Invisible Hits.

September 11, 2007 at 10:45 pm (Uncategorized)

Way, way, way back in 2002, I got the crazy idea (with the encouragement of friends, obviously) of trying to put together a sprawling, 2-cd mix of great, lost, poppy-sounding music. The guiding idea would be songs from the past that sounded as if they could’ve or should’ve been radio hits in a better world. It was a little ill-defined, and as I finished work on the first CD, I kept running into snags with it. I was listening to a lot of prospective candidate songs for inclusion on the second disc, when my old ’96 Plymouth Breeze came down with a bad water pump. The car was at a garage overnight…which was long enough for someone to steal all the CD’s out of it. Ouch. Despite my best efforts at local pawnshops (“Guys, trust me. No one else on the planet is going to try to pawn CD’s by Choo Choo Train or LMNOP. Trust me.”) I never did get ’em back.

Unsurprisingly, I lost interest in the idea and shelved it.

A few years ago I returned to the idea after finding the tracklist file for Nero on an old hard drive. I played with it for a few days…and again found it all ill-defined, and lost interest.

Which brings us to 2007. Somewhere along the line I got the idea in my head that every song on the mix should be out of print. Looking back at that first track list, some remarkable things have happened in five years. Stuff I never figured would ever see light of day again (Llike The Charlottes or The Flatmates) somehow got a deluxe, career-spanning repackaging and widespread re-release….while stuff I figured would always be available (like the Three O’Clock) dropped off the face of the earth.

As you have by now figured out, I’ve been playing around with this mix again. A few weeks ago, some friends and I were turbogeeking about music, and someone mentioned how cool the third Nuggets box was; that third Nuggets compilation is a more “modern” set of songs, a lot of which got extensive underground/college radio airplay. My position on the subject was that while Nuggets, volume III was indeed wonderful to listen to, that the songs on it really weren’t all that buried and hidden if you were around back then. I was of the opinion that a very good compilation could be made of stuff that was even obscure to the scenesters back then–and that said compilation would still be able to sound like the songs could’ve been massive hits in a better dimension. One thing led to another, and I decided to revisit that original mix I’d started in 2002 (I think then it was going to be called “Invisible Hits” after a Robyn Hitchcock song), refine it a little, and see what I could come up with.

So here it is. I changed the title to “Wrong In The Charts”, because that’s a cooler title, and because it’s a song by Big Dipper, and because Big Dipper has a song on this compilation. The songs should hopefully be totally unknown to a lot of you. Hopefully, they’ll also sound great. Please be advised: this is, first and foremost, a pop music compilation. It is chock full of chiming guitars, chirpy vocals, and sugary harmonies. I’ve hopefully arranged it well enough to keep the whole thing interesting, though, and added some gritty gravitas (thanks to Agitpop and Scrawl, mostly) to stave off listener fatigue.

Some songs are more obscure than others. Back in the day, the Three O’Clock were a big deal…but the song I put on this, “Around The World” was a CD-only track, so there. The big offender for non-obscurity is obviously Chris Knox’s “Not Given Lightly”. Somehow over the past 6 years, a sappy-ass love song a dude wrote to his wife (and which only got released in New Zealand) has started to seep into more and more weddings, funerals, and the like. Too famous? The hell with it. It’s too good a song to leave it out, so in it stays.

First off here’s the Compilation:


1. “Big Blue Buzz” Choo Choo Train (1985)
2. “Bulletproof Nothing” Simply Saucer (ca. 1978?)
3. “Underwater” Hypnolovewheel (1993)
4. “Confidence” Linda Smith (ca. 1994?)
5. “I Belong To Me” Richard Barone (1986)
6. “Nobody Loves You” Monsterland (1993)
7. “Miss July” Brad Jones (ca. 1995)
8. “I Can’t Relax” Scrawl (1984)
9. “Forget Me Not” Agitpop (1990)
10. “Spin My Wheels” Cotton Mather (1997)
11. “Throwing Stones” The Sneaky Feelings (1983)
12. “Don’t Say If” The Flatmates (1987)
13. “All Going Out Together” Big Dipper (1988)
14. “Not So” The Spongetones (1992)
15. “Idea” LMNOP (1988)
16. “Around The World” The Three O’Clock (ca. 1985?)
17. “A Million Things To Say” The Lucy Show (1987)
18. “Not Given Lightly” Chris Knox (1988)
19. “Liar” The Charlottes (ca. 1991)
20. “Away From My Head” Mike Levy (1999)
21. “Supercrush” The Tiger Trap (ca. 1991)
22. “I Know I’m Wrong” The Liquor Giants (1996)
23. “Like A Girl Jesus” Game Theory (1986)

That oughta give you 72 minutes or so of Manic Pop Thrills. I’ll have some “liner notes-y” stuff on these in a bit.

%d bloggers like this: