Not Best Or Recommended Or Even New

The 20 collections of music on this list have three things in common: (1) They were all released in 2009, (2) they were all purchased by me and (3) of all the music I bought last year, these are the ones that ended up within six feet of the player and remained there until New Year’s Eve.

See this as an honest look back–it’s not about new music or fashionable music or infrequently played music. This is the stuff that wound up providing my life’s soundtrack for those 12 months–not by design but, well, accretion: The pieces took hold at an almost unconscious level and never let go.

What’s evident from this idiosyncratic list–which, sadly, is only a part of my purchases in 2009–is that I am to the music industry what a high-roller is to Las Vegas, and yet the major labels, Big Radio and most venues are doing nothing to tap, much less encourage, my spendthrift behavior. I submit to you that this music industry blindness is far more problematic and damaging to profits than iTunes or piracy because I can say with a fair degree of confidence I’m among that 20 percent of consumers that, if courted, might provided the proverbial 80 percent of profits.

Which brings us to what’s not apparent about this list–with one exception, I bought physical copies of all these releases. (The Joe Pernice originally arrived as mp3s, but was soon replaced by an actual disc.) Make no mistake–they all wound up digitalized, but they began as collectable objects. Something the distribution chain should keep in mind as compact discs are squeezed out of existence by downloads at one end and retro-vinyl at the other.

Anyway, welcome to my most-listened-to musical world, circa 2009–this is why all of Amazon’s fuzzy-logic predictions about what I’ll want next are almost always memorably wrong . . .

  1  Manafon–David Sylvian
  2  Thin Air–Peter Hammill
  3   Glitter and Doom–Tom Waits
  4   It Feels So Good When I Stop–Joe Pernice
  5   Memoryhouse–Max Richter
  6   Yes–Pet Shop Boys
  7   Goodnight Oslo–Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3
  8   The Occurance of Slope–Steve Jansen
  9.   Live In Vienna, 1973–Miles Davis
 10  Wait For Me–Moby
 11  Live At The Paradiso–Van Der Graaf Generator
 12  Easy Come, Easy Go–Marianne Faithfull
 13  Live In London–Leonard Cohen
 14  The Beatles In Mono (Box)–The Beatles
 15  Twelve Nights In Hollywood (Box)–Ella Fitzgerald
 16  Shostakovich: 15 String Quartets (Box)–Beethoven Quartet
 17  Side Steps (Box)–John Coltrane
 18  The Singular Thomas Dolby–Thomas Dolby
 19  The Impulse! Albums, Vol 3 (Box)–John Coltrane
 20  Kind of Blue (50th Anniversary Legacy Ed)–Miles Davis