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|Sometimes, mistakes can be sold off
The Doobie Brothers — The Best of the Doobies: "When classic rock goes wrong."
Maybe that’s a bit harsh. I have nothing personally against the first incarnation of the Doobie
Brothers, the band that wrote “China Grove” and “Blackwater.” But these songs are played
incessantly on rock radio, and I’m not entirely sure why I took the initiative to hear these on my
own time. It’s not like their hard to find, right?
I do, however, hate Michael McDonald. Sure, he seems inoffensive enough, but there may not
be another more sickening yet “soothing” voice on the planet. And he ruined the Doobies,
whatever there was to ruin, anyway. His two songs, plus the seven or eight good ones that I
just heard too much of, made this an easy disc to part with.
Everclear — Sparkle and Fade: Everclear was cool when I was 15. Then at 16 I discovered
they were uncool, and oh how uncool they were. Again, harmless in the grand scheme of
things, but oh so saccharine sweet in the presense of guitars. Not exactly my cup of tea
anymore. I briefly considered ripping “Electra Made Me Blind” before I gave it away, but then,
after not hearing this disc for close to eight years, realized that the coolest part of that song
happens in the first 10 seconds. Oh well, off to the used bins it goes.
Jethro Tull — Aqualung: I can’t say that I hate Jethro Tull as much as Lester Bangs did, but I
must be running a close second. This is the perfect example of me buying an album
because I had heard how great the band and record was. The version I had was even packed
with bonus tracks. Why? Jethro Tull is crap, was crap, and will forever be crap. Flutes and
epic tales and British folklore and prancing frontmen in pantaloons are not cool. They were
just one of serveral self-indulgent bands of the era, though. All of those facts must point to the
fact that they had some great drugs in the 70s.
Live — V: File under the Everclear section, except for the fact that it took me a lot longer to
become clued in to the Live fraud. Live was one of many bands in the 90s who were more
than willing to do what everyone else was doing. And, in a way, they probably did it really well,
better than most. But they have absolutely zero staying power, they're their generation's
I bought this disc almost out of obligation, and I think I listened to it once that day. The only
sign that it was ever owned by anyone is that the plastic was taken off.
Lynyrd Skynyrd — Gold & Platinum: Figure this one out — I owned two different Skynyrd
complilations, both of which were double discs. How did that happen? I decided to get rid of
the lesser of the two, both of which were likely bought in my classic rock haze of 1997. The
other one survives the chop, with less famous songs like "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" leading
Dave Matthews Band — Everyday: Dave Matthews had promise once. Look past the fact
that his fanbase may be the most grating and annoying this current landscape has to offer,
and you’ll see that Under the Table and Dreaming and Crash have some great moments on
there. This album was the one that made his fans even more insufferable, but they had a
point. This record was released in favor of a much better, though darker album, because of
the fear of losing sales. The artistically superior Lillywight Sessions was shelved for
Everyday, with a lesser version of the tanked album, Busted Stuff, released a year later due to
the miscalculation on his and the record company's part. Nice move, Dave, nice move.
The moral of this story is that Dave Matthews hates you, himself and everyone who’s ever
bought one of his albums. That must be the message, because this record was beyond
John Mayer — Room for Squares: This was a free CD sent my way via my music club, so at
least this sale was all profit. And he is awfully cute, isn't he?
Chris Robinson — New Earth Mud: I kept this train wreck of a disc for as long as I did just
so, once in a while, I could play it and show people how bad it was. As great and powerful as
the Black Crowes are, Chris solo was boring and intentionally retro. The awful lyrics,
mediocre rhythms and overall meaningless sound just brought it down further. He shouldn't
have been allowed to make another album without his brother Rich (he did anyway, though).
The bonus DVD couldn’t save this thing either, by the way.
Aerosmith — Just Push Play: This earns a special note because the store I was selling my
CDs back to wouldn’t take it. They had far too many as it is, because every one-time
Aerosmith fan who went against their better judgment and bought this steamer anyway were
trying to repent. This was the exact moment that Aerosmith stopped even trying to hi the fact
that they were just a shell of their former selves, now just trying to make albums just decent
enough to land in the Top 10 and tour behind for one to three years.
So, now, it sits on my desk, a playful reminder of how sometimes even the best taste (your
own) can go horribly, horribly wrong.
Every once in a blue moon, a person needs to take stock in themselves. Reassess what it
is that is really important to them, what drives them each day, what they look forward to
each night, and where they’ll be in five, 10, even 20 years.
I don’t do this often enough, but recently, I committed myself to making a change.
I sold CDs. For the first time. Ever.
It’s not that it was particularly painful to sell them — I hadn’t listened to them in years. I had
no plans on listening to them in the future. I didn’t know why I ever even owned them. But
there they were, sitting lost on my CD rack, and it was time for them to go.
So, the highlights (or lowlights, if you will) of the depths of my CD collection that are now
lost and gone forever, though not necessarily missed.