I keep looking at my wall of CDs and scowling internally. I love the music on them, obviously, but as a format I’ve fallen out of love in a major way. My thoughts inevitably drift to how much vinyl I could store there instead and then how much vinyl I could buy with all of the money I spent on these ugly little bastards in their surprisingly easy to break cases. My CD purchasing piddled anaemically to a trickle as 2010 came to an end, only special editions and albums not available on vinyl (refreshingly few these days, as it happens) being allowed to join the plastic wasteland. The phrase ‘going digital’ is bandied around rather casually – as if CDs weren’t that in the first place – and it’s something I’m warming to. With an Airport Express plugged into the amp, streaming lossless files doesn’t seem quite as evil as it did two years or even twelve months ago. Maybe it’s time.
However, despite such emotions, I find myself allowing some rather bizarre additions in through the door, not least some of Cherry Red’s recent indie reissues. I can’t deny it, the deluxe, expanded CD editions of The Boo Radleys’ output were a cause of excitement for me. I sit here typing to the sound of the bloody brilliant ‘Bullfrog Green’ from the – slightly – overlooked ‘C’Mon Kids’ album. Do I need the Mekon remix of the title track? No. The Ultramarine remix of ‘From The Bench At Belvidere’? Hang on. Oooh, fuck no. Will I probably only really play the main album and occasionally geek over the sleevenotes? Almost certainly. Why do I do this? I was chuckling at the useless twats for whom a deluxe edition of Cast’s ‘All Change’ has been prepared the other day until I realised that if you simply swap out the largely insignificant indie release for another one (obviously one that isn’t utterly shit like this particular example), I’d probably be in the queue.
Which leads me to unveil what the other two albums, alongside ‘C’Mon Kids’, were in my recent order I placed with Cherry Red. 2CD reissues of… the first two Sleeper albums. I liked them! I’d have bought a 2CD reissue of ‘Pleased To Meet You’ if there’d been one too. Now, I know that the same ‘listen once to the bonus disc and then stick with the main album for a few more plays before moving on entirely’ philosophy that I’ve applied to The Boos’ previous reissues (‘Giant Steps’ and ‘Wake Up’ are already out there folks – 3CD sets!!) will no doubt be applicable with these selections also, but I just can’t help myself. It’s somewhere between nostalgia and residual fanboyism. They’ve been delayed since before Christmas and I am genuinely rather keen to hear them. I don’t imagine that there’ll be much demand for a big feature on here once I’ve actually had a chance to listen but they highlight perfectly the CD-based dilemma I’m stuck with. For as long as I remain a reissue junkie, my CD dependency cannot be cured. I’m loath to simply strip out a huge chunk of the collection for a fear of feeling like I’ve lost a limb. Or two. This is the year whereby the discounted CD is no longer to be viewed as a bargain or a tempting treat but as a reminder of Fopp carrier bags gone by. As I said on Twitter earlier, if I like it, I’ll only end up buying the bloody thing on vinyl as well anyway. So that’s no more CDs. Apart from big, beautiful boxsets. And small scale reissues of small time indie records I’ve already got. Seems perfectly logical to me.
I’m feeling smug for not being weak enough to opt for a title about being addicted to Boos or some such. However, I’m not above mentioning it anyway because there’s a part of me that still thinks it would have been funny.