asked”
9. VOLCANO SUNS “All Night Lotus Party”
10. RED CROSS “Red Cross” (1st EP)
11. NIGHT KINGS “Increasing Our High”
12. BANGLES “Bangles” debut EP

Yep, the Bangles. More on them later this week. And if some of these ARE on CD, please let me know. Add your own via the comments section! What do youwant to see on CD?