Saturday, July 24, 2004


And what about those music comps that they give away free with the papers these days, then? Who compiles these damn things - Stuart Maconie ? And since these CDs are intended as "complementary lifestyle assessories" then shouldn't the cover at least provide some sort of clue as to the genre, mood, style, etc of its contents? Well, you'd think so, wouldn't you?
    Take this one, for example, which came with today's Mirror.. it's got a couple of young people, high on life itself, astride a motorbike...which immediately sends out all sorts of unsubtle sub-Easy Rider signals about the nature of freedom, rebellion etc. You could even take a stab at guessing its contents: Steppenwolf, Hendrix, Deep Purple, Golden Earring, Free, AC/DC, the Doobie Brothers maybe, Canned Heat (Canned Heat? Sorry...complete brainfart...)...late 60's/early 70's Rawk Goddammit...the perfect mid-summer soundtrack as you barrel down the A303 in a Fiat Punto en route to yr cousin's wedding. 
    But you'd be wrong. This is an insane selection...there's no logic to it far as I can see: Tears for Fears, Joe Cocker, Ocean Color Scene, Graham Parker (Graham Parker? What tha--?) all lumped in together in a muddy, murky, genre-free morass of B-sides or, at best, not the song you want them to play...Thin Lizzy are present, but playing "Whiskey in the Jar", not "Jailbreak". And, fair enough, Bachman Turner Overdrive perform "Roll on Down the Highway"...which sorta fits with the rebellious free-spirit theme of the cover-art...but it's not "You ain't seen nothing yet", is it? (Or as we've renamed it: "You ain't seen "You ain't seen nothing yet"")  Quite frankly, whoever put this together is fucking nuts. Or maybe these are the last few songs in the entire world that i-Tunes haven't licensed yet.
    We've got thousands of these bloody things in the car; each placed randomly in the wrong sleeve (Girl in Night-Club theme, Girl in Open-Topped Sports-Car theme, Rock-Chick Theme, Girl Arriving at Airport theme...); each with one or two tracks on it that we like, so it's a lucky dip, a lottery...put it in the CD-player and hope it's the one with "Video Killed the Radio Star" on it, or "Atomic", or "Carwash" or, curiously, "I'm Bored" by Iggy Pop. Sure, I could make a compilation out of the best of these compilations, but that's not the point. Half the fun is skipping through the crap, desperately trying to remember what comes next. This is loads, loads better than having an i-Pod. You don't have the fuss of filling that 40gig of's's Punk Rock, mate! And it's completely free.
    Free? What, you didn't think we actually bought a paper, did you?


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