Reasons to be Cheerful: Classic Albums?

Our record collections define us! Don't Let anyone take your precious music away from you. James Brown discusses how music allows him to access special memories that no one's taking away from him.

Iggy and the Stooges Classic Album

But now, years after I last listened to them, every case has a story, a moment in musical history – and my own lifetime. As I’m pulling CD after CD out from the piles, I can’t believe how happy it makes me to see them all. My girlfriend turns to me as we start playing them and says, “Why the hell have you had so much great music locked away in that cupboard for so long?”

I don’t know. And then I realise it happened at some point when I was married, and the size of the collection and the raucous joy it gave me was probably a problem for the person I was married to.

But that was then. Old relationships don’t reappear in clear plastic cases, but great music does. For the last two Saturday afternoons I’ve been sorting them all out, having my own kitchen disco – and wondering whether, if I formed a band again, anyone would notice that I’m wider around the waist than I was 30 years ago. Surely, if we all wore sunglasses, I could pretend I was a teenage Iggy Pop fan again?

What happened between those teenage years and now?