Thursday, 17 February 2011

Shady ladies

I love music, love clipping my Walkman to my shirt and letting the tunes take my mind off the gory business of housework (and yes, it's actually an MP3 player, but I'm old enough to have owned an actual cassette Walkman and I'll be damned if I can think of my music-delivery device as anything other than a Walkman). Granted, I spend as little time on cleaning as possible, but the few grudging moments I give it are soothed with a good soundtrack.

I run through tunes fast, get tired of them. Years of repeatedly listening to favorites mean I want to hear most of them only a couple of times in rotation before I send them packing like a fickle (music) lover. I always take them back, but only after I grow bored of new conquests.

So I was thrilled to see a steal on a 3-CD box set called "This is...Ladies Night." It was £1.75 at Zavvi, but I had a code for a pound off anything, so the grand total came to 75p with free delivery. It gave my bargain-loving heart a sweet jolt of joy, it did. The one tiny little catch was the site showed no cover art and no track listing. Never mind, I Googled the title to find a disk of the same name with lots of hits, some of which I didn't have and actually could imagine being the backdrop to the drudgery of scrubbing dishes. You know "Do I love you, my oh my," (scrub, rinse), "River deep, mountain high....". Works for me.

The set came today. Turns out, whatever popped up on Google wasn't this hot mess. At first glance I knew it wasn't the same songs, but still saw at least a few I could use. "Give it Up" by KC & The Sunshine Band; sure, why not? Fun for a listen or two. Then I looked again. It actually said: "Give it Up" MADE FAMOUS BY KC & The Sunshine Band. In fact, every track on every disc had that tricky little "MADE FAMOUS BY" on it.

Feeling dread at what kind of karaoke terrors lay in wait, I slid Disc One into my laptop. The strains of "We Are Family" came up, only the music was a bit tinny, tingy, pingy -- the sound of being made without real instruments, I think, all done digitally. The singers sounded almost the same as the real ones, but not quite. I actually had to listen to a few songs to make sure these just weren't poor recordings of the real deal, but no, copies one and all.

It should've been called "Shady Ladies' Night" as it's rather tricky to conveniently fail to mention songs aren't by the original artists. But since I'm only out 75p, I'm not exactly devastated. If you don't mind low-class copies of bouncy tunes, keep an eye out in charity shops -- that's where mine is headed (probably joining loads of other sets already dropped off like so much outgrown clothing or tacky ties).

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