Monday, January 07, 2013

The Tenth Blog of Christmas - $15 Song CDs

Advisory:  there is an unusually high level of rock nerdiness here.  (Even for this blog.)  So be warned.

You all have probably figured out that I own a lot of music.  There are further depths to my music depravity, as I am about to disclose.

As Denis and Ryan know firsthand, in 2001 I completed a set of CDs called "$15 Songs."  The basic premise:  you buy a CD for one great song, but the rest of the album is just awful; so, you essentially just spent $15 for one song.  

I expanded this to good-to-great songs from mp3 samples, compilation CDs, or one-off work purchases.  The first set (in 2001) consisted of twelve 80 minute CDs (about 16 hours of material).  Keep in mind:  these are just leftovers from albums I'm not keeping.

I decided in the summer of 2011 to create the next group of CDs as a further glorious display of musical mental illness.  After I had compiled everything together, I had on hand Volumes 13-55 (about 57 hours of music).  Once again:  LEFTOVERS.

My co-editor on these is Mrs. Snilch Report, who has dutifully checked these out with me. We're on our third listen now (yes, it's taken a year and a half), having eliminated a full 8 hours of music (last Volume is now #48) in the process.  The task has become much more difficult with the crazy amount of mp3s I get as samples now; some songs are a great first listen, but not so much on the second.

So what does a typical $15 Song playlist look like?  I've randomly selected one pre-1995 and one post-1995.  We're beyond the looking glass here, people:

Volume 24 - 1990
(19 songs, RT 79:20)
  1. Skid Row - "Youth Gone Wild" (classic song that didn't hit big until 1991; and yes, I have "18 and Life" on another volume)
  2. Morrissey - "November Spawned a Monster" (much to Paul S.'s chagrin, I really think he was better in The Smiths; therefore I have a lot of one-off Morrissey songs on these comps)
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Show Me Your Soul" (from the Pretty Woman soundtrack which Jay L. owned in college; I always really liked this one)
  4. DJ EZ Rock & Rob Base - "It Takes Two" (classic college, especially since BA absolutely despises it)
  5. Peter Murphy - "Cuts You Up" (from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, reminds me of when Mrs. Snilch Report and I started dating in 1862)
  6. Letters To Cleo - "Sister" (a very underrated band; their first album produced this classic but nothing else noteworthy)
  7. Alice In Chains - "Man in the Box" (Bubba owned this one before Dirt was a twinkle in Layne Staley's eye; I loved this track but I found the rest of the album uneven)
  8. Origin - "Growing Old" (classic Ryan college song; album has long since disappeared into the mists of time)
  9. They Might Be Giants - "Istanbul" (my late great friend Jamie R. loved these guys and turned me on to them in the last year; it's possible I may get this album later)
  10. Bad Religion - "Against the Grain" (thank you to The Dan Patrick Show for opening this tune up to me; I'm still not a fan of All Ages, much to Matz's chagrin)
  11. Madonna - "Vogue" (I have been told that "you have to own The Immaculate Collection," which is incorrect - I only need this song and "Burning Up")
  12. Aztec Camera - "Good Morning Britain" (at one point I really tried to believe that Aztec Camera was not a "brilliant debut album, crappy followups" kind of band; I was wrong) 
  13. Peter Gabriel Feat. Youssou N'Dour - "Shaking The Tree" (an extra track from 16 Golden Greats that does not appear on the more complete Hit/Miss)
  14. Poison - "Ride the Wind" (I came home from college one year and found this in Moira's collection; like Madonna, all I need from Poison is this song and "Fallen Angel")
  15. Even As We Speak - "Blue Suburban Skies" (great lost track from an Australian band, from their compilation with the legendary title A Three Minute Song Is a Minute Too Long)
  16. MC Hammer - "U Can't Touch This" (please Hammer, don't hurt 'em)
  17. Bruce Dickinson - "Tattooed Millionaire" (I had this goofy sampler tape that this was on; it's Iron Maiden's lead singer trashing Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe)
  18. Depeche Mode - "Enjoy the Silence" (not only one of the finest songs this band ever produced, but an all-time great song)
  19. Hindu Love Gods - "Raspberry Beret" (I like to end my comps with a cover when possible; this band is R.E.M. with Warren Zevon replacing Michael Stipe as vocalist covering Prince)

Volume 41 - 2005-2006
(19 songs, RT 79:17)
  1. Peter Bjorn and John - "Young Folks" (I like to believe that they named their band so they could shorten it to "PB and J"; the whistling is quite invigorating) 
  2. Neon - "He's a Whore (Demo)" (recommended by Bob Mould at one point; the rest of the EP was not that interesting, and I never saw a follow-up)
  3. My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - "Dope Kult" (I own one great MLWTTKK album; the rest is hit or miss for me)
  4. Deep Purple Helmet - "Spend Some Time" (Eric Salt in a long-forgotten Boston local supergroup; they only had a three-song EP, so all get into the $15 song pile even though I am keeping it, so I can listen to these tracks more)
  5. King of France - "Just a Body" (The Baxter soundtrack had some real quirky gems) 
  6. 50 Foot Wave - "Hot Pink, Distorted" (my favorite Kristen Hersh project, and it's free)
  7. A Band of Bees - "The Russian" (proof that this is where songs from Sell-Back Pile 1 albums end up)
  8. Gorillaz - "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head" (I'm not that interested in Gorrilaz, but I got this on a sample CD and really liked it)
  9. Copeland - "No One Really Wins" (I have had this for years, not sure where I got it from or why I never investigated the band further; great song)
  10. The Long Blondes - "Once and Never Again" (Lyrics:  "19... you're only 19 for God's sake/Oh, you don't need a boyfriend"... classic)
  11. The Posies - "I Guess You're Right" (this was a sample track included with a laptop I bought, of all things)
  12. The Hold Steady - "Cattle and the Creeping Things" (I'll just admit I'm not a big Hold Steady fan and we'll just agree to move on, okay?)
  13. Sloan - "Even Though" (bonus free download track from the album that needed a home)
  14. The Epoxies - "Synthesized" (classic $15 song: great track, so-so album)
  15. Amy Miles - "Put" (another track from The Baxter which is just amazing)
  16. stellastarr* - "Sweet Troubled Soul" (these guys have a limited 80's sound and I can only take so much; thus I own one album and the rest end up on these comps)
  17. Dropkick Murphys - "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" (don't hate me, but damn it's catchy)
  18. Deep Purple Helmet - "Fall for Grace" (because I sort by year, DPH has a second track on this volume)
  19. The Decemberists - "The Mariner's Revenge Song" (The Decemberists are either great or annoying in my book; this classic 8+ minute song is not a cover, but does scream "end of the line" to me)
If you've read this far, thank you for your patience or your sympathy for a relatable obsessive compulsive disorder.

- Snilch


Anonymous said...

I would submit that the songs cost even more than $15, because usually that song is so compelling that you WANT the band to have better songs and end up sometimes buying a different album, only to have only 1 or no good tracks there too. So averaged out and adjusted for inflation, I'd say they are $20 songs. Also, there are more great tunes on that TMBG disc :)

Snilch said...

I do enjoy how you'd like to add a 25% "pain and suffering" markup to those bands, and then inflation on top of that. The bitterness is strong in this one.