These things just aren't fair. They're such sweet torture that I can't resist them. I absolutely adore the late-night Time Life Music commercials for CD compilations. I can watch them over and over and over again (and I did when I lived in Rotterdam--I could sing the snippets of the disco collection song-by-song without having to think about which song came next).
Right now, I'm in grave danger of purchasing "Romancing the 70s," a set of CDs containing some of the most spectacularly schmaltzy love songs ever recorded. All of these songs remind me of my young childhood, of AM radio, of earth-tone color schemes, pickup trucks, shag carpet, massive collars, medallions resting on sweaty chest hair, colossal sideburns and something we don't get all that much of anymore--sincerity in music, even if it was sickly sweet sincerity covered in treacle and topped with a dollop of Cool Whip. Who could resist Olivia Newton John whispering, "I honestly love you" or Kenny Rogers belting out "She Believes in Me?" And then there's Roberta Flack sitting at the piano and hauntingly cooing "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." It's just too much. Throw in some Leo Sayer, Gilbert O'Sullivan and Lobo, and I'm literally captivated. I can't live without it!
Of course, I've never actually bought one of these things, and I won't tonight, either. But some of these songs will stick in my head, and I'll end up going on an iTunes run to find maybe eight or 10 of them. Oh, singer-songwriters of the '70s, why did you have to be so captivating? And Time Life, why do you have to bring together in one collection all the songs I could never hope to find on my own? Capitalism, you mock me--and yet I keep coming back to you because you're just so darn compelling. Of course, I've never spent a dime on anything Time Life Music, so I guess I'm winning this battle. For now.