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2002-10-10 - 12:35 a.m.

I made an inspired CD purchase today.

Okay, so it wasn't all that original, it's thirty years old and is already recognised as a classic. But I'd like to put it on record that "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars" by David Bowie is clearly one of the greatest albums in existence. I was starting to run out of things I needed to get from record shops, to the extent that I could walk into one and nothing would jump out and say "buy me!", but now I have another back catalogue to work on :)

I go through phases. Sometimes I look at, say, my Cure collection and say "hmmm, I just need "3 Imaginary Boys", "Boys Don't Cry" and "Seventeen Seconds" and I have all their studio albums. Same goes for the likes of Paul Kelly for example. Other times I realise that I'm just being anal and would probably never listen to said albums, and concentrate on new releases. I have no desire at all to listen to Paul Kelly's "Smoke", so why buy it?

I'm currently very much into expanding my knowledge base of the classics. So rather than trying to expand on my Bob Dylan or what have you, which I'm already quite well versed in, I'm getting into Bowie, thinking about getting some early Elton John and a bit more Pink Floyd, wondering if is a crime not to own the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds", that sort of thing.

Having said that, some great albums have come out this year. Bands I have previously only been semi-enthusiastic about (take Grinspoon for example who have really put out some droll, monotonous songs in their time) have put out works of art such as "New Detention". silverchair, a band I dare not admit having the slightest interest in, because my sister is obsessed with them, have truly excelled themselves with "Diorama". Not that I consider that hard to do when in my opinion the first few years and two albums of their megastardom were grossly overrated and painfully boring (though "Neon Ballroom" was also quite good). The Whitlams have returned to form with "Torch the Moon", no doubt giving their frontman's ego a few generous strokes along the way, while for me the best album of the year has been Machine Gun Fellatio's masterful "Paging Mr Strike".

But for now there's at least five Bowie albums that would look really good between Ben Folds Five and Jeff Buckley.


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