Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vinyl Vednesday 12/23/2009


[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it kinda is. Since this week marks the alleged anniversary of our Lord and Savior Jesus F. Christ’s birth, here are three Christmas seven-inches for your consideration. E-mail pelonej1@gmail.com with your own big finds!]


Records: Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (1984) on black, Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” single (1984) on black, and Bruce Springsteen’s “My Hometown” single (1985) on black.


Place of Purchase: Band Aid and “My Hometown” came from the now defunct comics/used records/CCG/RPG mecca Legends at the Plymouth Meeting Mall. “I Would Die 4 U” came from the also dead Spaceboy Music in Philadelphia. Apparently everything I love dies.


Thoughts: I honestly don’t remember why I bought “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. Maybe it’s because I listened to the Bouncing Souls and Weston’s cover a lot in high school. Maybe I wanted to complement my copy of We Are the World. Maybe I just like the part where Bono screams “Tonight / Thank God it’s them / Instead of you!” The song was written to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia, so I mean there it came from good intentions. I just find it funny that A) Frankie Goes to Hollywood is abbreviated as “Frankie G.T.H.” on the back cover, B) Frankie G.T.H gets billed higher than Paul McCartney, U2, Phil Collins, and Wham, and C) my copy’s previous owner saved a photo of Band Aid from a Dec. 17, 1984 issue of Time. Also, Paul McCartney’s message on the B-side, “Feed the World,” is pretty funny in light of all the more self-righteous missives contained within. Oh man, and it’s so awesome when David Bowie goes, during a breakdown mind you, “This is David Bowie, and it is 1984.”


“I Would Die 4 U” was backed by “Another Lonely Christmas,” which finds Prince in full on “woe is me” mode, as he laments losing his lover to what I can only imagine was the Purple Rain… on Christmas Day! That’s a double whammy right there. It’s a little melodramatic – my girlfriend is laughing right now as I listen to this song/type about it – but let’s be honest, it’s ’80s Prince. Eighties Prince is one of the greatest things of all time. As for the A side, “I Would Die 4 U” is allegedly about Jesus, a rumor Prince encouraged by changing the line “I’m your messiah” to “He’s your messiah.” So that’s double the relevance to this entry.


Listening to Springsteen’s “My Hometown” single is a weird mix of emotions. “My Hometown” is a sad song about a failing area. “Now Main Street’s whitewashed windows / and vacant stores / Seems like there ain’t nobody / wants to come down here no more” goes the third verse. In today’s economy (There’s a phrase I’m getting sick of), “My Hometown” hits a bit close to home. But on the flipside comes holiday cheer! Woo! Yeah! Aight! Presented for your listening pleasure is a live recording of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” from 1975. The E Street Band goes through a skit about the virtues of being good before slowly building the song into a rocker. My favorite part is when saxophonist Clarence “Big Man” Clemens chimes in “You better be good for goodness sake.” That guy’s voice is insanely deep. I also like how at the end, someone dressed as Santa Claus comes out. Or so I assume. Someone starts ho-ho-hoing and breaks Bruce’s concentration. It’s fun listening to audio tracks of people screwing up, because I have no context for understanding those errors.


So hey! Merry fucking Christmas!



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