2021: The Year In Buying Music

the record cell
Actually, that’s the D-P section…A-D is the rack out of shot on the left…

Every year I say it. I’m like a broken record repeating, ad nauseum …the same old, same old. But it’s always so difficult to actually achieve what I spout out. every year. Without fail. Here’s exactly what I said last year. Verbatim.

Had I not gone hog wild on the boxes, I would have been on line to spend at an all time low level last year. And I’m fine with that. I have tried in the last month to listen to the records I buy on a regular basis. I have so much vinyl bought in the last 20 years but still unheard that I could probably not buy anything and not notice! Or maybe even care. I think that this year I’d like to try to hit a target of $500 for the year…if it’s possible.

2020: The Year In Buying Music

Well… this year I did it! I spent roughly half of what I did the previous year! I came in seriously under the $500 threshold I was hoping for. Let’s cut right to the chase: I bought about as many titles [85] for about half of what I paid last year for the same amount of music. While there were no months without at least one purchase, the music budget was as low as it’s ever been since I returned to keeping records. Possibly the lowest it’s been since college! In short; I’ve hit at least half of my goal. To spend a lot less on music.

Of course, it helped that we’re still in a global pandemic where socializing is dangerous. I’ve not been in a record store apart from four minutes spent in Harvest Records on RDS of this year, when I bought the Harold Budd OST 2xLP of “I Know this Much Is True.” Similarly, concerts were also at a [near] standstill this year. In late October, ahead of the omicron wave, we chanced an outdoor show in Raleigh seeing Khraungbin, Lee Fields, Big Daddy Kane, and Terminator X from Public Enemy.

The show was outdoors, with vax passports or onsite negative test for entry, so it was not too scary. Where our seats were, there was no one sitting for 20 feet around us, so it was socially distanced. Too bad that when Khraungbin closed the show they were TOO LOUD. We left three songs in. None of the openers had that problem, and kudos to Big Daddy Kane who I was expecting to enjoy but his 11 piece band was a stunningly great setting for his MC work. The Hip Hop MC of the late 80s I recalled had matured into a much funkier…well, daddy! His young son got to bust a move onstage to a favorite jam.

Big Daddy Kane is fronting a very seriously funky band these days

Coming up in March we have tickets for Sparks in Atlanta and Nick Cave and Warren Ellis in our own fair city. I’m expecting that the shows will not take place. If they do, we will choose not to attend. At this juncture, anyway. This exile from live shows and record stores is now in its second year for me and do you know what? I’m fine with that! I could really go the rest of my life without it. anything I really want is mail order only, for 90% of it, so not pawing through bins is no great loss. I’m old enough so that time spent pursuing records unsuccessfully is too big of a loss for my increasingly finite lifespan…and budget!

Not buying records that I have not been pining for [in cases, for decades] just because something just happens to be available is a plus. Every dollar spent on records that I have not already wanted merely thwarts my desires. At my age, I just want satisfaction. Not the “thrill of the chase.” How did the numbers shake out?

Buying Stats

Total titles purchased: 86 [↓5%]
Total expenditures: $472.41 [↓45%]
Average cost: $5.59/title [↓43%]

CD: 36
Vinyl: 21
– LP: 7
– 12″: 10
– 7″: 3
– 10″: 1
– Downloads: 29

Last year there were several expen$ive Boxed Sets Of God that accounted for half of my music budget. This year there was only one three figure BSOG, but we’re out of time for now and will get to the all important lists tomorrow.

Next: …Today’s List

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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3 Responses to 2021: The Year In Buying Music

  1. negative1ne says:

    Hi Mr Monk,

    For me, I guess I was making up for lost time, and also to stimulate the economy.
    (Maybe to make up for other people that didn’t spend as much). In between savings and 2 contract jobs (1 from earlier this year, and 2nd from later). I realized that life is short, and there were a lot of holy grail items I wanted to purchase. I didn’t buy as many boxsets this year, but the ones I bought were ones that I have wanted for a long time. Also, was able to fill in a lot of gaps for my main groups, and found about 10 holy grail 12 inchers (ones that usually cost from $100-$300).

    Anyways, here’s a brief overview (There is about 100 titles I didn’t include in total, because I ordered them in December, and they are not here yet):

    Total titles purchased: 788 [+157%]
    Total expenditures: $8877.54 [+200%]
    Average cost: $11.27/title [+16.3%]

    Music Formats – Vinyl dominated as usual, with 12, and 7
    inches being the bulk of the purchases
    Vinyl = 63%
    Vinyl LP 14
    12 inch 188
    10 inch 4
    7 inch 202

    Vinyl Boxset = 2%
    Not many this year
    vinyl Boxset Deluxe 11

    CD formats = 28%
    Concentraing on CD singles Promos and deluxe boxsets
    cd 55
    CD deluxe boxsets 35
    cd singles 93

    individual = 1%
    Weird and offbeat
    8 track – 2 from Boston
    cdv 1 – Dexys Midnight Runner – Come on Eileen
    vcd 1 – 2xVCD Duran Duran – Greatest
    dvd 3 – Ultravox, ABC, Depeche Mode
    umd 1 – Depeche Mode – Playing the Angel

    Cassette = 6%
    I am making a big push to get every
    single UK and US cassette format for all
    the groups I like with their major albums
    cassette 34
    cassette single 6

    Total Items = *650 [pending another 100 or so items]

    Items by Group – Popularity
    Depeche Mode 88 – I am filling out all the UK 12, UK 7,
    and German Red 7 inchers.

    New Order 60 – Got tons of 7 inch, all the colored Procession ones,
    and many imported 12 inches, all 4 different inner colors for The Perfect
    Kiss 12 inch.
    Ultravox 51 – Continuing to get all the 12 inch, and 7 inches.
    Duran Duran 46 – Got a ton of deluxe releases, promos, and 7, 12 inches.

    Underworld 34 – Got a ton of rare colored 12 inch, promo CDS, and boxsets
    Pet Shop Boys 30 – Got a ton of 7 inches
    Thompson Twins 29 – Starting to fill out the 7, and 12 inch
    Flock of Seagulls 27 – Continuing to fill out the 7, and 12 inch
    Big Country 23 – Got a ton of rare CD’s and 12 inches
    Simple Minds 23 – Got many CD singles
    Frazier Chorus 21 – Nearly completed getting 95% of everything they released

    Groups that I will be concentrating on next year
    ABC 17
    Frankie Goes to Hollywood 16
    Heaven 17 16
    Go West 13
    Kraftwerk 12
    Kissing the Pink 11

    Groups I like, but already have most of catalog
    in some cases.
    Blancmange 10
    The Fixx 10
    Midge Ure 9
    Tears For Fears 8
    U2 8
    Boston 8
    Human League 7
    Thomas Dolby 7
    Curiosity Killed the Cat 7
    Talk Talk 6
    Electronic 6
    Asia 6
    Billy Idol 6

    I didn’t buy very many new releases. Basically, it was make a detailed list of my wants for each group, and trying to get all the rare releases and ones that had 1 copy on discogs. I started with about 2000+ items in my wantlist, but no even after buying these items, I am up to at least 3500+ items to get, so there’s a long way to go, even removing the impossible ones and promos.

    2021 was a banner year for me. I don’t think I will spend as much this year, because I was able to procure so many of the items I’ve been looking for.


    Liked by 1 person

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