January 19, 2010

Anyone Have Any AquaNet?

I have just finished a project of epic proportions. I ripped every CD I own into electronic format. That's somewhere around 3,500 CDs. It took not weeks or months but years. And I blew out two CD drives in the process. The music collection that used to take up an entire room now fits into a hard drive about the size of a Stephen King novel.

Having all of these songs at my fingertips has allowed me to look through and revisit my embarrassingly large collection of hair metal and pull together a massive playlist of my favorites.

You can read the list yourself. And if you do, I'm sure you'll consider it incomplete in one sense or another. This is the hair metal that I remember listening to, the music I have fond memories of. Some of it might not even be hair metal. Some important hair metal classics might be missing...

The Black Crowes for instance. I don't really consider them hair metal by any stretch but I've included songs from their first album because, at the time, lots of these songs were mixed in with other more mainstream hair metal. Any subsequent output, though, is not to be mixed up with the hair metal genre.

And Whitesnake. Most people think Whitesnake took off in the mid 1980s but to think that is to ignore some of the finest rock music ever made. David Coverdale and company churned out some amazing music in the seventies and very early eighties. One of my favorite albums of all time is, in fact, 1981's Come An' Get It, filled with raw, bluesy tunes that I still love despite that I picked it up and played it to death more than 20 years ago. But that early stuff isn't hair metal. No, only the Led Zeppelin Cloning, Here I Go Again, Tawney Kitaen on the Hood Of A Ferrari Whitesnake of the late eighties makes the hair metal cut.

There were, of course, some genuinely good bands who got lumped into the hair metal scene which deserved better. And when the music scene all but died, replaced by grunge, those good bands faded into obscurity with it. Bands like Little Caesar, Little Angels, Badlands, Enuff Z'Nuff.

Lots of eventually-great hair metal bands suffer from First Album Syndrome, an affliction that's marked by a glossy, generic, overproduced debut that makes the band sound like every other hair metal album recorded in 1987. Good exampled are debuts from Cinderella (Night Songs is a terrible album from a great band) and Poison (Look What The Cat Dragged In is cheesy, glam without any personality and, while the entire band rubs me the wrong way, they'd eventually go on to record at least a couple good songs). There's also the opposite problem - not one hit wonders but one album wonders. Skid Row's debut was fantastic but it turned out that debut marked the peak in their creativity. Bullet Boys and Slaughter were much the same.

I'm not sure you asked but there you have it - the playlist of my musical youth, The only thing we're missing is the AquaNet.

Now you - what are your guiltiest of musical pleasures? And how many total songs do I have on my computer? You answer that last one, you're eligible for a pretty decent parting gift. So give it a shot.

Posted by Chris at January 19, 2010 6:56 AM

Rock on man. You're right, the list leaves so classic music out, has some that I don't agree with but is the music of the best times of my life.

Posted by: Angelia at January 19, 2010 7:21 AM

i'm thinkin somewhere in the neighborhood of 42,000 songs... (my ex had over 3,000 records - yes VINYL)... when i left i took at least 1/3...and still have a turntable and stylus for when i wanna turn back time... i'm a woodstock child class of 69... so... richie havens, joe cocker, country joe and the fish... joni mitchell, buffalo springfield... nat king cole (hey mom ALWAYS liked him)... dylan, hendrix, (saw him at the grande ballroom)... black sabbath...cream... teagarden and van winkle... smokey robinson, supremes (nothing like detroit and motown - born and raised)... isley brothers, three dog night... i'm afraid if i'm right... i will get your hair metal!!! i did get into tool, kdfdm, nine inch nails... got any guns n' roses?

Posted by: theunicorn at January 19, 2010 7:46 AM

The Beatles! John, Paul, George & Ringo. I know every song, every lyric and I hum Beatles. My cousin says I am possessed!

Posted by: Maribeth at January 19, 2010 7:51 AM

Most of my musical pleasures are guilty ones. In the hair metal category, I have an unhealthy love for Def Leppard (which is maybe not something to feel guilty about because after all, Def Leppard is pretty awesome.) Also? When I'm With You by Sheriff. Also? When I See You Smile by Bad English. That last note is totally badass. Styx (Ahem). But only the Styx with Dennis Deyoung. The DD-less Styx is not for me. And recently I've been downloading more than a healthy amount of Adam Lambert. Shhhh. Please don't tell.

As for how many songs in your catalog? I'm gonna say 10,276. Exactly.

Posted by: rougeneck at January 19, 2010 7:54 AM

Putting you on the spot: what's your favorite White Snake song?

Posted by: Claire at January 19, 2010 8:26 AM

ok- my 2 cents...
*Winger & Ugly Kid Joe-priceless
*I LOVED the song House of Pain (faster pussycat)
*I think Cinderella had a song called 'Home Sweet Home'? That was a fave of mine as well.

Posted by: Jane in Pa at January 19, 2010 8:27 AM

I'll answer the Whitesnake question...Slide It In. That album was the peak of their creativity IMHO. In fact, I've noticed that my favorite album by many hair metal bands is the one before they got really famous. Pyromania is unquestionably a brilliant record, but I prefer the rawness of High and Dry. Mirror Mirror is still my favorite Def Lep song, and one I'm still prone to playing at very loud volume anytime the wife is out of the house.

Totally agreed on Cinderella Chris. Their later albums were criminally under appreciated, and not hair metal at all.

Posted by: COD at January 19, 2010 8:48 AM

@jane in PA - Home Sweet Home was Motley Crue - maybe the reason every hair metal band after 1986 felt the need to put a power ballad on their records.

Posted by: COD at January 19, 2010 8:50 AM

I went through this exercise myself a while back, although your collection dwarfs my humble little 500 disc collection. I'm re-ripping now, because I did some reading up on music quality. I hope you ripped lossless formats. If not, ignore that last remark, and don't research. :)

My guiltiest pleasure was found when I ripped my (wait for it) Best of Air Supply CD. I found to my shock and horror that I knew every last lyric on that disc. Something about being an angsty heartbroken teen who KNEW on an elemental level that my life was utterly worthless unless I had a girlfriend to worship. :)

I don't go there often, but when I do, it's cathartic. Hee hee.

Posted by: martin at January 19, 2010 8:57 AM

Ahhhh. Whitesnake. YES!

Posted by: k8 at January 19, 2010 9:55 AM

Gotta say, YOU ROCK! We'd have been friends in high school. I love your list, and can't believe some of the bands you have listed! Bulletboys? They did a radio show appearance here in my town where they played on the roof of a 7/11! So fun! Have seen Nelson live multiple times. That Tyketto album is one of my favorites. Listening to Tesla made me research the man behind the name. But I have a recommendation: Vain - No Respect. Awesome album.

Although my guilty pleasure is dancy pop music. Like that Tik Tok song from Ke$ha.

And you must have around 40,000 songs.

Posted by: bea at January 19, 2010 10:06 AM

I'm going to say you have 42,354 songs on your computer. :)

Posted by: Sarah at January 19, 2010 10:28 AM

Really? you have that much music? I consider this an obsession.

I also think you have 52,527 songs.

Posted by: debb at January 19, 2010 10:51 AM

Jane in PA....Cinderellas song was Coming Home. and its a good one! I learned to drum to Gypsy Road. love that tune. Actually Somebody Save Me is another good one. i love metal. hair metal, heavy metal...whatever you wanna call it I love it all! haha. big love for Def Leppard, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Guns n Roses, LA Guns, Dokken, Metallica, Slaughter, Ratt, Southgang, Bang Tango....i think you get the picture. haha....oh and im pretty sure Tawny Kitaen was on the hood of a Jaguar. just sayin.

Posted by: madmom at January 19, 2010 10:53 AM

Love me some Whitesnake!

Guessing roughly 38500 songs? Total guess though. I bet it's under the actual amount! Totally impressive! I've got a small fraction of that (electronically....bet between all my cds, vinyl albums and cassette tapes (and I think an 8 track or two), I might have close to the amount of songs you have! ;-)

Posted by: cyndy at January 19, 2010 11:01 AM

Seriously...I'm going to back charge you the 9 bucks or so it will cost me to download Whitesnake off iTunes...since I have no clue how to digitize my cassette tape! ;-)

Posted by: cyndy at January 19, 2010 11:05 AM

Cinderella is my biggest guilty pleasure, and you can blame my father for Night Songs. I wish I were kidding.

Posted by: Mr Lady at January 19, 2010 11:44 AM

I'm with the others on the Def Leppard love. Truly. Oh, and I think your song count is 38,269.

Posted by: alison at January 19, 2010 11:49 AM

We don't have iTunes so I can't tell you how many songs we have as MP3s but there's a LOT.

However, cleaning out my apartment/closet this past week, I've found myself face to face with the likes of Michael Bolton, All 4 One, and Simply Red. Okay, I picked Simply Red back out of the donation pile. But on my guilty list: Yanni Live at Acropolis, and Spice Girl debut album I bust out once in a while...'cuz I really really really really wanna get a sic-a-sic ahhh!

I've also found CASSETTES in the closet. Mostly mixed tapes and some Thai albums from the late 90s. I saved the mixed tapes my friends made for me and one Thai band, a greatest hits, while wait for my brother to sned me the CD of said cassette. Hehe.

Posted by: oakmonster at January 19, 2010 12:19 PM

Every time you start talking about music, I get a little crush on you and start yelling, "Me too! Me too!"

I totally just finished the same exact project, except I have about a tenth as many CDs as you. I too am a hair band fan. I couldn't agree more with everything you said in your post.

O! But I do want to win your mysterious prize! I'm going to go with..um...51,650.

Now I'm going to check out that link.

Posted by: Brooke at January 19, 2010 12:24 PM

I have to say my guilty pleasures of the 80's weren't hair metal. Are you ready?Robbie Neville and Richard Marx. Hold on to the Night was my favorite for years. Oh, and Jane Child and the Surgarcubes. I still remember running my college roommate out of our room playing Birthday. AH, happy memories. My guess on the music # is 43,425 based on some real math and guessing...

Posted by: Becki at January 19, 2010 12:30 PM

Another hair band girl here...I'm from Jersey, I'm a female and I grew up in the 80's...what else would I be? Now I've turned my 10 yr old sons into 80's fans....I'll probably burn in hell for that! ha ha

My guess is you have 63,022 songs on your computer.

Posted by: DeLurking Di at January 19, 2010 12:32 PM

Aw, Tyketto, Hardline, and The Storm. You're so dreamy, Mr. Cactus.

Posted by: Brooke at January 19, 2010 12:34 PM

Where are the hair pictures???!!!! chicken!
My musical tastes are varied. I can enjoy & appreciate anything except country & opera...and maybe not so much hip hop/rap.
I was raised on Zeppelin and still love em. I think we have collectively about 45,000 songs in our itunes library but that's not including the cd's that haven't yet been converted.
Enjoy your tunes :)

Posted by: laineyDid at January 19, 2010 1:29 PM

Is today officially Embarrassing Music Day or something? I posted 10 songs I'm embarrassed to like on my own blog today, but left out hair metal - come to think of it, I should have listed at least one song by Poison.

I'm going guess roughly 42,000 songs on your computer, given more than 3500 CDs, some of which might be double-disc packages (and that 42 is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything).

Posted by: Florinda at January 19, 2010 1:29 PM

Wow, an excellent project. What bitrate did you rip at? Just curious how much disk space that took ;-) I only have a measly 12,000 songs in comparison to your (guessing) 50,000?

Posted by: Kevin Spencer at January 19, 2010 3:40 PM

Wait, what? You have 3500 CDs? I yield to your greatness, sir. That puts my 1,500 CD collection to shame.

Posted by: NG at January 19, 2010 3:57 PM

Even though my favorite music comes from hard bands like NIN, Tool, Disturbed, and slightly less hard bands like Shinedown and Altar Bridge, my favorite songs are slow songs. And often, Country.

41,542 files.

Posted by: Brad at January 19, 2010 4:18 PM

56942 :P Just because.

Posted by: Heather at January 19, 2010 4:29 PM

I'm guessing around the range of 52,000 songs.
Did you upload the cds all using iTunes?
I started putting all my cds into iTunes a couple years back with my old laptop. I got to the Eagles and the hard-drive was full! A friend tried to convert some cds I uploaded into iTunes (thankfully that were on another laptop) and what a mess it ended up being. So how did you do it? My goal is to start putting them all on an external and when it gets through transfer them all onto a larger one....

Posted by: Rose Winters at January 19, 2010 8:03 PM

Crap, I don' think my comment posted....
I guessed around 52,000 songs.
I want to know how you got them all ripped. Did you put them all into iTunes? I started doing that a few years back with an old laptop and filled the hard-drive by the time I got to The Eagles. On another laptop I put a few into iTunes and a friend tried to help me transfer them all to an external hard drive. What a mess! I think I lost them all. I want to work on the project again. So let me know how you did it. Wonder if it would all fit on a TB??

Posted by: Rose Winters at January 19, 2010 8:06 PM

42,042 for the song count. Because 42 is always the answer.

Posted by: COD at January 19, 2010 10:06 PM

I would kill for a cd of them songs. I was a hair band fan. My guess will be 49,257

Posted by: Marla at January 19, 2010 11:54 PM

I've done the same project, and it took me FOREVER. I'm guessing you have about 54,387 songs on your computer.

Posted by: Kate at January 20, 2010 9:19 AM


Posted by: Becky at January 20, 2010 11:19 AM

Guiltiest pleasure? Rap from the 90s. I really can't explain it.

My guess on total songs is 45,695

Posted by: Jennifer at January 20, 2010 2:30 PM

I'm totally a lurker but also have a large music collection and have to ask. What application are you using to house your collection? I'm not a fan of iTunes and Songbird didn't run properly on my pc. Have any suggestions?


Posted by: Gin at January 20, 2010 3:04 PM

am wowed that you have Tyketto on your list...I love their stuff and most people look at me like I am stuttering when I mention Tyketto...also impressed that you have Tattoo Rodeo. And Bad 4 Good...they bring back some memories...of Danny Cooksey an elevator and an ice machine. Hard to explain in the comments section...

My list would look similar except I wouldn't have any Cult or Scorpions and I might have a couple more Ozzy and Posion and Warrant and Nelson.

Ahh now I have Ride the Wind stuck in my head...

Posted by: Amy at January 20, 2010 4:30 PM

OMG Skid Row...now that brings back memories.

Posted by: jessica at February 4, 2010 4:02 PM