Between the Headphones of the publisher

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Trick or Treat!

I think I may have hit rock bottom on downloads. During this deadline, I pulled down what could possibly be at least in the Top 10 of the most embarrassing albums of all time.

But what was bad, was that I hadn’t heard this album in probably 20 years, however, I somehow remembered almost every ridiculous word and within minutes I had a crystal clear memory of our community pool in 1978, playing this album over the loudspeakers. (The album came out in late 1977, and didn’t hit our town in Virginia until the summer of ’78.) Come to think of it, this could very well be one of my earliest childhood memories — hearing these songs as I jammed corn dogs and candy into my cake-hole, sitting uncomfortably on those slatted vinyl red and white chairs, right before jumping back into the pool. Screw that 15-minute rule!

The album epitomizes the cheesiness of especially the last part of that decade. It’s incredible to me that the era which produced some of the most famously incendiary live Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd recordings, is also responsible for Gloria Gaynor and The Village People — but that’s disco. This wasn’t disco. Disco’s way less embarrassing than what I downloaded, and at least excusable for occasional nostalgic party mixes. But this is something you don’t want your friends to know you have in your iTunes.

Ironically, however, about 43 million other mother fuckers out there have a copy too. I knew the album was big in its day, but I never knew it was this big. A quick trip to Wikipedia revealed that it’s been certified platinum 14 times over. Rolling Stone ranked it number 343 on its list of 500 greatest albums of all time, in 2003. It’s been out for 34 years and it still sells nearly a quarter-million copies a year.

It is the fifth best-selling album world wide, and no it’s not the fucking Eagles, man. But it’s not too, too far from it.

Now, if you’re someone like Andy Schneidkraut at Albums on the Hill, or you’re one of the lucky ones who can remember pop culture references like baseball stats, then you probably already know the album. And if you’re reading this on-line you can easily go and search those stats and almighty Google will lead you right to the answer, but that’s like winning at Words With Friends by going to wordswithfriendscheat.net (you know who you are, bastards!). It just takes all the fun — not to the mention the bragging rights — completely out of the game.

So here’s what I propose: The anniversary of this album’s release is October 21. On that day, I’m going to give away a special prize package. I’m not going to tell you what it is now, so don’t ask. But on October 21 hop on any one of our communicators (www.marqueemag.com, Facebook, Twitter or whatever method you’d like) and wager a guess as to the artist and album title and a winner will be picked at random for a bitchin’ prize package.

See you at the shows.

 

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