Monday, September 12, 2005

Bargain depression

Finally got a chance to go food shopping today, thus avoiding peanut butter poisoning for another fortnight.

Those supermarkets do some savvy point-of-purchase marketing. By now we all know about the magazines, gum, candy, and mini-coolers of beverage - tempting footsore shoppers about to re-emerge to the summer swelter, shoving along the week's provender, cranky kids in tow. Near the self-checks, I saw something a little different, more to appeal to the bachelors and other quick-stop shoppers that are likelier in those lanes.

Discount CDs and DVDs. You too can own your own limited edition copy of Shootfighter for eight bucks! Wondering why The Mosquito Coast is never on Cinemax? Upset that you missed the Sean Young retrospective on AMC? Go for it!

In my case, I skipped, but the top CD on the rack was Phil Collins' "Hello, I Must Be Going." Heheheheheh. This guy was incandescent for a while in the 80s - he was still doing Invisible Touch with Genesis, he had his big solo thing, he even made a movie. Now he's on the Shelf of Shame, hobnobbing with Gordon Lightfoot and the Spin Doctors.

Expired fame is a great equalizer. I began thumbing through:

The original stage cast of My Fair Lady. Julie Andrews can sing, Rex Harrison doesn't even bother trying.
Steely Dan, "Katy Lied." And Bingley smiles.
The Doors, "The Soft Parade"
Anton Bruckner's complete seventh symphony
The Best of England Dan and John Ford Coley - I confess, I enjoyed seeing this here. That horn riff to open "Don't Pull Your Love" makes promises they just don't keep. Let's move on. *
Santana - yes, the first Santana album.
The Eagles - THREE different albums here, some with multiple copies. I know they were a singles band, but really, this is sad.
Christopher Cross - wait, didn't this win 18 Grammys?
several compilations from Time/Life

I actually bought the 1982 comp. For seven bucks I got eleven first- or second-tier songs I didn't own yet, and only two turkeys: an REO Speedcrappen tune and a Ray Parker Jr. song that wasn't Ghostbusters, so what's the point? Even HE knew it. At one point he actually sings "Aw shucks." It's like he knew that he was just punching the clock after the one-and-a-half hits from Raydio.

In fact, it's a minor miracle that the Ghostbusters theme hit. According to the IMDB trivia page, Huey Lewis turned it down; Parker wasn't even able to write it until he saw the TV trailers. Lewis subsequently sued for plagiarism, claiming that the main guitar riff was ripped off from "I Want a New Drug." (So maybe he did write it after all?)

And was there anything else off that soundtrack even remotely familiar except for that boogie-woogie piano bit when the three of them flee the library?

Didn't think so.

* update, 9-13, 5:20 pm: DRAT! It was Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds who sang that. I always mix those two up because of the profusion of names involved. Just one more reason to hate the whole lot. They should form a supergroup and tour Western Canada.

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