Stephen Thompson's collection of long-neglected Prince CDs — and, yes, The Scandalous Sex Suite is in there.
Stephen Thompson's collection of long-neglected Prince CDs — and, yes, The Scandalous Sex Suite is in there. Lindsay Sanchez/NPR
A few weeks ago, I was sitting around with a few guys who fit squarely in my demographic: late 30s or early 40s, obsessed with music, and just resistant enough to MP3s that they still curate ludicrously sizable CD collections. Amid the usual talk of our fading hopes for a rapidly shrinking future, the topic came up: What recording artist has put out the most CDs you own but never listen to? Ideally, you'd have a large collection of titles without having listened to any of them in at least, say, two years. Bonus points if you've acquired late-period albums out of habit and then never bothered to listen, though I'll grant that this phenomenon is more common among folks who get virtually all of their music for free.
Rather than get too caught up in my own answers to the question we posed — though I'll drop a hint and say that the most prominent culprit's name rhymes with "Frince" — I'd like to gather a cross-section of responses and see how many names come up again and again. I'll solicit examples here and on Twitter, then pull together a final tally this time next week. Perhaps if there's a runaway winner of our little Owned & Abandoned Sweepstakes, we can sculpt some sort of trophy for the artist, crafted out of long-ignored copies of R.E.M.'s Around the Sun.
Please leave your nominations in the comments section below.