ABC’S OF ROCK: Alphabet Obsession Origins & The Straight A’s

I suppose my first real blog should be about the main reason I started this: my obsession with alphabetizing stuff, namely music. It started as a youth when I methodically put my baseball cards in alphabetical order by team.  I can still rattle off the 26 teams in order and even did so in Rookie Card’s traffic anthem “Got No Time (For Expansion Teams)”. No mp3 link available yet (drop me a note and I’ll send it to you) but you can watch us working it into an entry for a San Diego Padres themesong contest here: ”All I Want Is Padres Baseball”.  I’m not sure I started alphabetizing my music when I had cassettes and LP’s but I distinctly remember alphabetizing my first three compact discs when my family first bought a cd player.  Even more ridiculous was the fact that two of them were Beatles albums, which I put in chronological order.  So it begins…

Thanks to a couple of jobs at record stores and music biz sweatshops, I had a good little collection going in college and it finally made practical sense to alphabetize them just to find anything. I hate to use the word “collection” because I’ve never been remotely interested in the collectability of music.  I don’t care how much it’s worth.  I just want to hear it.  Yes, alphabetical by artist and chronological within.  Solo singers by last names, not first, like they are in ALL record stores, iTunes be damned, though I did have a girlfriend who would alphabetize certain singers by their first name if she usually referred to them ONLY by their first name.  In tribute, that’s why Ella Fitzgerald is in my E’s, but only her. One must have standards.

At my last LA music job in 1995, I decided to bring one cd into work every day alphabetically and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s a good way of making sure nothing NEVER gets listened to, even if it’s once every few years, which is about how long it takes to go from A to Z, then comps and soundtracks.  Um, I have a lot of cd’s (see picture below). Plus, it’s a reminder to get rid of stuff that doesn’t move me anymore. Once I discovered email signatures, I’d write a little about the cd of the day every day and friends would email me just to see what it was. I stopped doing it after a few years but last year, I decided to post on my Facebook page about whatever band I’d brought to work.  People seemed to like it but I felt guilty with all the other stuff I post, so I decided to finally start the music blog I’d always wanted to, if only for myself.  Now you’re reading too.

I’m currently in the middle of the letter C for the third or fourth time through.  Gimme a few posts to catch up and then I’ll start posting about bands.  Let’s start with the first letter of the alphabet, which I’m quite fond of.  When your name is Adam, you get a lot of phonecalls from people’s purses and pockets. Only one person gets more calls than me and that’s Aaron.  Respect.
a karaoke flyer ON THE TOP SHELF (in order, of course)
Abba, AC/DC, Roy Acuff, Adam Ant, Ryan Adams, Adorable, Afghan Whigs, Alaska!, All-Time Quarterback, Lily Allen, Alta Voz, The Amps, The And/Ors, John Andrews, the Animals, Another Bad Creation, the Apparitions, Apples In Stereo, Appleseed Cast, Arcade Fire, Louis Armstrong, Art Of Noise, Joseph Arthur, Asylum Street Spankers, Jon Auer and Auski. If you’ve heard of Auski, email me.  That will have to be its own post someday….

Apples In Stereo, Arcade Fire, and/ors, Louis Armstrong, Art Of Noise.


Never knew much about this band but this song is a simple, churning stunner. A bit of a Rookie Card song was reminding me of another tune and it took me years to figure out that it was a few notes that ring out at the end of this.

1/2. Argument With David Rawlings Concerning Morrissey/To Be Young (Ryan Adams)
3. S.O.S. (Abba)
4. Rumor Has It (Adele)
5. TNT (AC/DC)
6. Heat Of The Moment (Asia)
7. Car Trouble (Adam & The Ants)

8. I Could Be Happy (Altered Images)
9. Gentlemen (Afghan Whigs)
10. Towner On The B-Side (aMiniature) 

11, Candy Takes The Cake (the and/ors)
12. Tipp City (The Amps)
13. LDN (Lily Allen)
14. Playground (Another Bad Creation)
15. Frontier Psychiatrist (The Avalanches)
16. Gold Star For Robot Boy (Jon Auer)
17. The Silvery Light Of A Dream, part 2 (Apples In Stereo)
18. Backbeat (Art Of Noise)
19. La Femme D’Argent (Air)
20. Breathless (Adorable)
21. Speed Of Light (Joseph Arthur)

Spotify doesn’t have AC/DC, AdorableArt of Noise, Avalanches or Aztec Camera songs.



1. American Music Club, Apples In Stereo (4)
2. Ryan Adams (3)
3. ABBA (2)
Kevin Ayers (2)
Aztec Camera (2)

Ambulance LTD-Straight A’s (A.J. LARUE, CONTEST WINNER)
Ambulance LTD-Primitive
Archers of Loaf-Web In Front
Alphaville-Lassie Come Home
The A’s-After Last Night
Abba-Knowing Me, Knowing You

Adorable-Sunshine Smile, Adorable-Homeboy, America-The Last Unicorn
(not on Spotify)

Leave YOUR favorite top 5 A acts and a favorite tune in the comments!



5 thoughts on “ABC’S OF ROCK: Alphabet Obsession Origins & The Straight A’s

  1. Ooh! Am I your first replier? I believe I am. Congratulations, Adam, on starting this blog. Please tell me you have American Music Club filed under Club, American Music.

    • You are the first! Thanks. It’s quite the achievement, especially when I’m endorsed by a PhD! Um, I know you’ve mentioned them before and I’ve heard a few tunes over the years but I guess they haven’t grabbed me enough to plunk down money. Is there a suggestion in my near future?

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