Ever since the move, my CD collection had been in utter disarray. Last night it was finally time to re-alphabetize. This was an operation that consumed over three hours of my time, but that was so worthwhile; my searches of the archive are far more efficient now. An interesting and unexpected side effect of the sorting process was this beautiful 3-D visualization of the frequency distribution of artist names:

So what are the outliers? We can see that four letters — B, C, M and S — tower high over the others with approximately 60 CDs per letter. The letter S wins with a record 66 discs, and as if to prove this point beyond doubt, while I took this photo I happened to be listening to the Stars. At the opposite extreme, O has only seven CDs associated with it, while the unlucky letters Q, V, X and Z are not even represented at all. Can anyone think of worthwhile artists in those categories that I should add to my collection?

4 thoughts on “Alpha”

  1. well Nathan, i’m shocked at a lack of Verve (The) in your collection! you must get the Singles, at least, posthaste. other than that, there’s the ever popular Various Artists. The Veils (The) album from last year was pretty nice. and of course, Zero 7 is a winner for “mood” music. i can’t come up with much for Q or X tho…

  2. Thanks for the V’s and Z’s, $. You’re right, I do need some Verve in my collection, especially since I own a Richard Ashcroft album (inconsistent, I know!). I realized later that Quasi are aight, and could be worth a purchase, and there’s XTC to fill the X void. So I guess I’m covered… sweet!

  3. Q: Queen – A Night At The Opera
    – News Of The World
    Queen may be a 70’s “Wayne’s World” sorta cliche, but that’s just an accident of history. The two albums mentioned above are both brilliant, chock full of rock/pop greatness.

    V: Velvet Underground! Only *the* proto-indie rock band with incalculable influence on rock ever since.

    X: X, the great country “punk” band frm LA in the late 70’s & early 80’s. I put “punk” in quotes because while they’re often lumped into that category, they’re more what we’d now call some sort of rock band, emphasis on rock as they did kick ass. But they also always had that country heart and soul, great song writing, playing, and vocal harmonies from the male and female lead singers.

    Z: I agree with Warren Zevon, mentioned above. Another obvious candidate is Frank Zappa, who may be a bit of an acquired taste, but it’s a taste well worth acquiring as he was a true musical genius and his prolific musical output offers years of fun.

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