You Know You’re A Crazy Music Enthusiast When…

You own multiple copies of the same album

Not only is that different cover, limited edition bonus track, and/or slightly altered tracklist super worth having, but it goes without saying that different formats = different release altogether. It’s not redundant having the same thing on vinyl and CD (and cassette or digital download, if you really want to go for the gold!) Bonus points if you have multiple copies of the EXACT. SAME. RELASE. just because they were pressed/released in different countries.


Your collection is organized. Period.

If you have taken the time to organize your collection is some form or another, I salute you greatly. Maybe your records are alphabetized, maybe your CDs are chronicled, or maybe you’re just someone who entirely rejects how iTunes practically tells you how to sort your music. Whatever floats your boat is totally valid, but considering most people have broken jewel cases strewn around their home or dozens of mislabeled, album art-less files on their iPod, your system is, by default, ahead of the pack.


Every music list you’ve ever read is wrong

It doesn’t matter what it is… on principle alone, you know you could do it better. Every list you read is either going to seem far too invested in the clichés or far too saturated with rarities to be valid. Not to mention, the order the list is in is going to make ZERO sense in your brain. To further the predicament, you are more than happy to argue your correctness, and possibly even roll out a flawless version of your own! The fact that no one will ever agree with your list just makes everyone else incredibly wrong (and stupid.)


You don’t have to like it to know it

Yes, you hate Top 40. Yes, you don’t like “such and such” band … but you’re still going to insist on being knowledgeable. It’s just in your nature, right? Oddly enough, after something is off the charts and into oblivion, you’re going to be the only one who remembers it. That’s something that makes you that much more legit!


Playlist champion

Nobody is ever going to compete with your DJ skills. No, I’m not talking about scratching and crossfading. When you’re at a party, you’re the one picking the music, and it’s going to be spot on every single time. You know what people want to hear, even if they didn’t know they wanted to hear it. You could assemble the world’s greatest playlist in a pinch, too. It’s going to be in the right playing order with the right song selection every single time.


Give me the 12″ version, or give me death!

Now, we’re not talking about the immortal “Extended Mix” here, we’re talking about the full length version of said track. This is, quite frankly, the only version that actually matters and is worth listening to. This is is the only true, integral, meaningful mix, and all other versions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Let’s be honest, though; this is the one you’ll always come back to.


Radio edits are for suckers

In conjunction with your 12″-obsession comes a sincere disdain for the horrid “radio edit.” Yes, it’s an established fact that some songs are just too damn long to work for radio, but you don’t care about what the radio’s playing anyway, do you? The fact that the intensity-building intro, vital bridge, or even parts of a verse had to get sloppily cut out just so some moron on the radio will play it is complete blasphemy. Oh, and the early fade out? Forget about it! What a cop out! Not to mention, it totally ruins the intensity at the end, right? Single remixes are a different ball-game, but the infamous “radio edit” is a piss stain on the world of pop music.


You buy the re-releases/box sets with demos and outtakes… and you actually listen to them

$100+ for a bunch of tracks that aren’t even full tracks… WORTH IT. Who wouldn’t want to hear all 7 takes of one particular track? Who wouldn’t want to hear the different parts being demoed individually? And COME ON, who wouldn’t want both mono and stereo mixes of every track recorded for a single album session? The truth is, pretty much nobody. You, however, eat that shit for dinner! What incredible insight, right?!

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You have different feelings for different masters

Furthermore, you can totally justify having the ’89, ’97, ’03, and ’12 remasters of the same exact album. But, believe me, you’re going to have radically different emotions for each one. It’s not so much the difference between “remastered for DVD” vs “remastered for iTunes,” but the intricate production quality makes you feel… a lot. Whereas your Average Joe couldn’t tell the difference, there are only certain mixes you can ever justify even putting on.


Greatest Hits tracklists bother you greatly

Let’s get real, most “Greatest Hits” collections are just desperate attempts to cash in, and most “Best Of” collections barely even begin to touch on an artist’s actual best material. Yes, for completeness purposes, you’re still going to buy them, but they’re usually just embarrassing. That new single or pitiful “previously unreleased” track they tack on to lure in the true fans are never worth the purchase, either. Every now and then a genius collection is compiled, sure, but those are few and far between. Honestly, despite how much they go against everything you’ve ever believed in, they’re biggest draw for you is usually the radio edits and single mixes… again, for completeness purposes.


You actually read the credits

That’s right… all of those words in the booklets that aren’t the lyrics… you read them. And you comprehend them. Of course, in this day and age, the credits have to be sought out via Google, but you’re still willing to do it! The producers, session musicians, even engineers… they mean something to you! Cheers to you for caring about the people who aren’t featured on the front cover!


Lineups matter… A lot

This is more complicated for some bands over others. Some groups (like Fleetwood Mac) have lineups so different from one another, that’s easy to get into a groove with one over another. On the other hand, some bands stop existing altogether as far as your concerned once “so and so” left or was replaced. For acts like Black Sabbath, Van Halen, or Pink Floyd, the debates still go on to this day. You’re always going to have your opinion, but you better believe that the exact lineup of a group has pretty much everything to do with your opinion.


The nature of your relationship with The Beatles

Every music fan/human being on planet Earth has some sort of opinion about The Beatles. On the whole, they’re considered to be the greatest band in the history of rock and roll. Their influence, legacy, and stacked catalog are undeniable, but not everybody can particularly call themselves a fan. Whichever side of that line in the sand you’re on is totally valid, but it’s how you carry yourself that makes the difference. Simply writing off the Fab Four to up your hipster cred doesn’t suffice, and lauding their every move because you think you have to doesn’t either. It’s having a grasp on their body of work and being up to stand by your opinion with facts and examples that makes it valid. If you’re a true music enthusiast, you will have a strong opinion regarding The Beatles; “just okay” doesn’t cut it.


The conversation around digital music is a can of worms

Ugh the bloody digital download. The convenience and accessibility is undeniable, but a “file” is not a musical format. You actually care about the artists (and not just the performers) who lose out greatly when music spreads itself over the internet. Even legal outlets like iTunes or streaming services like Spotify are lacking on that “je ne sais quois” experience. Despite how much you hate it all, you better believe you’re partaking to the fullest extent! How else are you going to discover so much awesome new music, right? But it’s ok… because you’re legit. The conversation is just one giant can of worms.


The quality of your night out is determined by the quality of the DJ/band

Yes, you’re going out to get drunk with your friends, but if the DJ sucks, everything’s going to shit. On the other hand, if he/she is on point, it’s going to be the best night of your life. The littlest thing, a poor cross-fade for example, is going to boil your blood, and, yes, you’re going to be that person who actually goes to the DJ booth and requests a song full-well knowing it’s not in their repertoire. Additionally, heaven forbid you’re in a bar with a live band! Those poor guys’ every move is going to be judged to the harshest extent… by you. And even though they’ve whipped the crowed up into a euphoric frenzy with an epic sing-a-long of “Sweet Caroline,” you’re standing in the back with your arms folded, rolling your eyes at the disgusting cliché.


Alcohol is the only outlet to your guilty pleasures

There is nothing wrong with being too proud to openly listen to your guilty pleasures. It’s perfectly acceptable to erase your play count on iTunes so that if someone stole your laptop, they wouldn’t think you were listening to the Spice Girls. A couple of shots of whiskey makes it all just right, though. Some people wake up the next morning with an ugly stranger in their bed only to blame it on being too drunk, but not you. You’re the one who wakes up and has to text your friend, “was I really standing on a table shouting every word to ‘Hot In Herre?'” I’m pretty sure this is where the phrase “face the music” came from. Naturally, it’s all just a matter of pride.


Concerts aren’t for drugs/alcohol, they’re for waiting in line for 10 hours to get as close as possible

I’m not talking about the pre-game beer or two, or even a joint or two, but you’re not going to a concert to get “f-ed up.” You’re going to get high off the music itself. The opportunity to get as close as possible is totally worth standing outside with complete strangers for hours on end just to experience the greatest 2 hours of your entire existence. All of the drunk idiots who don’t care about the performance belong in the back anyway!


People make comparisons that are beyond inaccurate, and it drives you C.R.A.Z.Y.

Michael Jackson and Prince are not REMOTELY similar. How dare you compare New Order to Simple Minds?! No, Marvin Gaye doesn’t sound like Robin Thicke. And hello, Lady Gaga is not the next Madonna. To you, this goes beyond apples and oranges; this is apples and elephants. C’mon! Don’t these people even listen to music?! For as generally accurate as these claims may be, you can’t bring yourself to justify these elementary observations. You’re someone who digs deeper, and people need to know who’s influencing who!


Fact checking is your biggest hobby

How dare someone try to school you and your infinite knowledge! You are the one that everybody wants on their trivia team just to secure a lock in the music category, and don’t even lie… you love it. No matter where you are, who you’re with, or what the situation is, if someone makes an inaccurate claim, you are going to be more than eager to correct them. To you, this is as pleasurable as it gets.


Nothing burns you up more than when you ask someone what music they listen to and they respond, “everything.”

This is really the pinnacle of every music enthusiast’s pet peeve list. Naturally, you’re going to be interested in knowing what someone enjoys musically, but when they answer with “everything,” it feels like being stabbed repeatedly in the ears. Nobody listens to “everything,” or at least enjoys “everything.” Someone can’t claim that they like rock because they listen to Maroon 5, country because they listen to Taylor Swift, rap because they listen to Macklemore, or pop because they listen to Katy Perry. This is when you bite your tongue. To make it even worse, when you reciprocate the answer and they come back with, “I love Radiohead! ‘Creep’ is like my favorite song ever,” in a desperate attempt to relate…this is officially over. This date won’t lead to a relationship. This conversation won’t lead to a friendship. You need someone who’s going to give you a real answer… preferably one that’s elaborate and full of buzz words and specific genres like “shoegaze” or “90s alternative females that didn’t sell out.”


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