Monday, May 02, 2005

Random Thoughts

"Sweetie, do you want to join the Columbia Record Club?"
"Whoa, hold on there, baby! I'm just not ready for that kind of a commitment!"

Derek will no doubt recognize that line from Weird Al's saga, "Albuquerque" (or however you spell it!). It's pretty true, though. Once you join that thing, you're stuck. I keep telling myself that I have to quit because I keep forgetting to reject my Selection Of Month and it charges right to my debit card but... I keep forgetting to! Soooo.... last week I received a 3-disc set from Columbia House called "70's Soft Side." 3 CD's of soft rock from my favorite decade of music. It's not too bad although there are some questionable choices like some goofy Delaney & Bonnie song, "Dueling Banjos", and Judy Collins singing "Amazing Grace." Collin skipped over that song when we were listening in the car Saturday afternoon.

There are some gems, though: "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight", "Time In A Bottle" & "Baby I'm-A Want You" are just a few. Saturday while Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze" was playing, I had an epiphany: in the 70's, people didn't care what you looked like. It didn't matter if you were as ugly as a mud fence, if you could sing and/or play an instrument well, you were in. We got some of the greatest artists that way: Jim Croce, Badfinger, BTO, Boston.

Now you have to be beautiful & have a great body. Britney Spears can't sing a lick but she's a superstar. Boy bands like NSync, 98 Degrees & The Backstreet Boys were put together for their looks, not their vocal ability. When you compare "This I Promise You" by NSync to "Dreamin' Again" by Croce, guess which one comes up way short? Jim Croce was a true talent, one of the greatest! Record companies didn't sign him because he was gorgeous or had a hot body. They recognized his talent in writing songs and singing them with a conviction that drew listeners!

How many acts from the 60's & 70's wouldn't have a chance now in the aesthetically minded 21st century? Bob Dylan, Mama Cass, Bachman-Turner Overdrive... none of them have the looks or the bodies to make in today's record industry. It wouldn't matter that they were talented! In fact, I bet that Mama Cass would have had her voice fronted by a skinny white girl who could dance just like Martha Wash did when she sang for C+C Music Factory. She was told people didn't want to see a 300 pound black woman singing. It didn't matter that the woman has a phenomenal voice!!

Okay, okay!! That's my rant for the day! Hope everyone has a stress-free Monday!

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