What began as randomly copying a few songs as a means to getting my noggin around all this new technology has turned into an inner debate on the current status of the music industry and the grim reality of facing my own mortality.
When I was a younger man, the single was the be all and end all of music for me. Not only did it have the freshest music, (singles always come out before albums) but it was a condension of all the best bits the album had to offer. Between the ages of 18 and about 28 I went to my local record shops (wherever I happened to be living) every 'new release' Monday without fail to see what gems the weeks slew of releases would throw up.
However, as the years advance and the need to keep up with each and every new release dissipates, and the pleasure found in getting to know the intricacies of a complete aｌbum increases, I find that I have more or less stopped buying 7"'s altogether (save for the yearly Not Not Fun Records singles club I always sign up to).
Is it the changing nature of the way we consume music? The idea that it's just not "worth" buying something for 3 or 4 quid when you can just download it for nowt in a matter of seconds.
Is it the notion that as we mature our appreciation of art requiires a deeper level of communication that the superficiality of the 3 minute pop single is unable to provide?
Is the reason altogether more functional? That the constrictions of adult existence; a full-time job, running a household, appeasing partners etc leave no time or room for manouvere that a teenager with no responsibilities cocooned in their private space does have. It takes time and effort to phsyically get up every 3 minutes and change/turn over the CD/record.
Am I just turning into an old git?!!
Is it all irrelevant in these "shuffle" happy times?
I'm not sure of the answer but as a means to avoid forgetting what made and indeed still makes these small discs of wax so special I have been spending a lot of time with my 7" collection over the last couple of weeks.
- As an aside, that is one of the things that I love about RR/The 'Spill - as well as getting turned on to new kinds of music, and it seems, for me at least, that new musical vistas are being revealed on an almost daily basis - it also forces you to take a closer look at youir own collection. If you are someone (like most of us here) that buys/downloads a lot of music, it's so easy for some records to get one listen then get forgotten about for months or even years at a time.
Whilst being by no means a definitive list, here is a random selection of favourites from the records I have with me in Japan (I have another couple of shoeboxes full in the UK but I can't even remember what's in them - lots of early Twisted Nerve releases maybe?!)
Let's have some nominations for YOUR favourite singles (EP tracks and B-Sides are allowed but it has to have been released as a single and sound best in the context of a single).
Mclusky - Lightsabre Cocsucking Blues
State River Widening - Unsung Couples
John Callaghan - I'm Not Comfortable Inside My Mind
Graham Coxon ^ Freakin' Out
M'n'M's - Knock Knock Knock
1910 Fruitgum Company - Goody Goody Gumdrops
The White Stripes - The Big Three Killed My Baby
Riff Randells - Who Says Girls Can't Rock?
Nish - Jwel
Clinic - Distortions