The Music I Miss Most...

As many of you probably know, I spent several years (between 1991 and 2002) working for a local independent music store, called TOM TOM MUSIC. During my time at Tom Tom, I acquired many wonderful pieces of music. I also gave up many wonderful pieces of music. Because my disposable income was very limited, and the continuous flow of great new music was so vast, I spent most of my years trading in old discs, in order to acquire new discs. I always said that my music collection was always circulating.

Because of all the time I spent at Tom Tom, and because of my great love of music, people have always expected me to own thousands of compact discs. In reality, the actual physical CDs that I own, are probably limited to less than 500. I can't say for sure, as I've never taken the time to count them. Basically, my attitude was (and still is, for the most part), if it is going to collect dust, it may as well collect dust on someone else's shelf.

I have a friend who owns THOUSANDS of compact discs. He will collect an entire catalog from some artists, even though he only truly loved a couple of their albums. He will tell me that he purchased the latest Stevie Nicks CD. I will ask him how it is. "Complete sh*t", will be his reply... but will he sell it? Heaven's no! It's part of a collection. My philosophy was that if it isn't being used, put it in the hands of someone who WILL use it.

Anyhow, to keep this from being another lengthy post, I will sum it up by saying that through that decade of working at Tom Tom Music, I owned some things that were very rare then, and nearly impossible to acquire, now. Yes, I have several regrets... so let me share them with you.

THE CURE: Limited Edition 12 DISC BOX SET

Probably my biggest regret was trading in a French 12 disc set, from The Cure. Now, I am not going to back and count their entire catalog, but if I recall correctly, this set had 12 discs. The 12 individual discs included the ENTIRE album discography from The Cure up to, and including "DISINTEGRATION". It included "JAPANESE WHISPERS", which was not a full album, as well as "STARING AT THE SEA: THE SINGLES", a greatest hits compilation that was released in 1986. It included the European releases which, at that point, had not been released in the USA. All 12 discs came in LP style, cardboard sleeves, complete with all album artwork. The 12 discs fit into a beautiful, psychedelic looking box, featuring a spindle wheel that, when turned from the outer perimeter, would alter the coloring of the box. Beautiful, indeed...


This great collection was a tough one to get. For most of my stint at Tom Tom Music, I was the import guy. Not to brag, but we had people calling us from out of state, looking for some hard to find things. At the time, we were in very tight with some local radio personalities, and the business was booming. One of the items that I had heard about, was a Japanese reissue of the classic Propaganda album, "A SECRET WISH". This version was supposed to contain a non-LP cut, as well as some remixes of the singles from the album. I special ordered a copy from my importer, who was very good at finding rare things. After a short wait, I received a call from my importer. He called, letting me know that he had some good news and bad news. The good news, was that he finally got the CD in. The bad news, was that the album appeared to only have the same tracks that the cheap domestic version had. Now, keep in mind that any special orders we made, we were required to buy. I was obligated to buy this disc that cost the better part of $30.00. I did, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that the disc, in fact, had the extra songs. It was a very rare release, and is no longer available (as far as I know). It was a jewel in my CD collection, but I decided to try and reap some big money for it, on eBay. This was only a couple years ago, so it's not like I don't own hard copies of it (on CD-R), but it only ended up selling for $20.00. A big disappointment. I would have rather kept it.

DEPECHE MODE: X1 and X2 Japanese Box Sets

These two box sets were extremely rare. If I am not mistaken, they were limited to 5,000 copies each. They were so rare, in fact, that after I purchased them, the owner of the store let me know that they were the only copies that the store would ever see. Each box had several discs of remixes, most of which were not available anywhere else. Being the big DM fan, that I was, I bought them. But, as was the case with most sets like them, I didn't listen to them. The time came for me to sell them, when money was tight. I traded them in to the store, for the typical in-store credit, and they were quickly sold to another fan. I have found some online information for you DM collectors...

THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH: CARRY ON UP THE CHARTS (2 CD Canadian version, with bonus tracks)

n the mid 90's, eccentric British Pop artists, THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH, released a limited 2 disc version of their greatest hits package, called "CARRY ON UP THE CHARTS". Not only was the 2 disc a limited issue, but in Canada, both disc one and disc two featured 2 EXTRA bonus tracks. The first disc was all hits, and a wonderful collection. The second disc featured a lot of rare B-sides. I remember seeing a local store selling a USED copy of this disc, for over a hundred dollars. Regardless, my copy ended up on eBay, and sold for another disappointing $20.00.

KATE BUSH: Japanese 8 CD box set

This incredibly beautiful 8 CD box set, featured all six (up to that point in time) of KATE BUSH's albums, plus an extra two discs full of rare remixes and B-sides. The thing I miss most of all, were the beautifully packaged discs, booklets, liner notes, etc. For any of you who collect music, you know that the Japanese release some of the finest pieces of music, and go the extra mile with their packaging.


This third release of Blancmange, would also prove to be their last. The copy I owned on CD is the ONLY copy I have ever seen. I ended up selling it to my friend, Craig, for only $20.00 (do you see a trend in my reselling?). He still owns it, to this day. Which is good. At least I can get a copy from him, if I ever feel the deep urge to hear it again.

Another couple of box sets that I owned, and sold, were sets released in Japan. Surprised? No, I knew you weren't. I had sets by ABC, TEARS FOR FEARS and... maybe that was it, but it seems there was a third. Each of those sets featured beautiful Japanese pressings of three of their albums, plus a bonus disc of remixes and/or B-sides. That was nice with TFF, as they only had 3 albums at the time, and you ended up with most of the B-sides in this box. Very handy. Plus, the ABC set had the CD of "BEAUTY STAB", their tasty second album, which has never been released on CD, in the United States.

What else? An Alan Parsons Project box set, which although it did not feature any non-LP music, was cool to have, just for the sake of having the complete collection of AP Project music in ONE BOX!

Yeah, lots of regret. I'm sure there are more that I'm just not thinking of, at the moment. If I get the urge, I'll post more later... until then, just go ahead and shed a tear for me... please?
Now playing: Pat Metheny Trio - At Last You're Here
via FoxyTunes