Friday Music: The Laws of Searching

Have you ever heard the old rule about searching – “You’ll find it when you stop looking for it?” To me, that is the one law that is true about finding things (though something about it not being where you think it is also applies at times).

This post has its roots in last week’s Friday music post. As I was searching for the jewel case to the album (because I had seen it not too long ago, but kind of forgot where I had seen it), I went into a box where I knew I had put some CDs in a long time ago. All that I had remembered about this particular box was that it had this bunch of CDs in it, mostly because I wasn’t using them frequently and it was a good place to store them.

Basically, there are layers of jewel cases in there, some slimline cases which old discs I’ve burnt such as the recovery discs for my computer and archived emails from years ago, along with archives of my photos from both the Sony and the Minolta digital camera. On the bottom layer, there are other burnt discs, along with various program discs and a whole bunch of music CDs.

As I was going through this stack of discs, I started finding things that I knew I had but the whereabouts of which I had totally lost track of. Among those discs was one that I got as a Christmas present from my brother. That disc is probably one of the most niche CDs you’ll ever find in a person’s collection. What is it, you ask? Classic TV Game Show Themes, on the Varese Sarabande label. As I write this, I’m listening to it for maybe the second time since I got it in 2000, and I have to say that some of the themes are really good (particularly the original Jeopardy! theme with the sax riff in it), while others are downright strange (Tic Tac Dough and The Wizard of Odds come to mind). This is definitely an album that you wouldn’t want to listen to every day. πŸ˜‰

Two of the discs are ones that I picked up when I was on my trip to Washington DC and we visited the (as it is known now”) Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (in the picture, you can see the Washington Post Store where I purchased an umbrella from). This was at the same time that the Ken Burns Jazz series was running so you saw the albums available in music stores, and I happened to pick up two of the albums at the Sam Goody there – Charles Mingus (which has a couple of really good track names – including “Eat that Chicken” and “The Shoes of the Fisherman’s Wife are some Jive Ass Slippers”) and Miles Davis. There’s a whole series of discs featuring a kind of best hits album for 22 musicians, along with a five-disc set that covers the history of jazz.

The next discs were ones that I got as freebies from one of my teachers in high school as rewards for work well done in an extracurricular activity (Academic Decathlon). The first, now that I think about it, wasn’t part of this pile. It’s a Louis Armstrong disc, the name of which now escapes me. The other is Count Basie’s classic April in Paris. The case for this is unique in that it’s not an all-plastic case, but made of a material that’s similar to cardboard (it probably is that, but there’s nothing saying what material in particular it is). Like most reissues, this has some extra tracks (7, including two versions of “Magic”).

Two more discs were ones that I purchased on that fateful trip to the Jazz Record Shop at 444 N Wabash in Chicago. However, these two albums certainly have not has as much playing time as the other disc I bought there. One is a Dizzy Gillespie disc simply called Night in Tunisia, with the shortest track being 3 minutes, but the average length is closer to ten. However, there is no information in either the liner notes or on the case itself that clues me in on more information on the recordings. The other disc of this set is a compilation set of Louis Armstrong recordings – “The 25 Greatest Hot 5s and Hot 7s”. These songs were recorded between 1926 and 1928, and unlike the Dizzy album, there is very detailed information about the exact makeup of each grouping of musicians for every set of tracks. The most interesting thing is that this album is actually an import – it was made and printed by ASV Ltd. London W14.

Also in the stack were two discs from a box set of Louis Armstrong discs. I have the cases, but the discs aren’t there – “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone” and “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In”. These are from the same album manufacturer who produced the Night In Tunisia disc, and again the information is pretty sparse, though on the Saints disc, it does mention being recorded in 1968. I guess we can have the odd miracle, no? πŸ˜‰

It is here that I must disclose something – I’m apparently a fan of Miles Davis. He’s the artist I have the most albums of, though I don’t recall ever listening to much of the music on those albums. Aside from the Ken Burns Jazz best-of compilation, I also have Birth of the Cool, Kind of Blue, his All-Stars live in 1958-59, featuring John Coltrane, and (this wasn’t in the box, but I know I have it), the complete Decca recordings. I suspect that the reason that I got these albums is that there was this girl who, although she was taken already, I fancied and she mentioned that she really liked some of Miles’ music. However, that whole story is one for another time I think.

Before I get to the last CD, there are some that I put back into the box – including a Time Life collection called “Sax by Candlelight” and some Christmas albums, one of which featured Elvis’ Christmas songs.

Ah, the last CD….you’ll likely remember the craze over a song called “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen”. It’s based on a commencement speech, apparently given by Kurt Vonnegut to graduates at MIT. It was then picked up by the Chicago Tribune and published here. However, there are other tracks on this disc from two movies that, at the time I hadn’t seen (and if I had actually checked out the album, one that I hadn’t ever heard of at the time we got this album). The films? Strictly Ballroom and Romeo + Juliet. Two films which I have now seen, I might add. πŸ˜‰

The album is Something For Everybody, a set of remixed tracks which were featured in Baz Luhrmann’s theatre and film productions through 1996. There’s even a track that was used in the work he did for the TV launch of the Labor party’s campaign for the 1993 elections (track 17, Jupiter (edit) [From The Planets], written by Holst).

Just to close the book on the hunt for the jewel case to 3 Suites. I did find it – it was in my desk on the lower shelf which itself is full of other CDs and DVDs that need some going through. How else would you have expected me to get a picture of the cover to post on here? πŸ™‚

I’m just wondering if something similar has happened to you in the past, and have you found CDs that when you got them, it was only for one song, but in the future found out that it had songs from something you’d been exposed to between the time of getting the album and the time of its rediscovery?