Do you know what the most valuable record in your collection is? You probably do, or at least have an educated guess. And if you’re on Discogs, you definitely know what it is, because you obsess about cataloguing everything on your shelves. You know, like I do.
I definitely know mine, and that’s partially because I don’t buy crazy rare collectors’ items that often. I mean, who can afford to, unless you find something at a garage sale that someone didn’t realize they had, or know that it was such a find. That happens. And I know some people who seek those out. About two years ago, my most valuable record was a Swervedriver album that was ironically reissued by a local label. Since then it’s been usurped by something else: Frightened Rabbit’s Pedestrian Verse.
I’ve been putting off writing about this one a little bit, since it’s pretty sad, actually. The reason that this went up in value is because the band’s singer, Scott Hutchison died last year of an apparent suicide. And as such it’s gone out of print. Doing a reissue wasn’t the top priority of the band, which came to a tragic end, and in situations like this, the marketplace just isn’t important anymore. But here I am with this mixed blessing of a thing. I don’t really care that it’s rare and valuable. I have trouble even listening to it. And the weird thing is that it wasn’t even my favorite album of the band’s. It’s good. I enjoy it. But I haven’t listened to it in the past year.
It’s a strange thing when an artist you like dies. And this is far from the last you’ll be seeing me discuss this, but it’s even harder when that artist is close to your own age, and not someone who lived a long, full life, and it was simply their time. There’s a harsh irony about how someone whose music probably saved someone else’s life couldn’t do the same for the person who wrote it.
I’ll get there eventually. Like I did with Elliott Smith. Or other artists who were gone too soon. And yes, that includes artists much older than I am. For now it’s just odd to have something with a big pricetag and a much heavier emotional burden.