I’m a fool for the Holy Grail

January 28, 2009

I’ve mentioned that I’m a sucker for music lists. I love collecting songs and albums that fit a particular classification, the more obscure, the better.

Most of these lists haven’t been too difficult to compile; in some cases it’s a simple matter of assembling music I already have into a new playlist, in others I have to make an effort to locate rare or obscure releases. More recently I have been able to find a version of the compilation that someone has already posted online, which is what I did with The Pitchfork 500 list.

Now I’ve turned my attention to the great white whale of music compilations: The Nurse With Wound List, a list of musicians and bands that accompanied Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella, the first album by Nurse With Wound, released in 1979. The list was a cover graphic:

Nurse With Wound List

A more legible version of the list can be found at the Audion Guide Site, although there is now an online cottage industry devoted to analyzing the list. My usual mail order source of obscure sounds, Wayside Music, now has an entire subcategory devoted to the it.

Since the list was published in 1979, and consists only of the names of the artists, there is some room for interpretation of which albums are recommended. I’ve decided to stick to the Audio Guide version. A quick survey of all 294 entries showed that I currently have only 43 of the albums, a mere 15%.

My completing the list could take many years. I can’t afford to just buy everything all at once (what’s the fun in that?), and most of the albums are guaranteed to go into and out of print again and again. But it will be a background-level hobby for me. It has to be, I’m too old to be looking for another Holy Grail.

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