25 January 2006

What I don't like about this

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.

Wheeeeeee.

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.

[sigh] Greed.

What about any of you? What other ex-favorite songs do you have?

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Balking in my sleep" Gleck

10 comments:

nettiemac said...

Sadly -- because I REALLY loved this song once upon a time -- Led Zep's "Rock & Roll" ... I can't hear the song these days without immediately hearing the Cadillac voiceover dude speaking.

I too think "What I Like..." has been not only burned to a crisp but never allowed to cool off.

"Red Red Wine" is another one. GAAAAAAK! Not that it's been used in commercials, just overplayed to death.

I could go on and on, couldn't I?

Talmadge G. said...

Yes. "Rock & Roll" -- THAT'S the other one. I'm supposed to think about rowdy, balls-out, fun when I hear that, right? Why the @#$% do I picture a friggin' Escalade driving on the fabled "closed course with professional driver"?

I could go on and on, couldn't I?

Yes, we (!) could. I smell another list.

It makes me think about turning to the last bastion of truly rebellious music left: EASY LISTENING!

-TG

nettiemac said...

I don't know. I'm not quite ready to graduate into Welk.....

bolivar said...

Personal to Tal & Nettie: both of you have very valid points. I liked "Talking in Your Sleep" more than I liked "What I Like About You". And Zep's "Rock & Roll" - there are 7 songs better on Led Zep IV than that one. And as much as I love "Stairway...", that's not my favorite track on Led Zep IV - that honor goes to "When the Levee Breaks".
I guess the one song that I cannot stand anymore - because I hear it on every stinkin' CSI show - is the Who's "Who Are You". At one time, I loved that song, even though it never was (nor will it ever be) my favorite Who song. But since CSI is the big show now (I must admit - it's better than "Survivor" or "American Idol"), we hear this song every day. Enough already!
As far as my favorite Who song? Very hard choice, although "Baba O'Riley" would probably be my choice. My favorite Who album? That one's easy - "Who's Next". Every song on that album is a classic.
How's this for an interesting question? I have asked several different people over the last three years, & I have gotten a lot of interesting responses. So, here goes:

"In your opinion, what is the greatest AMERICAN rock and roll band of all time?"

Key word here is American - don't say the Beatles or the Stones; that doesn't count.

Feedback is welcome...

Seraphim9 said...

No doubt about....the GREATEST AMERICAN ROCK AND ROLL BAND OF ALL TIME?

Why THE SHAGGS of course!!!

Sheesh - that should be obvious to everyone with a pulse!

-SG

nettiemac said...

The Allman Brothers Band. 'Nuff said.

Talmadge G. said...

Favorite American band: After careful deliberation and hyper-anal analysis, I'd have to concur with Nettiemac: Macon's Wonder Boys.

Damn that peach truck......

American SINGER?

Easy: Jack Mudurian.

--TG

PS: Tiger's favorite American band: Fallout Boy

bolivar said...

OK, since I have gotten feedback from Tal and Nettie and, for what it's worth, Seraphim (the SHAGGS?! WTF!!), here are some of the answers I have gotten, and from friends & relatives:

"Buddy Holly & the Crickets" - from my ARCD buddy in Little Rock

"Aerosmith" - friend up in Joplin, Mo.

"Beach Boys" - my father

"Metallica" - my soon-to-be-ex-wife

"Grateful Dead" - a few Deadheads I know

Other bands have popped up among some friends & fellow music collectors; among those bands are the Byrds, the Eagles, Buffalo Springfield, the Turtles, the Lovin' Spoonful, Steely Dan, the Cars, the B-52s, the Doors, & the Velvet Underground. All are good solid choices, & I don't think you could go wrong with any of these bands.

Some bands that weren't picked but could be on anyone's list are: KISS (not on my list), Blue Oyster Cult, Faith No More, Grand Funk Railroad, Van Halen, the MC5, & the Stooges. Except for KISS, all of these bands are great.

However, my pick was pretty simple. This band only recorded 6 studio albums, but for me, they broke all the rules & wrote new ones.

That band: CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL.

Don't get me wrong - the Allmans are one of my favorite bands, & "Live at the Fillmore East" is the greatest live album of all time, period. On the whole, I prefer CCR. So sue me.

nettiemac said...

Oh, I love Creedence -- do not get me wrong! I have their box set (thanks to my brother) with all their pre-CCR stuff on it too.

And you named some other great bands -- but where were Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, man????

nettiemac said...
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