In Search Of The Holy Grail
Over 100,000 albums are released in a typical year yet only a small percentage of those become classics in the truest sense of the word. Most years, for me, only a handful make the grade. I struggle to find the gold within the pay dirt; it’s an arduous process, one that is eternally frustrating and seldom rewarding. It wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time, in my teens and twenties when I was really getting into music, there were Holy Grails all over the place. And even though I found plenty of gems in the decades I grew up in I found that by delving into the past I found even more worthwhile beauties to add to my rapidly growing collection of classics. There were stinkers, too, of course. Albums and bands I thought at the time were magnificent magnum opuses turned out to be steaming piles of horseshit as my musical palate expanded. But By God the hits far outweighed the misses back then, and that’s the truth!
Now it’s more difficult. I’m not some curmudgeon who really thinks that “everything’s already been done” and “nothing can beat the music of MY generation”, no. There’s tons of good music out there. I know that. But I am much more particular about the bands and albums I let in nowadays. I am not nearly as susceptible as I once was to the easy charms of the pop record. And although I am loathe to admit it my attention span seems to have dwindled as of late. I could blame it on the advent of the iPod, or age, or family or work concerns, or any other number of reasons. But the truth is that I am so busy going through a phase where I am rediscovering stuff I missed from the past that I don’t have nearly enough time for all the good new stuff. And if I’m honest I’ve been that kind of a music consumer/active listener for almost 20 years now. Playing catch up, so to speak. I still make some wonderful new discoveries each year that become favorites, albums that join the ranks and rows of my little plastic time tested immortal beloveds.
It’s just that it’s a much more exclusive club now. You can’t join by putting out an “ok” album. You have to be spectacularly unique to rush my fraternity. Once you’re in you’re in for life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.