The Australian’s music writer Iain Shedden has proposed that this Saturday should be Australian Throw Out Albums You’ll Never Listen To Again Day. Is it time for your music collection to get a clean-out?
Shedden reached that conclusion after encountering a copy of Kate Bush’s 1982 album The Dreaming in his collection, and realising that he couldn’t imagine any circumstances where he would listen to it again. As he said: “Once that criteria had been set, there was no going back.”
Initially, that idea filled me with horror — but largely because The Dreaming is one of my favourite albums of all time. Once I’d reminded myself sternly that everyone is entitled to differing tastes, then it actually seemed a sensible idea to consider. Clutter is a constant problem in modern life; as we often say around here, there’s no sense in hanging onto things that you’re never going to use again.
Of course, the problem is much more pronounced with physical music (LPs and CDs and, for those of us of a certain age, cassette tapes) than it is with MP3 or FLAC files. No matter how large your collection of digital music, these days you can fit it on a drive that’s pretty much the same size as a CD. (You could theoretically hold onto the drive and give away or sell the CDs, but you’d be breaking both the letter and the spirit of Australian copyright law, which allows format shifting but presumes you will hang onto the original.)
With all that said, having given it some thought, I’m not going to be clearing out my own music collection this weekend. I’ve ditched a lot of other stuff in recent years, and right now I’m satisified that my physical music collection is still meaningful and utilised. But it was worth giving some thought to the subject. (It was also worth listening to The Dreaming again.)
Could you imagine disposing of albums you’ve purchased because you’ve realised you just won’t ever listen to them again? Tell us all in the comments.