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The death of the Album Side

When I was a wee young lad, the local FM station in town did something called an “Album Side” every Wednesday night at 8 pm.  It was a great way to hear half of an album before plunking down five hard earned dollars at the record store.  It was also a way to sometimes get a recording of half of the songs on the album using the trusty stereo cassette deck.

Technics SL-1200 turntable

Technics SL-1200 Turntabe

By way of these unauthorized recordings, I accumulated a bunch of cassette tapes that had bands like Aerosmith on one side and Foreigner on the other.  Often, the last 8-10 minutes of a cassette tape side would be silent.  This, coupled with the auto reverse mechanism on the cassette deck often lead to confusion with my high school sweet heart… the music ends, then while we were otherwise distracted and several minutes later, the music begins again at high volume.

I grew up in much simpler times than these.

In any case, the advent of the CD pretty much ruined the concept of album sides.  It means much less to somebody to have a show where one would play “half the songs on a CD, one after another, without commercials or liners.”  When CD’s became the norm for music playback somewhere in the late 1980’s early 1990’s so went the album side.  These days, with computers, MP3’s and all the other music storage mediums, most people wouldn’t even know what an album side was.  The shame of it is, it was a great selling tool for the record industry.  Even though I owned those bootleg cassette tapes, later on, I went out and bought almost all of the albums that I had illegally recorded off of the radio.  To get the other side.

Oh. My. God. Becky, look at her butt…

This is The Stairway to Heaven for a different decade.

It is so big. She looks like, one of those rap guys’ girlfriends. But, you know, who understands those rap guys?
They only talk to her, because, she looks like a total prostitute, ‘kay?

Ordinarily, I don’t much go in for such things as rap music.  But this is entertaining, and somewhat universal.

Hard to believe that it was almost twenty years ago. Almost every lyric in that song is innuendo for some sex act. Like it. Dislike it. No rules were broken when making this song. It went to number 1 on the billboard chart in the summer of 1992 and no radio station anywhere ever received a fine for playing it.  It was quite scandalous at the time, of course, we were young and naive then.   Things have changed.

To the beanpole dames in the magazines: You ain’t it, Miss Thing!

I occurs to me that part of the reason that the radio industry sucks is because the music industry sucks.  The radio and music industry used to have a symbiotic relationship, each benefiting greatly from the existence of the other.  Of course, the greed and poor business practices of the last decade have driven every fun and thus entertaining element away from both industries.   Leave it to the bean counters, who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

Sadly, no hit that I have heard on the top 40 station these days even comes close to the entertainment value of this 18 year old song.

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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