“Created by Humans” vs. “Created by AI”

by James Wallace Harris, 4/22/23

The first video I watched on YouTube this morning was “How to create a children’s storybook using ChatGPT and Midjourney AI for Amazon KDP Start to Finish.” eLibrary1 explains how she creates children’s books using AI tools.

It’s actually quite fascinating. She gets ChatGPT to suggest a series of ideas and then asks ChatGPT to write up 500-word versions of the ideas she likes. Then she tests those stories against an AI checker to show how they can be easily detected as AI-created. Then she runs the stories through another program that rewrites her stories. After that, she checks again and shows how the AI detector shows they are now human-written. Then she runs them through a plagiarizer detector to make sure they won’t be rejected for that reason. After she’s sure she’s got something good to work with she submits the stories scene by scene to Midjourney to have it create the artwork.

As I watched this video I thought about how so many people are concerned with seeing “Made in America” tags on the products they buy. I wondered if people in the future will look for “Made by Humans” or “Created by Humans” tags?

My initial reaction was I wouldn’t want to read a book that eLibrary1 created. I would feel cheated. I expect art and fiction to be produced by artists that suffered for their art. But then I thought, what if the story and pictures were better than what people produce? I’m already seeing artwork produced by AI that blows me away.

Just scroll down for a while in Midjourney’s Community Showcase.

Or look at Latest Works at Art AI Gallery.

The range of what’s possible is tremendous. But then, it’s all been inspired by art created by humans. Is AI art actually creative work? Well, humans don’t create artwork out of nothing either. They have a lifetime of being inspired by other artists.

Let’s ignore this philosophical question for a moment. Let’s go back to the old idea of people “liking what they see” as a test of quality. I love visiting art galleries. I love looking at graphic art in magazines. I love looking at art books. I often buy books for their covers. And I have collected thousands of science fiction magazines, both in physical format and digital scans (but mostly digital). The reason I love them so much is because of their covers.

I’ve got to admit that AI-generated art presses the same exact buttons as art produced by humans. I have not read fiction written by AI writers, but what if I love their stories as much as I like AI art? To be honest, I believe I have a stronger psychological desire for fiction to be human-generated. What happens to that feeling if I read an AI-written novel that I like more than all my favorite human-written novels?

What I’m feeling right now is the desire to tune out the AI world. To retreat into the past, and savor the art and fiction created before the 21st century. That I want to become a modern Luddite that rejects AI machinery. But what will I be missing out on?

What if machines can take our imaginations further? Isn’t that why I’ve been a lifelong science fiction reader? Isn’t that why I took psychedelic drugs in the 1960s? Isn’t that why we admire the greatest of human thinkers?

Maybe I want to run away because I’m old and tired. One of the main enjoyments of getting old and putting up with the pains of aging is seeing how events unfold. So, why turn away now?


Jim and Susan’s TV Watching Update

by James Wallace Harris, 4/21/23

Back in December, I wrote about how Susan and I needed a new TV show to binge on. We were wrapping up Downton Abby having rewatched it from the first to the last episode and the two movies. I asked for recommendations and figured I might update that post and let y’all know what we ended up watching.

Here are the series we’ve binged on so far, watching two episodes a night starting at 9 pm.

Time Period Series
1912-1926Downton Abby
1903-1930Upstairs, Downstairs (1971)
1936-1939Upstairs, Downstairs (2010)
1937-1953All Creatures Great and Small (1978)
1938-1939All Creatures Great and Small (2020)

We tried Northern Exposure but it didn’t hook us. I guess we weren’t ready to leave England because we ended up watching Upstairs, Downstairs – both the 1971 and 2010 versions. It wasn’t nearly as good as Downton Abby but we got so we liked it well enough. The contrast in TV production in the 1970s and 2010s was striking. Upstairs, Downstairs (1971) never had elaborate sets, and the costumes weren’t as elegant either. The storytelling in the older show was simple too. Most of the early 1970s episodes only featured one plot line, whereas Downton Abby and Upstairs, Downstairs (2010) switched between several. That’s something that become standard in 21st-century television.

All three shows had an ensemble cast, but Downton Abby’s was much larger. Plus, Downton Abby had lots of exterior shots, which made the period setting far more realistic and enjoyable. The newer Upstairs, Downstairs was quite well done, it just didn’t last long enough for us to get attached to the show.

After Upstairs, Downstairs (2010) we started watching both the new and old versions of All Creatures Great and Small. We watched one episode of each starting at 9pm. This was fascinating for about ten days seeing how they each presented the same material from the book. Episodes of the 1970s All Creatures Great and Small tended to be choppy and episodic, often jumping days between scenes.

The newer show made each episode a solid coherent story. But this meant they’d stretch out some anecdotes from the book and skimp quickly over others. Overall, the storytelling, production, and cinematography were superior in the new version. Of course, widescreen high-definition made a huge difference too. On the other hand, I think we liked the characters better in the older show, although we like both sets of actors a lot. However, I was slightly more taken with the newer Helen. Susan, I think liked the looks of the newer actors, but found the characters in the older show more developed.

After ten days of this dual viewing, we switched to just watching the newest version to finish it off and focused on the old version. All Creatures Great and Small ran for three seasons in the late 1970s and then stopped around 1980. It had 90-minute one-shot Christmas specials in 1983 and 1985. Then in 1988 it started back up and ran another four seasons. The first three seasons covered 1937-1939. The fourth season picked up again in 1949 and the story ended in 1953. The first three seasons of the new show covered 1937-1939. I don’t know if there will be more or not.

We watched Upstairs, Downstairs – and the older version of All Creatures Great and Small on Britbox.

Again, a contrast between TV production in the 1970s and 2020s. Of course, in this show, the exterior shots were important in both productions. I’ve got to say, the old series seems to have spent far more time on the gritty details of being a large animal vet. We see all kinds of animals being born, often with Herriot’s or Farnon’s arm up to their shoulder in a cow’s vagina. And these scenes look very realistic. So realistic I have to wonder if they weren’t assisting in real animal births. They did fake it in the new series, but it’s hard to find out information about the making of the original series. That’s because Google only wants to show me articles about the new series.

I did find this one article that suggests the older version did work with real animals, and the actors did have their arms inside cows. What dedication to method acting. (If you know of any links that describe the details of how they produced these scenes in the older show, leave a comment.)

Now that we’ve finished the 91 episodes of the old version of All Creatures Great and Small, we’ve started rewatching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel so we can be well prepared to view the final season, season 5 which is appearing weekly now. We want to time things so we finish season 4 when all the episodes of season 5 have been released.

Last night, it occurred to me this is our first show set in America. I think we’ve both seen the Mrs. Maisel series twice, but not by watching it together. Susan was working out of town for its first three seasons and I watched it with different friends.

Susan and I have come to really enjoy our 9pm to 11pm TV time. Looking at the shows and the time periods they cover suggests that Susan and I share a love of period stories that feature a large cast centered around a family or family-like structure. We’ve never been into mysteries, thrillers, or cop shows.

It’s a shame that’s not our only TV viewing. It would be great if we were busy and active with other hobbies and only spent two hours a day on television.

However, we’re both TV addicts, and we watch a lot of television that the other doesn’t like by ourselves. Susan in the living room, me in the den. That means we subscribe to a bunch of TV services, all of which are raising their prices. We probably spent less money before we cut the cord on cable. When we had one TV using one cable box, we watched a lot more TV together. I think it was the invention of the DVR that started us watching shows separately.

I prefer watching TV with somebody else. That’s how I grew up. TV was a family social activity. Of course, we only had one TV, and if you wanted to watch it, you generally had to watch it with others. I’d also go to school and talk about the TV I watched with my family with my friends at school, making it even more social. In the 1950s and 1960s there just weren’t that many shows to talk about, so most everyone was familiar with what was shown on TV. Nowadays, TV watching has become almost a solitary activity as masturbation. Plus, there are hundreds of choices customized for every taste that divide us. I think that’s kind of weird.


Are You An Old Man Listening to Music By Yourself?

by James Wallace Harris, 4/10/23

None of my fellow Baby Boomers want to sit and listen to music with me anymore. What happened to y’all? When did you guys stop listening to music? I’ve read articles about how most people stopped listening to new music sometimes in their thirties — but when did you stop listening to the old music you love too? And by listening, I mean sitting down and listening with the same devoted attention you give a movie at the theater?

Sure, y’all will put Pandora on in the background sometimes. Or randomly listen to a playlist of the 37 tunes you bought on iTunes for your iPhone. And you might still get a kick out of seeing geezers from the past perform live. But when was the last time you bought a new album and just sat and listened to it? And when was the last time you sat and listened to an album with a friend?

Rock music defined the 1960s and 1970s pop culture. Most of y’all gave up on music after that. I was still crazy about music in the 1980s and 1990s. But I have to admit, it’s been harder to feed by habit in the 21st century. I mostly rely on old music now. (There are exceptions like Adele and Kings of Leon.)

My feelings are hurt that my wife and none of my friends no longer want to share music with me. The only people I know who still listen to music like me are guys I read about online or watch on YouTube.

The other day I was watching a YouTuber film at a trade show for audiophile equipment and I noticed something very interesting. The halls of this convention center were filled only with men, mostly middle-aged or older men. I watched carefully trying to spot a female in the crowd as the YouTuber visited one booth or dealer room after another. Didn’t see one female. But lots of grey beards and bald spots.

My wife and her friends still love going to concerts. Just the weekend before last, they went to see Journey and Toto at the FedEx Forum. She and her friends will spend big bucks to see ancient rock dinosaurs roam the Earth again. They’ll even travel hundreds of miles to see their favorite blasts from the past. But she doesn’t listen to the old albums from these same groups. Before she went to see Chicago I asked her if she’d like to listen to some Chicago albums with me. She just said, no.

I don’t like live concerts anymore. I saw Chicago when they were touring with their first album. I bought that first album the week it came out because it was a mysterious double LP with a Priced Right sticker that just intrigued me. It blew my leather sandals off.

Back then I haunted record stories, going to several each week. By the time I started college, I had 300 LPs in my collection.

When I blog about music I get a damn few hits. When I try to talk about music I’m excited about, I can tell I’m boring my friends. I know there are people who still love listening to music because of all the audiophile YouTubers. I’m especially amazed at younger guys who love and know so much about music from the 1960s and 1970s. Wait, I just remembered, there is one female record collector who produces videos for YouTube (Melinda Murphy). What a lucky guy her husband must be — assuming he enjoys sitting around listening to records with her.

I’m learning that as we get older we retreat into ourselves. Is that because we all have uniquely favorite things we like to do which seldom overlap with our friends? I consider myself damn lucky to have two friends who read science fiction.

My wife and friends love spending time with things I don’t enjoy anymore. I wonder if Susan’s feelings are hurt that I don’t watch sitcoms with her anymore. When we first got married we watched several each night together. I’ve lost my taste for them. So while she’s watching M.A.S.H., The Andy Griffiths Show, or Friends by herself in the living room, I’m listening to Buffalo Springfield or The Byrds by myself in the den.

So, are you an old guy who sits by himself listening to music?

(I’ve spent a fair bit of time dredging through old memories and I realize that I only knew a handful of people who would sit around a listen to music with me. I guess I’m wanting something that never happened much anymore. Mostly I listened to music with friends before I got married, and it usually involved getting high. Early in our married life, Susan would go record shopping with me, and even listen to what I bought afterward. I remember when I married Susan, she had a box of about 40 LPs, many of which I liked, and that impressed me. She even bought a few albums over the years and listened to them sometimes, sometimes by herself. We went to a lot of concerts together. But she slowly stopped buying CDs – except for The Foo Fighters. Now she listens to Spotify, but only rarely.)


[picture above was generated by Midjourney. The AI has a weird idea about stereo systems.]

Come Back in September by Darryl Pinckney

by James Wallace Harris, 3/31/23

I nominated Come Back in September by Darryl Pinckney for my nonfiction book club because it was on some best-books-of-the-year lists at the end of 2022, and because it was about creative writing and literary people from the 1970s and 1980s. The book club members voted it in and Come Back in September was our March 2023 read.

However, I don’t think I can say, “Rush out and buy it.” It won’t be a bestseller, but I’d highly recommend it for a specific audience. If you have any of these qualities, you should read more of what I’ve got to say about the book below:

  • Your twenties and thirties took place in the 1970s and 1980s
  • You enjoy reading memoirs and autobiographies
  • You majored in English
  • You’ve taken or taught creative writing courses
  • You enjoy reading and writing poetry
  • You’re fascinated by the New York literary scene of the 1970 and 1980s
  • You love The New York Review of Books
  • You know about Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein
  • You’re interested in Mary McCarthy, Norman Mailer, and Susan Sontag
  • You get a kick out of books with lots of name-dropping and gossip
  • You’re interested in punk rock from the 1970s and 1980s
  • You’re interested in black literature and writers
  • You’re interested in feminist writers of the 1970s and 1980s
  • You want to know about AIDs in New York in the 1980s
  • You can handle terse prose that is detailed and highly episodic

Come Back in September is mostly about Darryl Pinckney and Elizabeth Hardwick, two people who were completely unknown to me. Both have achieved a certain level of success in the literary world, especially in New York City, but are far from famous.

Even though Pinckney dedicated Come Back in September to the memory of Barbara Epstein, I feel the book is mainly about Elizabeth Hardwick – she is pictured on the cover. Epstein and her husband Robert B. Silvers, along with Hardwick were the founders of The New York Review of Books. Epstein and Silvers coedited the magazine from 1963 to 2006 when Epstein died, and Silvers was the sole editor until 2017 when he died.

Elizabeth Hardwick was Pinckney’s writing teacher and mentor. She also hired him as an assistant and helper. They became personal friends. Evidently, through that connection, Pinckney got a job working in the mailroom at The New York Review of Books and getting to know Epstein and Silvers. Much of this memoir is about his life at the magazine in the 1970s and 1980s. If you are a fan of The New York Review of Books, then I recommend Come Back in September. Pinckney went from mailroom clerk to typist to substitute assistant to reviewer, writer, and I believe even doing some editing.

Pinckney was born in 1953, making him two years younger than I am, but still very relatable in age. He accomplished goals I only fantasized about achieving. Elizabeth Hardwick (1916-2007) was born the same year as my mother and died the same year as my mother too. So, I pictured Pinckney throughout his memoir as interacting with a woman my mother’s age. I tried picturing my mother, a white woman born in rural Mississippi, befriending a gay black man. She wouldn’t have been prejudiced against him, and I’m positive she would have loved the attention that Pinckney gave Hardwick. She would have considered him a much better son than me.

Most of the memories in the book are divided between Pinckney’s life with friends and family, and his life with the literary crowd, and most of those seem to deal with Hardwick. So, why does he dedicate the book to Barbara Epstein? Maybe she helped his career more because of her position.

While reading Come Back in September I kept thinking about all the things I was doing the same years while Pinckney was writing about them.

Pinckney first met Elizabeth Hardwick in 1973 and he opens his memoir with:

I made Elizabeth Hardwick laugh when I applied late to get into her creative writing class at Barnard College in the autumn of 1973. Not only could I, a black guy from Columbia across the street, rattle off a couple of middle-period Sylvia Plath poems when she asked me what I was reading—Blacklakeblackboattwoblackcutpaperpeople—I told her that my roommate said we would kidnap her daughter, Harriet, if she didn’t let me into the class. His sister was her daughter’s best friend. I’d met her at a party of his Dalton School friends. I was in.
   Where do the black trees go that drink here? 
   Their shadows must cover Canada. 

I walked her to the subway at 116th Street and Broadway. Plath had come around once for her husband’s class when they lived in Boston. Professor Hardwick remembered her as almost docile, nothing like the poems that would make her famous.

Professor Hardwick was fresh and put together. Her soft appearance made the tough things she said even funnier. In her walk, she rocked gently, from side to side. She was on the job, in a short black leather coat and green print scarf, carrying a stiff leather satchel with short handles just wide enough for a certain number of student manuscripts. I hadn’t yet seen her bound up from a chair and break free, flinging over her silk shoulder a silver evening bag on its chain, saying to an astonished table of graduate students and free spirits who’d just agreed among themselves that poetry was everywhere,

   —I’m sure you’re very nice, but I can’t bear that kind of talk. 

And then dancing away from their party because she’d rather be at home looking forward to Saturday night delivery of the Sunday New York Times. 

At our first official teacher-student conference in dingy Barnard Hall, I made Professor Hardwick laugh again, because I recited the last paragraph of Lillian Hellman’s memoir An Unfinished Woman:

    Although I do have a passing sadness for the self-made foolishness that
    was, is, and will be … 

—That fraud, Professor Hardwick said. She tried to do everything but have me killed. 

Six years earlier there had been a Mike Nichols revival of Hellman’s play The Little Foxes at Lincoln Center, and she, Hardwick, had reviewed it for The New York Review of Books, calling it awkward, didactic, and full of cliché. She didn’t believe in the South as an idea, she said.

 —Her use of black people, she said. You would die. 

Agrarianism was a bore. Had I read Allen Tate? A poet I’d never heard of. 

—You don’t need him. Faulkner?

  The Bear. 

—You do need him. But don’t ever do that again.

—Excuse me?

—Read Lillian. People were cutting me on the street. She got people to write letters. She told them, I’m not used to being attacked by someone who has been a guest in my house. I made up my mind that I didn’t care if I never went to another dinner party at Lillian’s. Dashiell Hammett was always trying to get away from her, for Patricia Neal.

I was discovering so much: Rimbaud, Frank O’Hara, Baldwin’s essays, Gertrude Stein’s autobiography. Every day, from hour to hour, there was something new, a name to put on my list of names to reckon with. One afternoon I walked by an open door and a guy with long blond hair was at his upright, preparing to play. The music had poignance and a couple of other people also paused. My mother loved the piano, but I had never heard of Erik Satie. Friends and professors had a lot to tell me.

Pinckney, Darryl. Come Back in September (pp. 3-5). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition. 

I quote so much of the opening pages to give you an idea of reading Pinckney’s prose. I had to pay close attention, and often reread lines to pick up on what he was saying. Pinckney’s prose reminds me of poetry, which involves short lines, that are tense, terse, vivid, detailed, and hard to read. On a superficial level, Pinckney’s prose reminds me of Hardwick’s novel Sleepless Nights, which I’ve just started. Both books are told in a long series of snippets of memories.

Our nonfiction book club rates books, 1 to 10, at the end of the month. I gave it a 10 even though I had problems with it. I think those problems were mine and not Pinckney’s. I admire Come Back in September quite a bit, but it’s just not something I always cared about, but I never stopped valuing its quality. My hunch is that Come Back in September is far more brilliant than I’m capable of perceiving.

This memoir is an amazing bit of memory excavation. I write about dredged-up memories all the time, so I know how hard it is, and I admire it when I see it done so much better than what I do.

I had problems with Pinckney’s writing style at first, but once I tuned into his way of expressing memories, I could see what he was doing. I don’t know if it was intentional, or if that’s how he thinks. His prose is very granular. He depends on the accumulation of memory flashes rather than one long consistent narrative.

I am reminded of Kurt Vonnegut’s technique. Vonnegut claimed to write his novels in 500-word chunks. Pinckney does something similar, but often his chunks are very short – just long enough to capture a significant moment of the past. Come Back in September covers the years 1973 to 1989 and is based on journals and letters, but I also expect deeply buried memories.

By our reading group’s rating scale, a 10 should be for books that we consider highly recommendable. I can’t say that’s true for this book. It’s highly recommendable if you are the right reader for this book, but I guess most readers won’t be. Still, I rated it a 10 for a group. I wasn’t the only one.

Now for the philosophical reading question. Should we always read books that are exactly like what we’ve trained ourselves to read? Even though my undergraduate degree is in English, and I’m a dropout from an MFA creative writing degree, Pinckney’s prose and subject matter were far outside of my normal stomping grounds. For the first half of the book, I had to push myself to read it. Eventually, I adapted and the second half became a page-turner.

I’m not sure if I will ever reread Come Back in September, but I think if I do, I will find a great deal more to get out of it. I’ve tried to find out more about Pinckney and Hardwick online. There’s a lot for Pinckney, he’s become somewhat successful over the years, but I believe Hardwick has become more obscure. I can’t find any videos of her at all, but within Come Back in September she expressed a distaste for that kind of attention.

A couple of years after the events in Come Back in September Pinckney published his first novel, High Cotton. It’s dedicated to his parents and sisters. Elizabeth Hardwick mentored and encouraged his writing during this time, so I was surprised she wasn’t mentioned in the dedication.

Another problem I had with the book, is all the big-name authors that Pinckney got to hang with back in the 1970s and 1980s are not ones I care about. How many people still read Mary McCarthy, Norman Mailer, Susan Sontag, Robert Lowell, etc.? Still, I imagine for people who do, this book will delicious inside gossip.

Pinckney leaves me mostly interested in Elizabeth Hardwick. I’ve started Sleepless Nights, but so far I don’t like it. It’s too poetic. She shunned plots. I can read books without plots, but I need engaging characters and marvelous settings to make up for them. So far I haven’t found them.

Hardwick’s novel and Pinckney’s memoir are both about collecting memories and depending on the totality of those collected flashes of memories telling a story. That worked for Pinckney but it took a while, that may also be true for Hardwick.


Just Saying No To Vinyl – Going Back To CDs

by James Wallace Harris, 3/28/23

The big news in the music world is vinyl is outselling compact discs in sales. That’s because it’s for total sales and not total units. That’s not hard to believe when LPs go for $20-50 for regular releases, and much more for special editions. Yet, CDs seem cheaper than they’ve ever been. I’m going back to buying CDs. Fooey on the $50 LP.

I just bought Fleetwood Mac- 1969 to 1974 on 8 CDs for $36.99. And Eagles, The Studio Albums 1972 – 1979 on 6 CDs for $27.88, and What’s That Sound? Complete Albums from Buffalo Springfield on 5 CDs for $26.39. The sound quality is impressive but the packaging is very cheap. Just cardboard sleeves for the CDs in a cheap cardboard box, no booklets or documentation.

I actually like these CDs in slim cardboard sleeves. I’m going to try and find a set of file drawers that will just fit them. Or maybe some miniature crates like how we use to store LPs. CDs in plastic cases take up a lot of room.

The Fleetwood Mac set seems to be all recent re-masters but I can’t be sure. Then Play On, one of the Fleetwood Mac albums has the same 18-cuts with bonus tracks as the remastered CD that Amazon sells as a single CD for $14.27. The Fleetwood Mac set has a sticker that says “Six studio albums re-mastered on CD for the first time. Plus a previously unreleased live performance from 1974, 20 bonus tracks, and 8 previously unreleased tracks.” That’s interesting because the box contains 7 studio albums and a live album CD. I ain’t complaining.

The Buffalo Springfield set has a sticker saying it was “Re-Mastered from the original analog tapes under the auspices of Neil Young.” Buffalo Springfield never sounded so good to me. Their original LPs and CDs always seemed thin sounding. The new set has Buffalo Springfield’s three original albums, with the first and second in both mono and stereo.

The Eagles set has six studio albums on CD, with no extra information, no extra cuts, and no claim to be re-mastered. But the CDs sound good.

For years I’ve been trying to get back into vinyl. I sometimes buy old LPs at the library bookstore for 50 cents each, and I bought a handful of new LPs when they were on sale. But I won’t buy them new anymore – they’re just too damn expensive, and still going up in price. And every time I hear a skip on an LP I want to give up vinyl completely – give away my records and turntable. No vinyl revival for me.

I like to play one or two whole albums each day. Sometimes in the afternoon when I’m tired, and sometimes after dinner when I’m tired and not ready for television. I’ve gotten so I enjoy hearing a whole album – and played loud. Susan is nice enough to indulge me for a couple of hours.

And I feel bad about always streaming music because I’ve read artists don’t get paid much through that system. I’m willing to buy new albums, especially if they are priced around $5-10. And I love these new bargain sets. Amazon has a bunch of them and I’m going to buy more. They are usually marketed under “Original Album Series” or “The Studio Albums” keywords.

I think the only Fleetwood Mac album I bought when it came out before they went big with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham was Bare Trees. Over the years I’ve picked up a few albums with Peter Green and Bob Welch. I bought the 1975-1987 albums as they came out. It’s great to jump back and hear all the earlier albums. There is even a cheap box set of the earliest Fleetwood Mac albums that I’m going to buy.

These cheap box sets are a great way to really get into a group, and time travel to the past. There are quite a few artists and groups I didn’t listen to when they came out that I’m willing to try now because they now have an enduring reputation. I especially want to try a lot of jazz groups. I’ve already ordered a set of Weather Report albums on CD.

I have hundreds of CDs I’ve bought over the last forty years, but some weren’t mastered that well originally. I’m willing to buy CDs if they are priced low and especially if they’ve been re-mastered. I’d love to buy a cheap box set of Joe Walsh solo albums and James Gang albums. The old CDs I have sound thin and poorly mixed. I don’t see anything remastered for them currently.

So, it’s back to CDs for me. Just saying no to the vinyl revival. I know LPs are cool, and wonderful to look at and hold, but CDs sound better and are more convenient to use.

My plan is to explore a lot of music, especially albums that came out from 1960 to 1980. I’d like to buy all my favorite albums on CD and keep them in order by when they were originally released. I only want to buy albums I’ll listen to whole – from the first to the last track. I’m not interested in buying the greatest hits albums or compilations. I have Spotify for those songs.

Year Album Artist
12/05/1966 Buffalo Springfield Buffalo Springfield
10/30/1967 Buffalo Springfield Again Buffalo Springfield
06/30/1968 Last Time Around Buffalo Springfield
09/19/1969 Then Play On Fleetwood Mac
09/18/1970 Kiln House Fleetwood Mac
09/03/1971 Future Games Fleetwood Mac
03/00/1972 Bare Trees Fleetwood Mac
06/01/1972 Eagles Eagles
03/01/1973 Penguin Fleetwood Mac
04/17/1973 Desperado Eagles
10/15/1973 Mystery to Me Fleetwood Mac
03/22/1974 On the Border Eagles
09/13/1974 Heroes Are Hard To Find Fleetwood Mac
06/10/1974 One of These Nights Eagles
12/08/1976 Hotel California Eagles
09/24/1979 The Long Run Eagles



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Joe Pitkin's stories, queries, and quibbles regarding the human, the inhuman, the humanesque.

SuchFriends Blog

'...and say my glory was I had such friends.' --- WB Yeats

Neither Kings nor Americans

Reading the American tradition from an anarchist perspective


Speculations on the Future: Science, Technology and Society

I can't believe it!

Problems of today, Ideas for tomorrow


Peter Webscott's travel and photography blog

The Wonderful World of Cinema

Where classic films are very much alive! It's Wonderful!

The Case for Global Film

'in the picture': Films from everywhere and every era

A Sky of Books and Movies

Books & movies, art and thoughts.

Emily Munro

Spinning Tales in the Big Apple


hold a mirror up to life.....are there layers you can see?