We’ve all got them in our CD collections: those discs we’re embarassed to own and will either make excuses for (“I got it for a buck!”) or outright lie about (“Er, that’s not mine…”) if anyone finds it in the CD cabinet.
I’ve got quirky enough tastes in music that I’ll even ‘fess up to purchasing — and enjoying — CDs like Neil Sedaka’s The Hungry Years or Toto: Past to Present (1977-1990). Even something like Orleans’ Waking and Dreaming is a keeper — after all, it’s got “Still the One” on it — once you get past the worst album cover of all time.
Still, there are some discs that I love but can’t help making up some excuse for why they’re in my collection. Usually it’s my wife who gets splattered by the shrapnel of the cover story. “Best of Barry Manilow???” my friend will say incredulously, holding up a CD with Barry staring androgynously outward, eyes heavy with glittery eyeshadow. “Uh . . . that’s Barb’s,” I’ll reply, despite the fact it’s been in my collection since 1990.
Anyway, here are three more discs that I love, yet will completely disavow:
First, there’s It’s A Sunshine Day: Best of the Brady Bunch. Oh yes, it’s as dumb as you think it is. Naturally, it’s got the Bunch singing “Keep On,” “It’s A Sunshine Day,” and “Time to Change.” But it’s also got some unappreciated gems like “Candy (Sugar Shoppe)” (with Barry Williams trying — and failing — to rock out) and “Merry-Go-Round.” And what’s not to love about a Brady Bunch version of Don McLean’s “American Pie”? Classic.
Next, it’s K.D., er, k.d. lang’s Ingenue, an album I purchased not for the single “Constant Craving,” but rather for the retro-campy “Miss Chatelaine.” And only k.d. lang would describe her look in the song’s video — in which she wore a classy 1930s-era frilly ball gown — as “dressing in drag.” Say what you will, it’s still a terrific album, though one I always try to hide by mixing it in among my Jonny Lang discs.
Finally, there’s the self-titled Buster Poindexter, the retro-cool persona of New York Dolls front man David Johansen. Buster was several years ahead of the swing revival of the early 90s and therefore never really got the play he deserved, though he’s now made a comeback, of sorts, as “jump blues.” “Hot Hot Hot” may have been the hit single (it was sort of the “Macaraena” of the late 1980s), but there were also a killer versions of “House of the Rising Sun” and “Smack Dab in the Middle.” How you feelin’? Why, hot, hot, hot, of course.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to the Little River Band’s Greatest Hits. It’s Barb’s. Really.