For some reason i am crushing hardcore on old Ani DiFranco CDs this weekend. Many people just starting to listen to her want to get the ‘best of’ of her first two cds, her live cd, or a newer one. I don’t think any of those impulses are correct if you intend to embrace Ani’s entire creative cannon. You really have to start on Out of Range or Not a Pretty Girl so that you see both where she comes from and where she is going. I started right before Living in Clip, and this was the order i bought in: Out of Range, Dilate, Living in Clip, Not a Pretty Girl, Little Plastic Castle, Puddle Dive, Up^6, Imperfectly, Ani DiFranco, Not So Soft, To the Teeth. While i don’t endorse that specific order, i think it helped me to appreciate both old and new music by Ani. However, when i bought Dilate it was the newest release, so that skews the equation a bit. However, under no circumstances should Little Plastic Castle be your first buy, no matter what your friends tell you.