Meet Michael Goodman, the latest collector in 360°Sound’s ongoing series CD Junkies. Born and raised in San Jose, California, the 48-year-old regularly posts photos of classic R&B CDs and records from his collection on his Instagram @soulmanburritofan.
“I received my first CD player as a gift in 1987 at age 13 and remember my mom allowing me to pick out two CDs to go with it,” Goodman told 360°. “Always out of step with my teenage peers, I chose a double CD set of Ray Charles’ Greatest Hits, which I still own. Soul music wouldn’t become my primary musical focus for another 30 years after, but my love of classic-era soul music and its forefathers was present at a young age.”
360°: Approximately how many discs do you have in your collection?
Michael Goodman: I have 100-ish non-soul music CDs that I’ve never spiritually parted with. They live in my attic. These include anything from Broadway musical soundtracks to Green Day’s Dookie. I have another 300+ CDs of just classic soul/R&B in a display case in my home office. The majority of those I started buying after 2007.
What do you like about the CD format?
The CD is a tough competitor in any head-to-head matchup against other music formats. They are the reliable, dependable middle child between vinyl and streaming that is too often overlooked.
Vinyl remains a fun addiction but has its downsides in terms of cost, portability, durability, storage space requirements, and production waste. Streaming music provides incredible access to seemingly endless buffets of consumable music but offers nothing in terms of a physical relationship to the music that warms our innards. How deep can my love for a playlist go? With streaming music, love is but a passing moment.
All pale in comparison to the mighty CD. Did you forget to download music to your phone before you drove off into the woods? I’ve got a CD case in the back seat with enough tunes for a cross-country road trip. Is your new vinyl record scratched? I’ve used CDs as drink coasters, and they play like new. Did your Walkman eat your KISS cassette? You should have known better. Cassettes can burn in Hell forever.
Your Instagram name is @soulmanburritofan. Tell us a little about your love of soul music and burritos.
I had a previous life on Instagram before this one as @Burrito. Not very imaginative, I like burritos and joined IG early enough to snag a top-notch profile name. I spent the next 3+ years receiving a notification every time any burrito was tagged on IG. I frequently responded with positive emojis and encouraging words. Then one dark afternoon, my account was hacked by tamale enthusiasts, I assume. Locked out forever, years of burrito diplomacy lost, I gave up the mantle and walked away defeated. As I started a new IG account, I decided to branch out beyond burritos to share with the world my other passion.
In 2007, I set upon an odd quest to spend a full year listening exclusively to classic soul/R&B music from 1955-1975. It was a spontaneous idea I had to spend my focus on a much-loved music genre from the era prior to my birth. At first, I just wanted to collect all the cool songs I’d heard during my short existence into a massive playlist. Surely the best soul music from the last 20 years could be compressed onto a few data CDs, right? How naïve I was in those early days.
Unexpectedly, the more music I collected, the deeper and deeper down the soul hole I fell. As of December 2021, I have yet to reach the bottom of the pit. There is always another album, discography, box set and complete singles collection to hear. At some point I foolishly thought I’d be able to get through 20 years of music exploration in less time. Fingers crossed that the remaining journey is swift and remains entertaining.
What are some of your all-time favorite soul albums and compilations on CD?
Let’s start with the title! I love anything with buzzwords like “Complete Recordings” or “Anthology” as well as “Unreleased Sessions” or “From the Vaults.” Whatever music is on a CD with a title like that is probably legit and likely one of the top resources for a deeper dive into the artist’s musical legacy. Off the top of my head, without obsessing about it at all…
Gunslinger Meet Soul Singer – Mr. Fine Wine’s 2013 WFMU Marathon Premium Reward
Blinky – Heart Full Of Soul: The Motown Anthology
Bobby Byrd – Help For My Brother (The Pre-Funk Singles 1963-68)
Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces – Searching For My Love (Japan)
Clyde McPhatter – The Complete MGM & Mercury Singles
Jackie Shane – Any Other Way
The Spinners – 2nd Time Around (1995 Japan)
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (2002 Deluxe Reissue)
Darrow Fletcher – The Pain Gets A Little Deeper; The Complete Early Years
David Ruffin – “David” Unreleased LP & More
Aretha Franklin – Rare & Unreleased Recordings
Carl Hall – The Loma/Atlantic Recordings 1967-1972
All of these singers have amazing catalogs with incredible life stories to match, some of which took 40 years to come to light. The Blinky anthology is a great example! Her catalog was locked in the Motown vaults for decades despite constant pressure by Motownophiles to have the material released. Now, in the golden age of accessibility, she finally gets her due with an incredible 2-CD set proving her incredible talent was vastly underserved by her record label at the time. What a fantastic time to be a music fan!
Are there any labels that come to mind that are still doing great soul CD releases and reissues?
For my hard-earned dollars, Ace/Kent Records hasn’t put out a CD I didn’t enjoy. The effort the Brits put into restoring, preserving, and packaging our American musical history is unmatched and embarrassing. The background photos and information are always an informative read. Buy today without regret!
What are your thoughts on the future of the CD? Do you think the CD could see a resurgence?
I hope so! The available streaming music catalog shared by all music services today is incomplete. I think explorers of offline music history will always be grateful to find what they seek well-preserved on CD format, as long as they can also find a CD player.