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Date: 30/03/20

Music By The Ton

I may give an exposition soon about my experience so far of having to work from home, but I wouldn't want you to think I was idling the rest of the time, so...

Way back in the when, at a time when this site was barely out of its swaddling clothes, it had a feature whereby, every six months, I would choose one hundred tracks from my expanding record collection and list them randomly, the better for you all to see how broad my tastes were. Showing off, in other words.

I dropped the idea after June 2006 because I had become bored with the idea, because I didn't really have the time to bother with it, and because the same tracks kept cropping up in about eighty per cent of cases.

Time having moved on and my collection having not surprisingly expanded quite a bit in nearly fourteen years, I decided to have another go at it. So I went through the nine thousand or so tracks and picked out a first draft list.

I found at the end of it that I had nearly three hundred candidates to whittle down to the required number. So I picked out the absolutely essential ones, which turned out to number fifty-two. I scrolled up and down what was left to find another forty-eight which passed muster until I had the full ton (or so I thought; read on...).

I then went to an online random-number generator (this one if you're interested) to shake them all up a bit, before putting together the page I've linked to further down...

...to find that I had somehow ended up with two identical number 59s and no number 7, so I had to stop coding the list and track down the problem. It became apparent that I had duplicated an entry in the 'essential' and 'next best' categories (Daydream by The Lovin' Spoonful if you're really that interested), which left me with only ninety-nine. So I then had to go through the ones which had initially missed the cut to find one single candidate for inclusion. I found one and - because I just couldn't be arsed re-coding what I had already done - stuck it at number 100.

I then discovered that I was still a track short. This became obvious because I had used the template from the last time I did all this and there was an old entry still left at the end. It took a side-by-side examination of the list-as-coded and the list-as-listed before I found that I had skipped one near the top of the rankings. That added, the job was finally done. You can find it here.

I can't be bothered (you will be relieved to read) analysing the differences between then and now in any detail. It's interesting (well, to me at least) how many tracks which were mainstays of the selections I made back then, and which seemed at that time likely to be permanent fixtures per sæcula sæculorum, didn't make the cut any more; hell, some of them didn't even make the first draft. At least that shows I haven't completely stagnated.

What does it all say about my musical tastes? Nothing of any import, I suppose; it flits about all over the place like my interests in general, never stopping in one place long enough for me to get a solid grip on anything. Still, I suppose it has prevented me from becoming obsessed in one particular direction. That way lies greater madness.