This was originally written on my old Angelfire page in 2008. Starting in 2001, I joyously played my albums on the anniversary of the day I got them, writing journal entries about them as I did so. I had a number of double, triple, even quadruple anniversaries.
When I wrote this, I planned to retain certain anniversaries, but ended up discontinuing even those. I cut out the second half of the original post, since it discussed which albums I wanted to keep, and why. The final paragraph is significantly edited down.
I’ve decided, without much difficulty, to cease and desist from creating any further album anniversaries. The reasons for wanting to stop while I’m still somewhat ahead are many-fold:
1. I don’t want to clutter up the calendar with excess anniversaries. Why feel obligated to have an anniversary anyway? If you love the album enough, you won’t need a reason to play it, or can just play it without writing about it.
And, particularly lately, I’ve been journalling almost nonstop about something I’d prefer to keep journalling about with no interruptions [i.e., my then-nascent relationship with that loser Sergey]. There will also be times when I want or need to journal about something else, not have to devote the day’s entry, or several entries in a row, to album anniversaries. It’s a very positive step that now I don’t find it a big deal at all to have belated anniversaries, even by more than a day.
2. Though every album is special and unique in its own way, not all albums are held in the same regard. I’ve often commented how nice it is to sit down and play something again after a whole year of not having played it, get reacquainted with it, remind yourself it still exists, but the fact remains that there are still some albums you’d prefer not to revisit at all, or at least would prefer to revisit on your own time.
Why stretch yourself thin having anniversaries for every single album you’ve got when you can concentrate your time and energy on your very favourites? I get more out of an anniversary for an album I absolutely love and have a special relationship with than something I don’t play that often.
3. Why even bother to do an anniversary for an album I don’t like? I don’t get anything out of it. Sometimes I even have difficulty coming up with much of anything to say for an album I do like, such as Walls and Bridges or McVicar.
4. If I have an anniversary for every single album in my main artist categories, eventually they’ll all come to feel the same. If they’re few and far between, I’ll have more to say and will treasure them even more. And if you don’t start having anniversaries for the new ones, then the habit won’t start to begin with and thus feel harder to break.
I can’t imagine what I’d have to say were I to do an anniversary for Extra Texture beyond “Well, this album still sucks. I’m embarrassed just listening to it. It makes me want to fall asleep. At least it was only $3. I expect so much better from George than this horrible excuse of an album.”
5. Not having an anniversary, or not starting the habit at all, doesn’t make it any less special.
6. I started this practice when I had far fewer albums. Eventually you run out of things to say, apart from the big guns like Quad or Tommy.
7. It’s ridiculous to schedule your life around these anniversaries, or lug along a record player, the stereo, the big bulky headphones, and vinyl albums when you’re just going on a ten-day vacation, or even just a smaller CD player and its own equipment.
I had to put Psychoderelict onto an iPod for my recent Israel trip, since my six-year anniversary happened during the trip. That anniversary is shared with Double Fantasy and More of The Monkees, but since they’re on vinyl, I had to wait till I got home to have a belated anniversary.
Now that I no longer have this stupid worry, I don’t have to worry about having enough time to do an anniversary if I get home late at night, having to hold off on playing new albums all on the same day, or waiting till well after a period of several anniversaries in a row. I’d be getting more time freed up to spend with my most cherished albums.
Trimming the fat means I get more time to spend with my most special anniversaries.