Sunday, November 30, 2008

CDs For The Drive Over

CDs For The Drive Over

My wife's TrailBlazer demanded an oil change this morning, and while waiting for Wal-Mart to do the job, I remembered that I needed some CDs to listen to in that huge empty space between radio stations in eastern Oregon. (And yes, it is a very long distance where there is no FM and surprisingly sparse AM choices.)

So being a cheapskate, I went to the music section and looked for some cheap stuff. I found a $5 2 CD collection mistitled 25 Best Disco Hits. I say "mistitled" because while there were some awesome disco hits that I remember from the era ("I Will Survive", "Disco Inferno", "Right Back Where We Started From"), there were a number of songs that I do not remember ever hearing in that fashion-challenged era--and hearing them for the first time reminded me of why I do not remember ever hearing them way back when.

Somewhat more disappointing is that while some of them were the original versions that I remember, quite a number of others are re-recordings by the original artists. In a few cases, I can't hear any difference. Maxine Nighingale's Right Back Where We Started From sounds identical to the version that I hear on the radio. Others were subtly different, but not necessarily worse. A few were very disappointing. They had a version of More, More, More by Andrea True that sounds like she was far weaker than when she recorded the version in Jamaica that we all remember.

It's rather interesting to listen to these disco songs and compare them to the vulgarity of some modern music. Some of them were regarded as a bit naughty because of their double entendre. (Yes, I'm thinking of the Pointer Sisters' I'm So Excited. And some weren't even double entendre; Disco Duck's background vocals, if properly separated, were clearly making a suggestion that rhymed with that, and fit rather well with the whole reason that discos existed.) Still, many of these songs were surprisingly sweet and monogamous, even when there was a suggestive edge to them, "I'm just a love machine, and I won't work for nobody but you."

One of the other CDs I bought, however, was a Lionel Richie/Commodores greatest hits collection--and wow! What a spectacularly romantic collection this is!

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