How is John Cusack organizing his records in "Hi-Fidelity"

In the movie Hi-Fidelity, there is a scene in which the John Cusack character has his records spread out and he is reorganizing them. His co-worker comes in and asks him if he is organizing them chronologically or alphabetically and the John Cusack character responds with “No, I am organizing them________.” How is he organizing them?

Autobiographical (the order he got them).

Oh yeah! That is what he said, it has been driving me crazy all day. Thanks!

However, when he said “autobiographical”, did he simply mean that he was organizing them in the order that he got them, or was he organizing them according to his different events, phases, girlfriends, or whatever?

It wasn’t as simple as chronological, John Cusack clears that up right in the film (in fact he says it’s definately not chronological). I can’t begin to explain the intricacies of what it means to categorize your records autobiographically but here is the explanation in the movie:

“yep, I can tell you how I got from deep purple to howie wolf in just 25 moves”

“oh man”

“and…if I want to find the song landslide by fleetwood mac I have to remember that I bought it for someone in the fall of 1983 pile but didn’t give it to them for personal reasons.”

No, it is chronological. The book makes it more clear.

When he says it not chronological he is taking about the order of release. That is how he had then at the time.

Autobiographical is the chronlogical order he bought them.

I’ll take your word for it but in the movie it is definately not chronological because the bald guy says, “it’s not chronological” then Cusack says “nope” and then goes on to say all that stuff.

Yeah, the book does make it more clear. It confused the hell out of me in the movie.

ohhhhhhhhhh, I’m an idiot. They must have meant that he wasn’t organising the movies by the date of their release. It’s late and I’m tired, forgive me.

Well, I am going to organize my sock drawer autobiographically.

That’s OK.

Should we tell drm that Cusack was organizing a music collection? Or do we just want to snicker loudly when drm passes us in the hallway? :wink:

My friend Jason collates his vinyl that way, because it makes sense to him.

(He also hates High Fidelity, and gets irritated as hell when people go on about how much Bob Gordan is exactly like him.)

I can’t make fun of him, because I used to a organize my books according to the colour spectrum – not so much because it made the shelves look neat, but because it was faster and more intuitive to find individual books that way. Eventually, though, the benefits of having authors’ works grouped together tipped the balance in favour of alphabetical-by-author. That, or the acid ran out. One or the other.

Well then, imagine how pissed he’s gonna be when someone compares him to Rob Gordon!


I organize my travel photos autobiographically. It actually works extremely well.

Feel free to snicker it’s been a while since I’ve reminisced about high school.

I sort books after three methods:

  1. the color spectrum
  2. size of books


  1. library index (geek cred)

I used to organize my CDs in the same way as in the movie. Then the CD rack fell apart and I couldn’t remember the exact order any more :frowning: So I next organized them by color…

I can understand not liking the movie or not being a fan of it; but hating it? Does it hit a little too close to home? Tell us more.

There was a music store I went to a few times that had a strange sorting system. First, it was by genre/era (so old rock’n’roll was separate from current rock). Then by label and within a label sorted by catalog number.

So if you were looking for a Beatles album, it could be filed under Capitol or Apple. And then even the Capitol albums wouldn’t be all that close to each other. They also had a huge inventory. Shelves and shelves for each big label.

It was impossible to browse normally. You had to know what labels a group recorded with, and then guess approximate year -> catalog number. Forget trying to find imports.

I think the guy was like Barry and just didn’t want to sell the albums. (He made most of his money on instruments anyway.)