Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Your future: our clutter

Thanks to Matt Charlton for managing to make me feel both old and angry. "Should you get rid of your CDs?" he asks in a column for the Guardian. This question simply does not compute for someone who not only continues to buy them but has also recently had shelves built in the living room to accommodate the collection.

Having been born between the vinyl booms, my first format love was cassettes - but most of my music is on disc. Sod the suggestion that they're "inherently unlovable". They might not have "the richness or tactile nature of vinyl, or the kooky, Urban Outfitters irony of tapes" (!), but they're what I've grown up with, and there's something satisfying about pulling a box off the shelf rather than clicking a button, and having an inlay booklet to flick through while you listen. They're more affordable than records and don't come with all the hipster wankery.

At least Charlton ultimately advises against a clear-out, on the grounds of sentimental value and the instability and likely transience of streaming services - both sound reasons in my book. But for some of us (a minority, admittedly...) CDs are not merely "scratched little time capsules" - and we're not interested in holding onto them only in the hope that they might one day mount a comeback.

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