I am preparing myself for the upcoming Every Album Challenge with gusto. As I think about not obtaining any new music until I’ve listened to my entire music collection all the way through, a big question keeps returning to my brain---where exactly does one begin this challenge? And by that, I mean, which record should I start with?
As I was crafting the rules for this challenge, I was pondering if there was a need to do this in a particular order. At first I thought alphabetically, but I knew that by the time I got to Kiss or DMB or Pearl Jam not only would I run the risk of tiring myself out on my favorite bands, but I would most likely bore the pants off you, my loyal readers. How many days in a row can you really read about all the Kiss albums that I own? I knew that alphabetical was not the way to go.
Then I thought about doing it historically. Start with the earliest release years of the albums I own and end with the last new release that I ever purchased in 2011. That, however, would leave us stuck in the 80s for a really long time. Eventually I would start posting things like “totally tubular” and watching re-runs of Square Pegs and The Wonder Years. That would most likely lead me to quit blogging altogether. I knew that historically was not the way to go either.
Then I considered doing it by format. However, vinyl is not portable and I no longer have a cassette deck in my car, which would mean that a majority of the CDs would get listened to first, and then we’d be stuck with vinyl delights in the summer and for winter break. And since winter is when I plan to listen to most of my Christmas albums, I didn’t think this would work out too well. Alas, format was neither the way to go.
After much thought, I felt the best way to approach this challenge (and thus give myself the best chance to complete it) was to do it randomly. This means that I can listen to any album in my music collection that has not already been listened to whenever I choose. This will provide me the most flexibility within the parameters of the rules and still create some versatility in my listening pleasure.
The date of the challenge has been set. April 18, Tax Day here in the US. I felt it was an appropriate day to begin a new challenge. Especially knowing I will once again be giving the government even more of my money. It’s a good day for a fresh start.
What album will I kick off the challenge with? Well, that’s still up in the air. I’ve given thought to starting with one of my father’s favorite bands (Fleetwood Mac). I’ve also given thought to starting with one of my mother’s favorite bands (The Moody Blues). And of course I’ve given thought to kicking it off with my favorite band (Kiss). However, in the end, I think it’s going to be Bob Seger’s Night Moves that launches the challenge. It was the first album that I truly loved and I can’t think of a better way to begin the Every Album Challenge than with that fine, nostalgic, friend. It will be hard to listen to it only once though, so hard indeed.
The challenge begins on Monday.