Vinyl #7 and 7.046 – Why are these on CD?


Record companies have reissued much of their back catalog on CD. By doing so, they’ve gotten more money out of me and countless other lazy people for items we’ve already bought once. Someday, they’ll figure out that they should be doing this with MP3s too (at a reasonable price). But I digress.

Sometimes I’ll be wandering through a record store and I’ll see a CD reissue of something I have on vinyl and wonder why anyone bothered.

One such disc was Philosophy of the World, by the Shaggs (1980). For some reason, Rounder Records decided that the inept stumbling of three New Hampshire “sisters” (I dunno about the gender – check out the album cover picture) was worth releasing on vinyl. I guess someone at Rounder had a sense of humor. The title cut is bad, but in some ways interesting. The rest of the album is… um… different. Try My Pal Foot Foot.

Then there’s Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed (1975). It was originally released as a double album with one cut (note I didn’t say “song”) on each side, each cut exactly 16:01 long, and with a lock groove on the end of side 4, so the last few seconds can go on forever. Here’s a very representative 46 second sample from side 1. I’ve listened to it all the way through, so you don’t have to.

Clearly, drugs were involved, as the excellent liner notes make obvious. I don’t write record reviews, because you can listen to the music and make your own decisions (and because I’ve bought tons of crap recommended by critics who write better than the artists they review can play), but if you want to know more (like “Why?”) you might find this 25th anniversary retrospective interesting.

As always, these songs are digitized from the vinyl, not ripped from CDs. The sound quality reflects that. The fact that the music is annoying is totally the fault of the artists involved.

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