Ok so I have a bit of a dilemma. I’m just not sure what to do. Should I do it? No of course not, no way will I do it. Should I though? If I do will I regret it like I did last time...did I mention I have had this dilemma before? That time I caved and have regretted it ever since. This time though surely I won’t. This is different. I wouldn’t do it again. Would I? A text from a friend asking me the very same question. He was wondering what I thought about him doing it. He is asking for my opinion. I have been asking myself the question for months. It breaks my heart to even contemplate it I tell him…yet…yet...I think I may do.Have you thought about it yet? What am I talking about you say? Did I not mention that bit? Well it is a life or death question…should I sell my CDs or not?
Now if you are under the age of 16 this is a question you are not even going to think about. This will never come on your radar but to me (aged 38 – going on 18 - going on 58) and my mate (aged 43) it is a bit of a dilemma. You see I’m one of those collector types (see previous post) the type of man that needs to own something, not just download a computer file, but actually own something physical. Something you can hold. CDs are 30 years old now. It was their anniversary last week but vinyl beats everything, including CD’s, hands down. CDs may have better sound quality (and I emphasise the word MAY) but compared with the lovely artwork, the smell of the vinyl, the crackle of the needle when the record is played CDs just don’t come close.
I was horrified when vinyl died a death in the 90’s. I loved the collectability of vinyl. The gatefold vinyl, the embossed vinyl, the heavy weight vinyl, the picture disc vinyl, the coloured vinyl, the different sized vinyl, the vinyl with posters, the vinyl with other vinyl, the triple fecking vinyl! CDs are just not the same. Yet they still provide something physical that you can hold. Ok CDs don’t smell the same and despite record companies trying to make them collectable by releasing anniversary editions of albums that we loved the first time round (Kick25 and Bad25 are just two recent releases that spring to mind) they just don’t have the same collectability. Admittedly that hasn’t stopped people like me buying those like a sucker that I am. There can be no arguing that sales of CDs have fallen dramatically though. Last year was the first year that sales of old records outsold new releases proving that the younger generation are downloading and don’t want the physical CD or vinyl taking up space. So why should I hang on to them?
I think a bit of background is needed at this point. In 2000 I fell in love with an Irish girl. In hindsight I turns out I didn’t actually love her but hey you live and learn. I certainly fell head over heels in lust for the girl that much is certain. As a result I decided to move to Ireland. It all happened very swiftly and I needed money and I needed it quick. After much thought and the weighing up of the pros and cons (no records vs sex) I took the drastic decision to sell my vinyl. I had a lot of it as well, much of it Queen items. Items I had spent years collecting. I took the easy way of selling and went straight to the independent record shops (Record Collector magazine was great for that). I got a fraction of the overall worth. Girls can do strange things to a man’s head.
Anyway I now find myself 11 years later on the brink of a move back to England. London beckons. Now I’m in the position of needing funds to help with the move back to the UK and also freeing up some of the load…selling my CDs is going to take a mighty effort but I think it may need to be done. The difference between now and 2001 is that the vinyl is still collectable; a lot of it would be worth more now than it was then. I miss my vinyl and have started building that back up over the years (just don’t ask). I’m not sure I would miss the CDs that much. Maybe it is time to free myself up again?
CDs will be gone altogether by 2020 I would imagine. At that stage there will be 20 year olds that have never owned one. I certainly don’t regret buying them. All 1036 of them. The thrill of buying music has never diminished for me. That day may be coming though. I’m not sure downloading songs from the internet will ever be able to replace the thrill of going to my local record store.
So if I do sell my CDs it won’t be all of them…not yet anyway. I think a compromise is in order. I can’t part with the music of around 15 – 20 artists. So for now Queen, Bon Jovi, James, David Gray, Stones, GNR, U2, REM, Aerosmith and more will live to fight another day. As for the hundreds of others though? I’ll keep special editions and so forth…for now…but there are still hundreds I could sell (including the wife’s dodgy chick flick soundtrack albums). Financially it won’t mean much. If I sold 200 CDs and got a buyer for all I may only get somewhere between €100 and €200. Hell it must have cost me €2000 buying them. Sigh. I think I’ll do it. I see HMV buy old CDs now. In Dublin they sell them for €3 max. You can take your old CDs in exchange for store credit. That’s no good to me…store credit wouldn’t do much good. Will HMV be around much longer? I think I’ll have to start flogging them on eBay…that’s hard work though. There is a record store in town that may take some. I’ll box some up and take them down there and see what happens.
I’ll let you know.
I do regret selling my vinyl back in 2001. I wish I hadn’t but in truth I just can’t see myself regretting selling my CDs in 2012. What would you do?