Welcome to Album Infinitum, the music discussion podcast that explores an artistís career one album at a time. I wanted to put this out there as an introduction to the show to sort of give people an idea of what they can expect, explain why Iím doing yet another podcast, and to I guess, state in a somewhat succinct fashion exactly what this is all about.
If youíve ever listened to any of the other podcasts I do, Limited Engagement, Hoot n Review, and even What the Fork?, then you know Iím a music obsessive. What do I mean by music obsessive? Fair question. In my mind, a music obsessive is not just a casual listener; not just someone who buys a greatest hits collection or streams a song or two on Spotify. A music obsessive is someone who lives with music, has a complicated relationship with music--the sort of relationship that makes a romantic partner question your fidelity, or at the very least where your priorities lie. I also think of a music obsessive as a collector--even in the digital age.
I currently have a collection of nearly 2500 records and CDís, and not just albums either, but singles, EPís, live albums, the occasional bootleg, imports--I often have multiple copies of the same album, because thereís a different track listing on the British version, or one reissue has some bonus tracks that the other reissue doesnít, or thereís alternative artwork, or I know I already have the album, but the one in front of me in the bin in the record store is in better condition than the one I have at home sitting on the shelf, so you bet your ass Iím buying this copy.
An obsessive immerses themself in the music. In years past, I have been known to pour over lyrics obsessively, sitting on the floor with the liner notes, headphones on. As an amateur guitarist, I have spent hours going over and over the same section of a song to figure out the chord changes--even though I know I could look them up online. v I think you get the general idea.
I know Iím not the only person out there whoís life is affected so strongly by music. I wanted to have conversations with other people who felt the same, and since it seems that I donít have conversations with people anymore unless itís on mic, Album Infinitum was born.
The actual genesis of the show was a suggestion from my friend Chris Ayers, who, along with a number of other possibilities, brought up the idea of doing a song by song discussion of R.E.M. Although the lengthy conversation I had with musician and artist Doug Bale during his episode of Limited Engagement about R.E.M. is proof that I can go on about them for some time, I honestly canít imagine doing that with any single artist, except maybe Squeeze--I could probably do a podcast exploring Squeeze song by song, but I donít know that I know anyone who could or would be willing to do that with me. However, the conversation with Chris stuck with me, and turned into this line of thinking:
What if I focused on a single artist, and it would have to be an artist that I thought was underappreciated, underrated, whose career had not been thoroughly dissected (and I understand this is all completely subjective and is largely dictated by the artists in my collection, but it does immediately negate covering say, Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen or The Beatles--artists who have a ton of books out there examining their work), and then go through that artistís catalog album by album. No compilations, no live albums, strictly studio albums. That appealed to me. As far as the overall format of the show goes, Album Infinitum is going to be relatively tight--especially when compared to the other podcasts I do. The conversations will be more focused; I will actually do research; even this introduction is planned out, just so I donít ramble around all over the place like I tend to do. Discussions will not only cover the album itself, but on its place in music history--what other albums were being released at the same time, how was it critically received, who else is playing on the album, what else is the producer known for, and so forth. Itís going to be a deep dive.