A few months ago, we did an extensive blog, maybe too extensive, on those made-for-TV compilations like Jock Jams, Monster Ballads, and AM Gold. What started out as a larky exercise in how to rag out the search engine on YouTube, turned into another chapter in our recurring obsession with lite-rock from the '70s and '80s - the stuff we are all supposed to hate, yet holds melodies that make our ears melt in pop ecstasy.
The whole thing reached an ugly head during our first DJ set at Leon's Lounge a few weeks back. After we were finished spinning our wheels on Judas Priest and The Stooges, we started taking the volume down a few notches and started in on Gordon Lightfoot and 10cc in a totally non-ironic way.
This was no late homage to the mid-'00s' yacht-rock fad. No, this was pure instinct. Scratching an itch we had in our brain. It scared some of the douchebags who were hearty enough to sit through "Ace of Spades" and "Thriller" back to back, but once we dug into Jim Croce, they stayed outside, save to venture back in for fresh drinks.
But this music has always had a funny way of making us gravitate to it. There was the cassette tapes we pilfered from family members when we started venturing away from rock and country, and the constant infomercials for the Time Life compilations.
It always seemed like all those songs had these expert craftsmen working on their guts that they were built for maximum radio pleasure, and the intrigued us, even if the songs were not about drugs and death.
Maybe in a former life we were a radio DJ, not unlike Johnny Fever from WKRP In Cincinnati, and we got fired for playing too much Bread and Captain & Tennille.
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