In the ever-changing landscape of modern music, it's easy to forget that all those relics of our collective misspent past in the days that will henceforth be referred to as "pre-MP3" or some such thing. You know, back when you had to buy music and you couldn't just check Pitchfork to find out what new albums were out and you didn't have an app to tell you what your favorite song on the radio was. All that's going away, but maybe what we here at Rocks Off miss the most is advertising.
You might think that sounds stupid, but millions of people tune in to the Super Bowl every year just for the ads. We're a consumer culture, obsessed with the latest thing being sold to us. Watercooler talk is what our latest purchases are and what we're planning to buy soon. So it's really not so strange that we're sad that we'll never see those hilarious, stupid commercials from the '80s and '90s trying to sell us CDs again.
However, thanks to YouTube, we can revisit the cream of the crop.
10. The Party Zone Choice Quote: "You are now entering the party zone!" Sold In Stores? No. Observations: The sad thing is that this isn't far from my ideal 2013 party playlist, which is why nobody lets me DJ anymore.
9. '80s Wave Choice Quote: "Get these two brand new CDs free with your paid subscription to Entertainment Weekly! ... Call now to ride the wave!" Sold In Stores? You won't find it in any store! Observations: For what it's worth, that Seinfeld feature did look pretty enticing in 1995.
8. That's My Jam! Choice Quote: "That's My Jam! - the holy grail of R&B collections!" Sold In Stores? Nope, but you can order it online right now at MusicSpace.com! Observations: MusicSpace.com is still an active domain, and yes, you can still buy That's My Jam! for only $29.99. You know, if you're interested in hauling around a five-CD set everywhere you go in 2013.
7. Cool Rock Choice Quote: "The sounds are hot, but the rock is cool!" Sold In Stores? Doesn't say, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that the answer is no. Observations: Immediately after saying the rock is cool, they play "Up Where We Belong," "Love Will Lead You Back," "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)," and Club Nouveau's cover of "Lean On Me." The world "cool" should never be used in the same context as those songs.
6. Freedom Rock Choice Quote: "Hey man, is that Freedom Rock?!" "Yeah, man!" "Well, turn it up, man!" Sold In Stores? No way, man! Observations: The Freedom Rock-loving hippie's friend sure is a downer. Yeesh.
5. Punk Choice Quote: "You also get Huey Lewis and the News!" Sold In Stores? You can only get this CD by calling this 800 number, man! Observations: Is it just me or do the Punk teens and the Freedom Rock hippies have the same slang? It's almost as though they were reading dialogue written by the same guy. Oh, and do I even need to mention why this Punk CD is inherently ridiculous?
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4. The Wedding Album Choice Quote: "Now you can have all the most popular wedding songs in one great collection!" Sold In Stores? The Wedding Album is only available in this special TV offer. Observations: At first I thought this was a Duran Duran record, but no, it's actually a CD for people too cheap to hire their brother-in-law's cover band for their wedding.
3. Monster Ballads Choice Quote: "Rush delivery available!" For those of you who are on the edge of your seat to hear a Winger song right fucking now! Sold In Stores? Of course not. You think you could get ballads this monstrous in stores? Observations: Monster Ballads is so infamous, it even got its own advice column here at Rocks Off a while ago. Not to mention Monster Ballads' younger brother, Buzz Ballads.
2. Pure Moods Choice Quote: "Set adrift with the timeless pleasures of 'Tubular Bells,' or take a trip into the unknown with The X-Files theme." Sold In Stores?: Actually, amazingly, the end of the commercial confirms it is now available in stores. Observations: This is supposed to be a relaxing new age CD, the only use of which I can imagine is female masturbation (which would also explain its enduring popularity). So, then, why the hell is the song from The Exorcist on this thing?
1. Living in the '90s Choice Quote: "Legendary artists!" followed by a clip of "Ice Ice Baby." Sold In Stores?: Oh no, my friends, you can only get a masterpiece like this by calling a toll free number! Observations: I lived in the 90's, and maybe I'm just suffering from nostalgia-colored glasses, but I really don't remember it being this awful...
2000s BONUS ROUND
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At least the millennials will always have this to look back on.