The needle-drop test
March 28, 2006
Okay kids, here's a new challenge: in the very old days of vinyl and turntables, I tended to evaluate albums in terms of how often I'd feel compelled to get up from the couch and skip a song/track I really didn't want to hear. I also rated records very highly if a random drop of the needle anywhere on the LP's surface would land on something I enjoyed. The all-time worst offender for me was 'Voices of Old People' from Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends album. I even tried to scratch the record in such a way that the stylus would move from 'Overs' to 'Old Friends'. I ultimately paid for this: my friend Ted learned to mimic the 'Voices' track perfectly, complete with groans and lamentations and would entertain me with it anytime he felt like it (usually not more than once or twice a day).
Nowadays, with CDs and other modern media, it's not such a great problem but I still prize recordings which are consistent enough throughout that I can enjoy each cut.
So, Folk Alley Cats and Kittens: which recordings in your collection would survive the random needle drop--not a weak track on the album?
Let's leave out greatest hits packages and compilations.
Nominations are open.
Posted by Stephen Ferron at March 28, 2006 3:11 AM