One of the benefits of being music editor of Stereophile---after, of course, unimaginable wealth, unquestioned power, and hot and cold running editorial groupies---is that every year in February I get to write about death. That, and the rather odd personality traits of the Stereophile writing staff.
February 2000—We are now comfortably past all the millennial hype, which, by New Year's Eve, really had risen to a nauseating fever pitch. But it's hard not to look back to the times, the places, and, most of all, to the faces and personalities that populated the last hundred years.
Many years ago, I awoke one Saturday morning to find my girlfriend, with whom I'd had a knock-down, drag-out fight the night before, out on the street in front of our house having an impromptu yard sale. The sale featured my record collection. We broke up. I still have the records.
The release of our 2001 Recommended Components online last month was such a success, we now offer readers the opportunity to buy the 2002 "Recommended Components" from both the April and October issues as .pdf files.
Once upon a time, when I was a mere sprout in journalism school, there came the moment when everyone had to decide which sort of writing and/or editing he or she wanted to pursue in the workplace of the real world—a harsh reality that was then fast approaching. Most of my fellow students, who ranged in age from 23 to 62, chose one of two paths: murder or scandal.
It used to be that, when I sat down to write the introduction to Stereophile's ever-popular annual "Records To Die For" feature, it quickly became an exercise in racking my meager brain for jokes about "dying for" records. But being funny, in print or otherwise, is tremendously difficult. I'm sure Groucho had a much more apropos, not to mention funny, quip about the trials of being humorous—but, as with the aforementioned jokes, I can't seem to think of it right now.
I sat down to write the introduction to the 2006 edition of Stereophile's annual "Records To Die For" extravaganza, and what popped into my head? Why, death, of course. After that, dead rock stars. What a concept. I mean, talk about dying for music.
This year marks the tenth time I've written an introduction to Stereophile's venerable annual feature "Records To Die For." Looking back, I'm proud that readers always find it useful and entertaining. I'm also amazed, on some levels, that our writers—hardware or software, deadline-phobic or not—manage to find something worthwhile to say, year in and year out, about music—which, after all, is why we became audiophiles in the first place.