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Not a blanket rule, but certainly one that I have found is empirically correct. I have found that if I like a CD on the first listen, it's usually a bad sign ... I usually end up absolutely hating the music. On the other hand, if I listen to a CD the first time and thing "darn, I wasted my hard-eared money", then I usually end up enjoying the CD.

This is an especially important rule for trying to get friends to listen to CD's you like; to let them share in the music you like so much, but they're not quite into. It rarely works; because of the "first listen" misjudgement. And, because they didn't pay for the CD, there's really no incentive for them to listen to it again. I guess, musically, people just have find their own way.

In fact I started labelling CD's by how many listens I had to get through to get to the fun part. Progressive Rock CD's are notorious for it. For example, some Yes stuff like Close to The Edge is at least a 20 listens before you start to like it, but then you really start to like it. But even bands like U2 can have really high values. Not all albums; for example Joshua Tree is an album you like from the first time you listen to it (indeed, it's a counterexample to this rule), but something like Achtung Baby needs maybe 5 listens before you get the hang of it.

For example Ben Lee's Breathing Tornadoes sounds good on the first listen, but then you slowly realise that (a) he's an OK, but not great, songwriter (b) he can't sing and (c) the other musicians play poorly. So the CD had a lifetime of maybe 10 listens before

Of course, just because you hate a CD on the first listen doesn't guarantee that it will eventually "get good".

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