I need more Cowsills!

So, it's two months already since I posted about my great audio cassette purge, wherein I was able to digitize a large chunk of my collection thanks to a nifty converting device I found online. I also noted that iTunes purchases came fast and furious for awhile.

I've had my iPod for seven years already--almost seven years exactly--and that means I've had iTunes for that long too. I bought the iPod days before a trip to Hawaii, loading dozens of CDs onto it to help me get through the long flight. I similarly dubbed dozens of CDs a few more times over the years, ultimately ending up using about 10 GB of space for the 2500 songs that made their way onto the gadget. During the first, say, six years that I had iTunes, though, I may have downloaded a mere 20 songs. I'm a CD guy afterall, but one who is breaking the habit.

In the past year, and especially during the recent cassette cleanup blitz, I downloaded over 250 more. A good chunk of these songs were ones that I had on cassette. For one, I had a multi cassette collection of 60s tunes that I had copied from a friend who had bought it off of one of those TV commercials; "Keep on Rockin'" was the name of this particular set, and I'm not ashamed to admit that. While building my CD collection over the years, I ended up owning many of these songs on CD; however, many others would have been lost if I simply tossed the tapes, as it simply wasn't worth hunting through them to retrieve two- or three-minute gems and then recording them. There were a few other songs from other cassettes that I had hoped would be released on CD but never were, and others where I simply didn't want to buy a CD for one or two songs that I liked. I probably purchased close to 100 songs to secure these.

I also blame Facebook, and many of my friends on Facebook to be specific, for interesting me in stuff I either didn't know or just hadn't heard in a long time. I'd say I blew about $50 on such songs.

I'd say that I absolutely threw away $10-$15 buying songs I already owned on CD, albeit stuff that was buried on compilation CDs. This would bother me less had these not been guilty pleasure songs in some cases and songs from silly Facebook threads in others.

The bulk of the remaining songs I've purchased were either different versions of the same song, or a second or third song from an artist where I might have only known or owned one or two songs.

Some songs get done over many times. Take "Ghost Riders in the Sky", which was brought back to my consciousness through a friend's post. If you're going to own one version of it, whose would it be? Johnny Cash's? Couldn't go wrong there. But, Burl Ives did an awesome version of it before Cash. The Ventures did a nice instrumental one too. And, of course, the Outlaws made it a southern rock hit. So, I'm happy to say I now own all four. But, really, for all the tunes by Al Green, Amy Winehouse, Billy Joe Royal, the Mekons, the Neon Philharmonic, the Rascals, Roy Orbison, Robert Palmer, Uriah Heep, and Warren Zevon that have found their way into my iTunes library at that feverish pitch, it may have just boiled down to needing to hear some more Cowsills...



  1. The "inspiration" for "The Partridge Family"...

    And there are those Mekons again. An odd and unexpected point of intersection in our respective musical tastes.


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