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Retro rock: Do you remember? 21

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Your crusty chronicler is wildly waxing nostalgic once again. Having seen lots of young’uns in the Los Angeles area wearing vintage rock band t-shirts, it seemed a good idea to educate these kids about the assorted artists advertised across their chests. With the number of classic rock stations surviving in L.A. as well as all the remakes by popular artists, sampling and cover versions on hit shows like Glee, it seemed like a good idea.

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Hence this series: “Retro Rock: Do You Remember?” Here your rockin’ record reviewer lists and describes actual songs (released as singles) personally purchased over the years. The songs here are presented in the order in which they were acquired not the order in which they were actually released. (So read on and leave a comment if you remember any of these tunes!)

NOTE: (This edition of the series includes more cassingles recently re-discovered in your recollectin’ writer’s junk room. For those not up on their audio ancient history, cassingles were cassette singles that often featured only one song per side. In essence, they were the tape versions of 45 singles.)

“Free Fallin’"--Tom Petty: The original version of “Free Fallin” is off of the 1989 platter Full Moon Fever. Petty’s people were smart including the "bonus track" “Down The Line” on the single as it was unavailable in any other format so hardcore fans would have twice the motivation to buy this. (It’s in your crusty chronicler’s collection simply because he was witness to the shooting of the music video for “Free Fallin’” when he first arrived here in California.)

“Highway” b/w “My Bed” (Live) -- The Beautiful: This was a “freebie” from 1990. It was never reviewed if memory serves right as your rockin’ reviewer was only occasionally doing PR work for individual acts at the time. (Perhaps someone at Rhino Records in Claremont, California gave it to your rockin’ writer. If not, they just got a free plug, huh?)

“Rico Suave”—Gerardo: (Whatever happened to this guy anyway? Do you care?) This 1990 release included the Spanish version on one side and the “Spanglish” version on the other. It was his big hit. (Maybe the whole acclimating to living in California had something to do with this purchase. Picture your rascally writer 20 pounds light and dancing around in nothing but his super-hero shorts like Gerardo. Ah well, the cardboard case was printed on recycled paper at least.)

“Unskinny Bop” –Poison: This 1990 cassingle contained “Swampjuice (Soul-O)”, “Unskinny Bop” and “Valley Of Lost Souls”. It was one of those singles that had the same music on both sides. (If memory serves correctly, this one might have been purchased as a show of unity with the now ex-wife when she was upset with the now ex-sister-in-law. You can’t win there though because if you badmouth a relative your spouse is mad at it will come back to haunt you when they make up, ya know?)

“Sweet Emotion” (with “Subway” and “Circle Jerk”)—Aerosmith: This one hit stores in 1991 and was from the then upcoming Pandora’s Box. For some odd reason the band chose to put all 3 songs on both sides. This begs the question: “Why?” If you can fit 3 songs on one side why not put a couple of other tunes on the flip side rather than be redundant?

There you go, loyal readers, what do you think? Do you remember any of these songs? If so, what are your memories of these tunes? Let your favorite record reviewer know if any of these oldies struck a chord with you!

My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.

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