A Song From My Favorite Album | It’s Not the Ribbons in Your Hair
When I was about twelve or so, I decided that I wanted to listen to my own music. I immediately eschewed the tastes of my parents; if they liked it, I didn’t. I wanted something of my own.
What can I say, I was on the cusp of being a teenager.
I went to the Musicland (status: sadly defunct) at Eastland Mall (status: sadly defunct) and bought a cassette (status: sadly defunct) of Pearl Jam’s Ten (status: not defunct; in fact, awesome). That was the first music I bought for myself.
I steadily increased my music collection over time, first a cassette every couple of weeks, then the switch to CDs, then the job at the big box store, where I’d buy just about anything that caught my fancy, and listen to all of it.
Throughout all that, though, there was one band that I never left, one band from my mom’s collection that I didn’t drop, who I never stopped respecting: the Cars.
(That would be in opposition to the bands I dropped but then went back to when I realized that I was wrong, like Guns N’ Roses or Metallica or Bon Jovi. That was a valuable lesson, realizing that these things I’d dismissed were, in fact, worthy of my attention. It taught me that it’s okay to be wrong sometimes.)
So, the Cars. Always awesome. By my own definition, which is that I’ve never not liked them, the Cars are my all-time favorite band. The pinnacle of their music? Their excellent self-titled first album. Nine tracks, each as strong as the next, each worthy of its status in the rotation of those stations that still play the fuckin’ Eagles.
(As I said, their debut was only their musical pinnacle. Their overall pinnacle is the cover of their second album, Candy-O, which featured an honest-to-goodness Vargas girl. But that has nothing whatsoever to do with their music, and this is tragically not 30 Days of Pinups. Although I would gladly read someone writing about that.)
You put this on a mix tape for me. It thrills my soul.
Also, Ric Okasek’s pinnacle was marrying a supermodel. Never forget that.