We all have our favorite artists and songs and albums. Even those of us who listen to a lot of different styles and have thousands of CDs in our collections undoubtedly have a few we keep coming back to more than others. While I have never really had this discussion with anyone, I imagine that there are all kinds of reasons why certain songs and collections draw us back.
The albums I have listened to the most would surprise most people, I suspect. Those who know me would probably think I’ve spun U2’s War or Unforgettable Fire the most, or REM’s Reckoning, or maybe one of the Police’s CDs. Maybe even something by Queen. And they’d be close, because I have in fact played the hell out of those albums. My original copy of A Night at the Opera – back in the days of the vinyl LP – was so worn I was expecting the needle to carve completely through the record at any moment.
But the truth is that these aren’t at the top of my list, although the reason is an odd one.See, I like to go to sleep with music playing and I have a few discs that are perfect for that purpose. Things like:
- Andreas Vollenweider’s Down to the Moon (also Behind The Gardens – Behind The Wall – Under The Tree)
- Irish Heartbeat, by Van Morrison and the Chieftains
- The soundtrack from Blade Runner
- Enya’ first three CDs
- Delerium – Semantic Spaces and Karma, mainly, but Stone Tower and Syrophenikan got some play, as did most of their others
- Anything from The Lost Patrol
- Ditto Love is Colder Than Death and Lycia, two wonderful dark ambient groups that I discovered back in the 1990s
- Tubular Bells, by Mike Oldfield
My all-time most-listened to? I’m not sure because I’ve lost count, but I think #3 isRaison d’Etre’s Enthraled by the Wind of Lonelienes, a gorgeous dark ambient masterpiece that plays like a gothic chamber concert in a haunted cathedral. (The Empty Hollow Unfolds, also by Raison d’Etre, also gets a good bit of play these days.) If it weren’t for the fact that my ex-wife needed absolute silence to get to sleep, and also that she didn’t much care for the Dark Ambient genre in general, Enthraled would probably #1, because I would have probably played it at least another thousand times over the last decade or so.
#2 and #1, in a virtual tie: Hergest Ridge, by Mike Oldfield, and a recording from the radio show Music from the Hearts of Space.
This last one isn’t really “a CD,” I know, but back when I was in college a girlfriend turned me on to space music and one morning I made a cassette recording of the show. I recorded the Oldfield album on the other side (I knew someone who owned it, so I guess this was a proto-file sharing crime on my part), and every night I’d flip the tape and hit play, up until it disappeared from my apartment just after a certain music-loving friend had visited. I can’t prove anything, but you know who you are, you tune-poaching weasel.
In the end, though, Hergest Ridge is the winner. I now own the CD and listen to it from time to time, so if we had an accurate count Oldfield would probably leading Hearts of Space by five or ten spins.
That’s me. Now, what CD(s) have you listened to the most in your life, and why?