THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE: I suppose this story began last night. My wife and I were in our convertible on our way to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. The top was down, the night was warm -- you get the picture.
We were listening to a mix-CD I'd made featuring the "Philadelphia Sound" -- Teddy Pendergrass, the O'Jays, the Soul Survivors, and similar artists. On came an obscure early Hall and Oates song "It's Uncanny" (you might want to skip past the interview with Hall at the start the of the youtube clip; the song actually begins at about 2:00). The song was from an album called "No Goodbyes" that Atlantic released after the group left the label around 1977. I had bought that album on LP when I was in college.
Near the end of college, I was involved in serious romance, which continued for a year or so after I graduated (the woman was still an undergraduate). The romance ended suddenly and unhappily for me (that's the nice way of saying I got dumped). I decided to move as far away from the east coast as I could in a bid for a fresh start. I got a job in San Francisco and moved across the country, packing everything I owned into my tiny hatchback. I sold the "No Goodbyes" LP, along with perhaps one-third of my LPs, at the famous Princeton Record Exchange a week or two before I moved since I did not have room in my car for all of my records.
My wife was digging "It's Uncanny" as we drove along. She'd never heard the song before. I told her about a similar song on the same LP called "Love You Like a Brother." Then I told her the story about the broken romance (well, she'd heard about the romance, but not about the LPs). I told her that I regretted having sold my only copy of the LP since that song was so good and I did not have it on CD.
"Love You Like a Brother" kept going through my head last night. This morning it was still "playing" in my mind. So I decided to buy myself a copy. But for the life of me, I could not find it anywhere. Not on amazon, not on BMG, not even on iTunes. I couldn't even find any indication that the song had ever existed on the normally thorough allmusic.com.
Finally, I did a search for the album "No Goodbyes" and discovered that it had never been released as a CD and that perhaps half the songs on it, including "Love You Like a Brother" had never been released on any compilation CD. I was able to find it for sale on LP. A dilemma loomed.
Up until about a year ago, I had a high-end "audiophile" turntable. One of my sons (inadvertently) had damaged the tonearm. The repair would have cost over $600, so I decided to sell the turntable as is to a vinyl junkie who lived near Allentown. Since then, I have used an inexpensive turntable from my sister's college stereo system, but it's just not the same as listening to LPs played on a high quality turntable. As a result, I now rarely listen to my collection of perhaps 750 LPs.
In the end, my jonesing for the song got the better of me. I ordered the LP. Soon, my wife will at long last experience this nugget of Philly soul gold.
So, I suppose this tale lends itself to a few questions. Does anyone else still listen to vinyl? Does anyone else love high-end stereo systems? Does anyone else regret having sold an album (or a book or similar item)? Has anyone else followed a compulsion for a particular song as far as I just did? And might I assume that we have all done some dramatic things in response to dashed romantic dreams as I did post-college?