An Introduction

I first became interested in 4AD, a UK independent record label founded in 1980, towards the end of the '80's. I was falling in love with the music of Dead Can Dance, Clan of Xymox, Pixies, Bauhaus and The Birthday Party and was surprised when the 4AD label sampler "Lonely Is An Eyesore" came out in 1987 that all these bands were from the same label.

After visiting a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition of some American's collection of art, I came to thinking of all this musical art that 4AD have released that may one day drift into obscurity unless someone shows it as art. So now I'm on a crusade, to collect the first ten years of 4AD's releases and exhibit the collection on 4AD's 50th anniversary in 2030. This is a big task which will have some interesting twists and turns along the way.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The battle was lost but the war is only just beginning

A couple of months ago I set myself a target to finish 2014 with a wantlist of just 900. That's 900 releases I still needed to acquire in order to achieve my goal of collecting everything that 4AD released between 1980 and 1990, including foreign releases in the same period, compilation entries and all formats. At the time I had around 920 releases in my wantlist. But over the past two months that yoyoed up and down reaching a peak of something like 931 all the way down to 907 with just eight days left before the end of the year.

The last two months have been a typical example of what this hobby is like. I find a couple of things and then find another couple of things that I never knew existed and my wantlist bounces around like a ball bouncy thing. On top of that are the wonderful traders, that arse up orders, lose items, wrongly list them and just don't seem to care at all the hell they put collectors through.

Needless to say, I didn't make the 900 by the end of the year. In fact, I still have a wantlist of 907 on the 4th January 2015. Not a single item I ordered in the last two weeks of December to be delivered to my home address instead of the usual work address has made it here.

I also realised the enormity of the task I have undertaken. I have 15 years before the 50th anniversay of the 4AD label, when I plan to exhibit my collection. To be reasonable, that really means I should be targeting getting around 100 items a year, which will give me a little breathing space. That means getting around 10 a month. That's a big ask, going on the previous two months. It also means I'm seven behind already this month. As the wantlist decreases the easier to find and cheaper items get crossed off the list first, generally. Which means that as time goes by, the remaining harder to find and therefore more expensive items are going to take up more of the majority than the minority.

I'm also finding an increasing 2nd collection size. The number of times, even with my trusty list to hand, I buy the same thing twice, or a vendor sends me what I already have instead of what's listed and tells me to keep it, or I take a chance on a cheap, but poorly described item. I'm getting a number of second items. I feel another giveaway coming on....

I hope everyone has wonderful new year and you get lots of lovely music to listen to

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