Would You Arrange Your Music Alfabetically

Would you arrange your music autobiographically?


If you are a ‘serious music head’, you may be familiar with the movie ‘High Fidelity’.

In the movie, Rob (John Cusack) is the owner of a failing record store in Chicago, where he sells music only on vinyl at a time when CD had taken over the world. Although he has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music and is consumed by the music scene, it’s of no help to Rob, whose needle skips the love groove when his long-time girlfriend, Laura (Iben Hjejle), walks out on him. As he examines his failed attempts at romance and happiness, the process finds him being dragged, kicking and screaming, into adulthood. The film is infused with great music and music banter between the friendship group.

This movie is pretty much an illustration of how our obsession fondness with music permeates into every facet of our life. A song for every mood, for every occasion, person & memory. A specific album to play when feeling up, another to keep you company during dark times, the ‘sexy ambient music for a date album’, the ‘chill out and forget about life’ album, the ‘break-up’ album, the…

I love this scene in the movie:

Rob is asked how he organizes his records.

Chronological? No.

Alphabetical? No.


I love this concept. Imagine organizing your music in sections that correspond to moments in your life.

To find U2’s Joshua Tree, I would have to go to the “Albums I fell in love with in 1st Year University, played ad-nauseam through my headphones during lectures, played during my stint as a DJ at the Uni Radio Station which the students broke in to the studio during a live session to find out what this band was” pile.

If I go to the “Album playing that night when I turned up at my friend Steve’s home all dressed up and ready to go out to a night club but it was raining outside so we decided to stay home, drink vodka and play funny videos” pile, I’ll find The Velvet Underground’s ‘Loaded’.

If I want to play Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro, I would find my favourite pressing in the “Music I played at low volume when I bought my newborn son home and fell asleep on the couch with him wrapped in a blanket on my chest” pile.

If I organized my music this way, no one would be able to find a record in my collection but I would know EXACTLY where everything was.

Think of one of your favourite albums.

If arranging things autobiographically, what would be the name of the section you would place it in?