Last night, I played a 200-mile card in the Mille Bornes game that's called my MP3 conversion project: I finished not just the B singles, but also got all the Rs done as well. That leaves just the S to do for my 45s. Tonight, my goal is to knock out the rest of R - the CDs and LPs. That'll leave just S and VARIOUS ARTISTS.
Several days before, I'd gone through the R singles to pull those I needed to record and convert. In doing so, I got to a song from 1980, the first single release by a Detroit band called The Romantics entitled "What I Like About You."
You may be surprised to know it only reached #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. WILAY received minimal to no airplay in the South that I'm aware of, and just a bit of needle-drops on stations in the southeast Missouri area, where I was living in 1980. It was MTV that legitimized the song, through frequent playing of the song's video a year later. Go figure.
But when I heard it back in 10th grade, I loved it. During college, WILAY was among my more frequently-played 45s. (Dunno why I never bought the album....)
You'd think the song would have a red-velvet cordoned-off "RESERVED" space on my MP3 player's hard drive.
You would be wrong. You see, I no longer like "What I Like About You."
Why? What I DON'T like about the song is its non-stop use in TV commercials these days. "What I Like" is, to my ears, the worst prostitution of a pop hit since the '60s Fontella Bass R&B scorcher "Rescue Me." It has taken away any love for that song I once had. And ditto for RM.
Coincidentally enough, the other morning Bob & Sheri had, as their daily "chat room" question: What's a favorite song you once had that now you cannot stand? For me, the answer was easy, yet sad.
The reason songs get used and abused for shilling products is their accessibility and price. Rights-holders have the luxury of making bucks off the songs they hold (that's why Beatles songs suddenly began cropping up toward the late '80s in commercials -- blame no less than Michael Jackson!). A little research shows that The Romantics had a long, protracted lawsuit over rights to their songs ... but that suit was won, and now they own the hits they created 2+ decades earlier.
That was back in the '90s, though. WILAY began appearing frequently 3-4 years ago.
What about any of you? What other ex-favorite songs do you have?
Ciao for niao.
--Talmadge "Balking in my sleep" Gleck
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