Flashback Friday – “Gone!”

Title: Gone!
Date of Creation: Sometime around May 1992, I’d have to guess, since it would appear to be the first tape I made after graduating from Averett College. (Accordingly, the last tape I made before graduating was entitled Going, Going…)

Side 1:

“Main Title,” James Horner (Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Over the years, I’ve gotten less and less apologetic about declaring “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” to be my favorite film of all time; accordingly, I barely cringed at all when I recognized the initial strains of James Horner’s score for the film’s main title sequence. Not that I didn’t enjoy hearing it; I just immediately thought, “Oh, God, I’ve got to explain why I put it on here.” But then I realized that, no, actually, I don’t have to explain a goddamned thing. I love this score. Somehow, however, this disc managed to get purged from my CD collection, but hearing this track again makes me want to buy it back.

“That’s The Way It Stays,” Little America (Little America)

I know this was released on Geffen Records, but I always got the impression that the band’s success was rather regional. I don’t know that I ever heard their songs on the radio or saw videos for them; I just know that one of my oldest friends, Jeff Castelloe, forced their music down my throat while I was working music retail, which is how I came to hear them and learn to love them. And what’s not to love, really? It’s just good, catchy pop-rock with a bit of jangle. (And, yes, that IS a scan of the cassette rather than the CD; ever since they reissued the band’s two albums as a 2-fer, you can’t find a decent .jpg of the self-titled debut by itself.)

“Never Will Forget You,” The Candy Skins (Space I’m In)

These guys just couldn’t make a wrong move, as far as I was concerned…I’ve got every album they put out, and I enjoy them all…but it was this debut that sold me on them. It’s really one of those records where every song had the potential to be a hit single, if only the right people had been listening. Unfortunately, they weren’t. But at least the cool people were. And that’s why we covered them in our list of The Best Albums You’ve Never, Ever Heard (Well, Probably Not, Anyway).

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Flashback Friday: “So Very Special”

Mixed July 10, 1993

Actually, the tape was called “So Fucking Special,” for reasons that will soon become clear for those who haven’t already figured it out. But I’m not that same young punk anymore, and decorum compels me not to lead a piece with an expletive. Drop one in the first line of the piece, sure. But the headline? That’s just crazy.

Side One

“Daddy’s Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car,” U2 (Zooropa)

In retrospect, the actual verses to this song are pretty flat, but hot damn, do I still love that intro and that backward bass line.

808 State
“In Yer Face,” 808 State (Ex:El)

To quote Jason Thompson, this album PWNZ. I always wanted to find an a cappella version of House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and lay it over top of 808’s “San Francisco.” If anyone can help me find that a cappella, I’d be forever in your debt.

“We Don’t Take/Hack/Charlie X,” Information Society (Hack)

Hack was one of the last records released before the sampling laws forced you to pay anyone and everyone you stole, which effectively killed sampling as an art form. You almost get the sense that they knew the window was closing when they made this song, because this song samples everyone, from James Brown, Beastie Boys and Digital Underground to Kraftwerk and Malcolm McLaren.

Severed Heads
“Big Car (Limo Mix),” Severed Heads (Rotund for Success)

I had seen this record in stores for years, and I just knew that it was something that I would like Eventually, I found the 12” at a steep discount, and took the plunge. Now for the strange part: as much as I love this song – and I looooooove this song – I never sought out any of the band’s other stuff, though I’ve been wondering for years where that “All the way to the bottom, Maggie. You’ve made it!” quote came from.

More after the jump…

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Flashback Friday #1 – Greetings To The New Feature

No one asked for it, but here it is, anyway: a new feature on ESDMusic which, hopefully, will become a regular reason for you to visit the site…provided, of course, that we can come up with enough material to maintain it. But, frankly, when you hear the premise, I think you’ll agree that with all of the music geeks we’ve got around here, that shouldn’t be an issue…

Borrowing on the same general concept as Bullz-Eye’s Mix Disc Monday, Flashback Friday will allow our writers to venture into the depths of their possibly-embarrassing personal histories by pulling out old mix tapes and writing about them. In theory, this should reveal a lot about where we were musically at the time we made the tapes; in reality, however, it may just indicate how limited our budget was at the time…or, at least, that’s what this tape of mine shows.

That’s right, as the person who came up with this idea, it’s only fair that I get the ball rolling, and lemme tell ya: I was attending Averett College in Danville, VA (go, Cougars!), and it was a real rarity for me to buy anything that wasn’t on its second or third markdown in the cut-out bin…and, believe me, you can tell.

Title: Greetings from Averett, Vol. 2
Date of creation: late March 1991 (approximate)

Side 1:

“Main Title / Rebel Blockade Runner,” John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra (Star Wars: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

I’ve always been of the mind that every mix needs to start off with something witty, clever, funny, or just, y’know, something memorable. Given that this was 1991 and we were on what would turn out to be a 16-year drought between new “Star Wars” films, beginning the tape with the familiar main titles from the original flick – now known as “Star Wars: A New Hope” – certainly qualified. Unfortunately, the title theme segues directly into another track, ”Rebel Blockade Runner,” and as a result, the whole thing ends up going on longer than most normal people would ever maintain interest. I mean, I love that soundtrack, and even *I* started to get bored. By the way, while I’ve attributed this to the actual “Star Wars” soundtrack, given my budget, I have to believe that this was much more likely taken from an el-cheapo recording done by, say, the Generic Philharmonic Orchestra…which means it’s almost certainly not John Williams conducting but, probably, his non-union Mexican equivalent. (Juan Williams?)

“Losing My Religion,” R.E.M. (Out of Time)

This is the track on Side 1 which most definitively dates the tape for me. As noted, I was a man with limited funds, and most of my purchases were CDs and cassettes that I’d rescued from the cut-out bin at the record chain in the local mall, but I sucked it up and bought Out of Time on its first day of release. I still remember writing a review for the Averett College newspaper, The Chanticleer, and declaring that this song’s lyrics sounded like a parody of the band’s style. (“I think I thought I saw you try” is the one that leaps immediately to mind.) I must’ve made this tape within a day or two of the album’s release and only known this song; otherwise, I almost certainly would’ve put “Texarkana,” “Near Wild Heaven,” or “Shiny Happy People” on here instead.

“This Is the World Calling,” Bob Geldof (Deep in the Heart of Nowhere)

Wow, did this album get reamed when it was first released. I’m sure Bob didn’t expect much else, though; after you’ve been held up as the pop star who fed the world, you ought to know that the press is going to tear your next LP a new center hole. Yeah, that’s right, Geldof’s fallible. So what? And, anyway, Deep in the Heart of Nowhere wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone said; it just wasn’t as good as, say, your average Boomtown Rats album. I still say the first half of the album is pretty damned good, and this song, which leads off the record, is definitely a highlight.

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