I've been making comps for more than twenty years, first on tape, then on CD. I never used them to try and woo anyone, although I did make one for a girl I fancied as a birthday present, but more because I was broke than because I thought it would affect any other proceedings. They were more or less done for my own listening pleasure (for a while, there were times when I wasn't listening to actual albums at all). Besides countless tape comps, I made more than twenty CD compilations of my favourite tracks, including a 6-CD set that soundtracked my 30th birthday party. Listening to them now, especially the ones where I didn't record the tracklist anywhere can be a lot of fun, not only for reminding me of what I was into when I made them, but also since I've often forgotten what was on them, leading to lots of pleasant surprises. And the occasional skip or three when I wonder what I was thinking. Acquiring an MP3 player, and a car stereo that said player could plug into though effectively rendered the comps redundant, so it's been a few years now since I have put any together.
When that car died last month though, the stereo went with it. Our new ride has an actually much better stereo set up sound wise, but alas it doesn't have an AUX port (not yet anyway). And with it's first road trip beckoning yesterday, suddenly the comp is back in vogue, although being able to rip tracks straight from the MP3 player makes things a bit faster than the last time I did this. It was fun switching media on a whole bunch of new artists and songs I had never plonked on CD until now, and remembering the rules of making compilations. I was in a rush though, and a programme crash obliterated my first, near-perfect tracklist (which of course I neglected to write down first). Three road CD's resulted from a quick and dirty compile on Saturday morning.
The first one came out like this:
1. Unkle - "Keys To The Kingdom"
2. Dropkick Murphys - "Shipping Up To Boston"
3. Underworld - "Diamond Jigsaw"
4. Shihad - "Hard To Please"
5. Buffalo Tom - "Mineral"
6. Better than Ezra - "In The Blood"
7. The Twilight Singers - "On The Corner"
8. Big Country - "Porroh Man"
9. Third Eye Blind - "Motorcycle Drive-By"
10. Deborah Conway - "Today I Am A Daisy"
11. Jane's Addiction - "Mountain Song"
12. The Twilight Singers - "Never Seen No Devil"
13. Jakob - "Everything All Of The Time"
14. Talk Talk - "Life's What You Make It"
15. Chemical Brothers - "The Test"
16. Friendly Fires - "Jump In The Pool"
Having literally roadtested it now it kinda works, although "Today I Am A Daisy" and "Mountain Song" more co-exist than go together smoothly, and "Everything All Of The Time" does slow the pace a bit with it's epic moodiness.
The second one had more of an electronica theme, and not planned so much as themed.
1. Concord Dawn and Rido - "One And Only"
2. Underworld - "Scribble"
3. Crystal Castles - "Not In Love" (the Robert Smith version with a proper vocal)
4. Computers Want Me Dead - "Circles"
5. Concord Dawn - "The Space Between Us"
6. The Tutts - "i20"
7. Underworld - "Two Months Off"
8. Leftfield - "Open Up"
9. Shapeshifter - "One"
10. Prodigy - "Poison"
11. Chemical Brothers - "Star Guitar"
12. Unkle - "Burn My Shadow"
13. Underworld - "Rez"
That tracks in this genre tend to be longer is evident in the shorter traklisting. "i20" works as a kind of halfway break, and I originally planned to close it with "Burn My Shadow", but opted for "Rez" as a more trippy rather than punchy ender, and sort of breaking one of my own rules about not having too many tracks by the same artist on the same disc.
The third one was most rushed, and is more or less tracks that had caught my eye while putting the other two together:
1. Julia Deans "Skin (Everything Is Coming To A Halt)"
2. The Twilight Singers - "Gunshots"
3. Interpol - "Obstacle 1"
4. Foals - "Inhaler"
5. Hunters And Collectors - "Angel Of Mercy"
6. Paul Banks - "The Base"
7. Pearl Jam - "Brother" (the version with lyrics)
8. Neneh Cherry - "Manchild"
9. Dave Dobbyn - "Shaky Isles"
10. Foals - "Spanish Sahara"
11. Concrete Blonde - "Someday"
12. Hunters And Collectors - "Run Run Run"
13. Motocade - "Commandeering"
14. Pearl Jam - "Hard To Imagine"
15. The Twilight Singers - "Sublime"
16. Neneh Cherry - "Buffalo Stance"
17. Ween - "Mutilated Lips"
It's probably the messiest to listen to, but all three could flow a bit better. Maybe I should just play them all on random anyway.