Thursday, December 6, 2007
That One Bad Song
I love digital music. Some people lament the loss of vinyl albums, but not me. Albums were such a pain - they skipped, they scratched, they crackled and popped. Give me a CD any day.
Or an MP3 - even better! Since I bought my Apple and got iTunes I’ve been very into compiling my own CDs. I download my favorite songs from CDs in my collection and put them into mixes. This eliminates the dreaded phenomenon of the Terrible Song in the middle of a Great Album.
For example: I really like Jim Croce. And who doesn’t? “Time in a Bottle,” “Operator,” etc. - he wrote some great ‘70s hits. But then, in the middle of all this nice mellow songwriting, comes “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” - possibly the WORST song ever recorded - and “Rapid Roy the Stock Car Boy,” the second worst. Well, I compiled my own Jim Croce CD, and voila! No more Leroy, no more Stock Car Boy.
I did the same thing with Astrud Gilberto. She had a terrific album in the late ‘60s called “Beach Samba,” in which she built on all her earlier work with Antonio Carlos Jobim. (Astrud is the female singer on the iconic “The Girl from Ipanema.”) But right in the middle of “Beach Samba” is a cursedly bad song called “A Banda (Parade),” recorded with an honest-to-god MARCHING BAND. It’s enough to split your head open. So now I have my own Parade-free version of Beach Samba.
Now, some albums you just can’t do this with. They’re too cohesive and their spirit as a whole must be considered. It would be impossible to cherry-pick songs from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” for example, or Joni Mitchell's "Blue," or even k.d. lang’s “Hymns of the 49th Parallel.”
But aside from those, it’s nice to be able to condense my music collection to what I want to hear. It’s all about flexibility!
On a completely different note, I uploaded some old family photos (just a few) to Flickr. You can see them here.
(Photo: Ginkgo leaves in Washington, D.C., Nov. 2007)