Album bucket list checked off

David Raszka uses music library to complete 1001 albums list


By Julie Carle

David Raszka is a numbers person. As the assessment officer for the College of Education and Human Development at BGSU, Raszka is surrounded by numbers, statistics, lists and data all day.

In his spare time he gets away from numbers with books, music and movies.  However, even in his leisure, he has a propensity for numbers, using them to set goals and reach achievements.

One of his latest achievements is to have listened to all the available albums found in the book “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.” Soon after he purchased the book in 2005, he set a goal to do just that —  to listen to all of the albums on the list. And in true statistician form, he started his own list to track his progress and categorize the 1,001 albums.

“We always had music in our house when I was growing up,” Raszka recalled.  And his interest in music was bolstered when he was 10 or 11 and got his first record player.

“The book starts in the mid-1950s with the advent of the 33 1/3 (rpm) albums, but my interest lies primarily in the mid-60s and mid-70s,” he said. “ My theory is that most music tastes are formed when people are going into adulthood; that music stays with you.”

Because of his love of music in the ’60s and ’70s he realized “I owned some of them, but I didn’t want to purchase albums just to listen to them.” As part of his plan to complete the list, he sought ways to listen to the albums without spending a lot of money.

He soon found that resource in his own BGSU backyard.  Just a couple hundred yards from his office, he discovered the BGSU Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives. It became the supplier of many of the albums and one of his favorite lunchtime getaways.  The majority of his listening was done at the BGSU Music Library because of the proximity to his work and the vastness of the collection.

“I found the library to be an amazing resource; I was just astounded,” Raszka said. “I’m surprised more people don’t know about it. There is something for everyone here.

“In addition to checking out some of the albums from the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, I also had the resource to borrow from other libraries through OhioLink, Search Ohio and World Search to access albums from Washington State, Maine, Texas and Colorado,” he explained.

During his eight-year quest, Raszka tried to listen to the albums in chronological order because that is the way the book is written; however, he learned to be flexible based on what albums were available.

He also remained open-minded because “some were not my cup of tea,” he said with a smile. “It really became a quest to finish them all when I realized I might not care for the genre or the artist.”

He considers the task completed, with the caveat that he could not find these six albums anywhere: “Caetano Veloso,” by Caetano Veloso (1968), “Tank Battles” by Darmar Krause (1988), “Haut De Game/Koweit Rive Gauche” by Koffi Olomide (1992), “The Sun Rises in the East” by Jeru the Damaja (1994), “Snivilisation” by Orbital (1994) and “Our Aim Is to Satisfy” by Red Snapper (2000).

They are still on his spreadsheet in case they ever become available, but for now, he is happy to move on to his next bucket list, and still make time to visit the library to relax and enjoy good music.

Updated: 12/02/2017 12:56AM