Monday, April 7, 2008

1995, Part II: Roll to Me

Editor's note: I'm in a melancholy mood this evening, so to avoid wallowing, I will post this light-weight footnote to my earlier post on the music of 1995.

David Soul, "Don't Give Up On Us" (1976). I think I actually bought this one.

I remember, as a teenager, going to the record store at Pyramid Mall outside of Ithaca, New York, and buying singles. I would bring them home, set the record player to 45 rpm, and set the needle on the smooth vinyl edge of the latest hit single. I remember buying Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" as a single and nearly wearing it out. Ditto the Eagles' "Hotel California" and the Manfred Mann's Earth Band version of Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light" (even stranger, the B-side was a Manfred Mann version of Stravinsky's The Firebird). In the late 1970s, if you heard a song on the radio that you liked, you could almost certainly find the single at the record store. But in 1995, 45 rpm singles—and the equipment to play them on—were a thing of the past. So when I heard Del Amitri's "Roll to Me" on the radio in 1995, I rushed down to Northfield's record store of that era, Red Pets, and bought the CD. Except for "Roll to Me," I hated the CD. (There's a video of "Roll to Me" on YouTube; just close your eyes and listen to the great song and ignore the awful video.) Now, of course, I could download "Roll to Me" as a single song for 99¢ from iTunes. Maybe I'll just do that. Because I hated the rest of the CD so much that I quickly got rid of it. So, faithful commenters, have you ever bought a CD on the strength of a single song on the radio, only to find that you couldn't stand the rest of the album?


Penelope said...

I just know I have had that experience, but I seem to have suppressed the details.

Christopher Tassava said...

The very first album I ever bought - on cassette - was Rockwell, Somebody's Watching Me, which I bought at the KMart in Ironwood, Michigan, because I'd heard the lead single, "Somebody's Watching Me," on Casey Kasem's top-40 radio show. That song was the only good song on the album, which ain't saying much because it's not that great a song. Given that I burned my fingers on my very first music purchase, it's no surprise that I love the 99-cent option on iTunes.

Rob Hardy said...

My brother Jim's comment:

Yes, I purchased a Pre Fab Sprout CD just for the song "Cars and Girls". I didn't care for the rest ofthe album. Thankfully, now—just like the 1980s when we were able to purchase singles—thanks to technology we can now buy singles for .99, so I have the song "Cars and Girls" without having the get the rest of the album.

Jim H. said...

Yeah. The Doors first album. South Bend, IN, 1968-ish? I don't even remember which song I liked, but that album found its way very quickly to the bottom of the pile.

The opposite expeience -- buying an album or CD for one song but finding one or two more that you really like -- is to be savored.

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