Friday, December 18, 2015

Tom Hibbert - The Perfect Collection

The Perfect Collection Blog, listed on the right-hand side of this page, directed me towards ordering, buying and receiving this with indecent haste as an early Christmas present to myself over the last few days. It's the inspiration for their own entries, which are an endeavor to supplement and update the original vision of the book which ran up to 1982, just before the arrival of The Smiths and R.E.M. and so much else.

The writers of the blog recall reading the book in their local library, just as I did at round about the same time. I pored over it, in the process as I was of beginning my own collection and over time starting to establish my own personal canon as we all do as music consumers. Though I couldn't follow all of the references and allusions made within it and wasn't familiar with the more obscure albums it recommended, it was nevertheless a hugely instructive read and Hibbert particularly, who edited the book, was an incredibly entertaining and inspiring writer.Its omissions are every bit as interesting as those it includes, no Led Zep or Can for example but room for Herman's Hermits and Love Sculpture. It feels like an extended, absorbing discussion with like-minded, contrary souls. It's a wonderful starting place for journeys of discovery.

I was delighted to receive a second-hand copy yesterday, appropriately an old library book itself. It's already expanded my horizons once more, re-reading again, (at over thirty years distance from my teenage self), its recommendations and observations. It's utterly unpretentious and committed in terms of love for the records it enthuses about.I already plan to use it as a source for things I'll post in the forthcoming year.

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