There are times that I really, really miss the way that late night TV used to be. Usually, it happens on the weekends when I wish I could be watching some cheesy teenage hornball comedy on USA's Up All Night or surfing between MTV, Night Tracks and Friday Night Videos (only to find that each is playing Cinderella's "Nobody's Fool"). Ever since infomercials took over in the late 90s, late night TV has just never been the same.
But really, there's something more specific that I was longing for today: The CD compilation commerical. I used to absolutely love those ads for CD sets that collected "the best music of the 70s" or "the most romantic ballads" or whatever type of music they were hawking. Always available only through this special TV offer, I found myself pretty much hypnotized by them, unable to change the channel even though I had seen them over and over again. Even better were the 30 minute ones that sometimes aired on Sunday mornings.
They were a dime a dozen throughout the 80s and 90s. I spent a good chunk of time earlier this evening watching them on YouTube. I've gathered some of the best (and the one I hated with a passion) for this quick Saturday evening post.
Everyone probably remembers Freedom Rock.
And this one that collected the best of 90s music--in 1995. It seems a bit premature to me, although I will admit that it made me listen to both "I Touch Myself" and "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"
And this one helps you to "feel the love."
What I remember about these most is that they taught me snippets of all these songs, such that when I actually heard the songs on the radio or wherever I might happen to hear them, I expected the next song snippet to follow directly after hearing the part on the song featured in the commercial.
The advent of digital music has rendered these types of collections pretty much obsolete, but I do look back on these ads quite fondly. Except for this one which drove me up the fucking wall. I don't mind most of the songs that are featured in the commercial, but the dweeby guy trying to be all Tom Cruise made me insane - especially the "China Grove" part.
I figure that guy is probably something like 35 and he just looks pathetic (and I'm 36 so I can say that). I'm sure that copyright probably prevented them from using "Old Time Rock & Roll." I'm also pretty sure that has Mary breathing a sigh of relief.
There are so many of these on YouTube, if I posted all of them, all I would do is annoy people. But here's one more, just because she's holding a big old vinyl record at the beginning.