A few Sundays ago, I bought a garbage bag full of cassette tapes at a yard sale. The asking price was $1.00. No haggling was involved. Not only did these items average out to roughly 1.13 cents apiece, but it is one of the oddest collections I've ever seen. There were a few VHS tapes thrown in for good measure, but I'll get to those later.
Okay, here they are. They are in order of maximum impact.
Adam and the Ants – Prince Charming
Adam and the Ants – Dirk Wears White Sox
Adam and the Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier
Adam Ant – Strip
If Adam Ant faked his own death about 1981, he would be revered as a genius and a visionary. Instead, he made albums like “Prince Charming” and “Strip.” He is doomed to walk the earth, forever the dandy highwayman.
Generation X – s/t
This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I’ve owned it on cassette, LP, and CD. The first time I ever heard it was on 8-track. True story. Someone borrowed my original cassette copy about 1980 and never returned it. Now I have a replacement.
U2 – War
U2 – The Joshua Tree
How old am I? I remember when U2 was cool. When “War” came out in 1983, they were the bee’s knees and cat’s pajamas all rolled up into one short, white-flag-waving Irish guy with the best mullet on earth. By the time “Joshua Tree” was released a few years later, I was a couple years past caring. I thought “Joshua Tree” was boring. Twenty years later, it’s still boring.
Public Image Ltd. – cassette
This one is great. If you listen to the stereotypical 80’s production here – wanky guitar solos, big synths, fretless basses going “bawreeer, “ and monster-truck drums – you realize that any 80’s rock singer could have been on this album. Ozzy Osbourne, David Coverdale, Billy Idol, or even that big goofy Midnight Oil guy could have been singing over these backing tracks and no one would have raised an eyebrow.
Was Johnny Rotten trying to go commercial with this album or is it a parody of the genre? Who cares? It’s brilliant either way.
The Smiths – Meat is Murder
The Smiths – the Queen is Dead
I wasn’t a fan of the Smiths, but over the years I developed a certain respect for Morrissey. How could I not respect such great song titles as “Vicar in a Tutu” and “Barbarism Begins At Home?” I never noticed how much the Smiths sound like Pink Floyd – especially on “How Soon Is Now?”
The Cure – Standing On a Beach – the Singles
The Cure – The Head on the Door
The Cure – Japanese Whispers
I’ve always liked that little guitar riff in “Boys Don’t Cry.” Go ahead and make faces at me, it’s a good riff! Nothing I can say or do now would help to restore my dignity.
I used to think that “Love Cats” was by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, but the damage has already been done.
Depeche Mode – Music For the Masses
The Cult – Love
A little bit hippie, a little bit goth. They had their bases covered.
Echo and the Bunnymen – Songs to Learn and Sing
Echo and the Bunnymen – Ocean Rain
I liked Echo and the Bunnymens first album “Crocodiles,” but I never really paid attention to what they did after that. It’s too late to play catch-up now.
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Crush
Gene Loves Jezebel – Discover
To quote the Vandals “I don’t know Gene Loves Jezebel, but I know Joannie Loves Chachi.”
4 Non Blondes – What’s Up? (single)
I remember the video for this song. The singer wore a big hat and made funny faces. She sounded like Rush on steroids.
Go West = s/t
Go West was kind of like Wham without George Michael and with two of the other guy.
Andrew Dice Clay – Dice
How did this get in the same box as Go West and EMD?
Thompson Twins – Here’s to Future Days
How did this get in the same box as Andrew Dice Clay?
Erasure – Wonderland
See “Thompson Twins.”
Nik Kershaw – the Riddle
How? Why? What?
Violent Femmes – s/t
Everybody and their dog had this album. I had this album. My dog had this album. It’s pretty good, I guess. They have other albums, but no one has ever heard them.
New Order – Power, Corruption, and Lies
New Order – Brotherhood
Nothing here for me.
INXS – Listen Like Thieves
INXS – Shabooh Shoobah
I saw this band at a big festival once. The only thing I remember about them was that they kept saying “shabooh shabah.”
Yaz – Upstairs At Eric’s
“Don’t Go” was a catchy little song. Whoever owned this tape must have liked it because it is worn out.
Public Enemy – It takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back
Here's where it gets interesting. I can’t think of a clever segue.
EPMD – Strictly Business
What does EPMD stand for? Every Puppy Makes Doodoo? Early Prompt Milk Delivery? Easter Precedes Mothers Day? I don’t know.
Sir Mix-a-lot – SWASS
Not bad. He has some pretty clever stuff. I believe he likes big butts.
Ice T – Power
What would Freud say about all these guns?
The 2 Live Crew – As Nasty As They Want to Be
But are they as nasty as I want them to be? Yeah, I think so.
N.W.A. and The Posse – s/t
N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton
Eazy-E – Eazy Duz It
NWA should have sued the National Wrestling Association. I’m sure that must confuse some people that are not in the know.
Eazy E was in NWA. Eazy E? What kind of name is that for a wrestler?
MC A.D.E. and Posse – s/t
K9 Posse – s/t
The Posse – Chapter 2
What’s with all these posses? Posseses? Possi?
Here’s an idea – get eight of them together and call it “Octaposse.” They could work up some kind of James Bond thing. Nah, it’s too late. I missed the bandwagon.
Beastie Boys – Hey Ladies (single)
Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill
Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
Beastie Boys – Shake Your Rump (single)
I’ll admit to liking this.
Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two
The poor mans Peaches and Herb
Al B. Sure – In Effect Mode
I don’t like his name. I’m not going to listen to this.
L’Trimm – Grab It!
They like the boys with the cars that go “boom.” Or something like that.
MC Hammer –Let’s Get It Started
This one will be multiple choice:
a. Now that I have an MC Hammer, I can MC Hammer in the morning and MC Hammer in the evening all over this land.
b. “Stop! Hamster Time!”
Kool Moe Dee – Knowledge is King
Kool Moe Dee – s/t
No one ever accused Kool Moe Dee of having low self-esteem.
Hostyle – Partners in Crime
Hostyle, dog style, whatever.
Bootsauce – Bull
Is this Bootsy Collins? I like Bootsy Collins. Maybe not.
Milli Vanilli – Girl You Know It’s True (single)
It’s a shame that these two harmless model/dancer/whatevers became the scapegoats of the whole sleazy music business. Instead of having their Grammy taken away from them, I think they should have received a lifetime achievement award. It’s only a Grammy – it’s not like it’s anything important like a bowling trophy.
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – I’m the DJ, He’s the Rapper
I think that “Fresh Prince” is the funniest euphemism for flatulence that I’ve ever heard.
The Time – Ice Cream Castle
The Time was the poor man’s Prince. Sort of like Barstow is the poor man’s Las Vegas.
Eric B. & Rakim – Follow the Leader
Eric B. & Rakim – Paid in Full
These guys could have used an editor. They take a long time to say nothing.
Run-DMC - Tougher Than Leather
This is pretty good. Not as good as “Rock It,” but it’s okay.
LL Cool J – Bad
I like this. He doesn’t rely on any tricks or gimmicks, he's just cool.
Esham’s Boomin – “Words From Hell” 1990
I don’t like the cover. I’m not going to listen to this.
King T – Act a Fool
I guess if you are King T, you can act a fool. If you are Mr. T, you pity the fool.
Tone Loc – Loc’ed After Dark
I like this. There’s more to this than “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina.” As if there needed to be.
Various Artists – Rhyme Syndicate Comin’ Through
I didn’t listen to this either.
The Stop the Violence Movement – Self Destruction (single)
Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron?
Big Daddy Kane – It’s a Big Daddy Thing
Big Daddy Kane – Long Live the Kane
Okay, this stuff is getting on my nerves
The D.O.C. – It’s Funky Enough (single)
I’ve had enough. I quit.
Here are a couple of the titles written on the home-recorded cassettes:
“Mind Control in America”
“Wake Up America”
and some other lectures by people I've never heard of.
Here are some titles of the videos:
“Cover-up in Oklahoma City”
“Waco – A New Revalation”
“America In Peril Part II – A Call to Arms”
and a few videos put out by the Michigan Militia. I hope you get the idea.
Of course I didn't see most of this until I got home and dumped the bag.
You figure out how all this stuff got in the same bag. I'm glad there was no porn.