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Re: 7"s (Warning: Moderately long discussion of relative importa



Hi friends,

(Note: I know Sloannettique on the Sloannet web page discourages 
'netters to post responses to other people's messages on the list. 
However, I've seen replies posted on sloannet several times in the 
past week. If the general concensus is "Keep these off", then I won't 
repeat it in the future. However, it would be fun to see how many 
opinions pop forth on the subject, so I'll post it public in the 
event that someone else may wish to speak on the subject as well 
apart from Kevin and myself.)

K.R. mentions:
> Second, what does everyone think about the current state of 7"s?  Are they
> passe?  Were they just a novelty that picked up a few years back and are
> now dead, or do people still buy and enjoy them?  What makes a good 7"
> compared to a bad one?

IMHO, 7"s are for:

a) When you're not totally familiar with the band but wish to hear 
them, but don't want to spring $20 on a CD,

b) Experimental stuff that would probably be seen as a rip-off if it 
were to be put on the group's new album. (Would Sloan ever consider 
putting "Rhodes Jam" on CD? I guess not, although I've yet to hear 
it. Soon...)

c) Groups that just don't have the cash (or the backing of a major 
record company) to put together an album, but have two, three, four, 
etc., great songs that they can squeeze together on two sides of a 
7", in order to get the word out about themselves.

If I see one I'm interested in, I'll buy it. In olden days, before 
indie became the big motion it now is, record companies would release 
rarities or previously-unreleased tracks as B-sides to the singles 
they chose. Often, the band would choose what would be the B-side 
(Y'know, as added protection in case the record company was wayyy off 
the target and the group wanted to make sure the DJ's would have 
something good to spin on Side B.). Some of those B-sides have gone 
into obscurity, and simultaneously into legend as being some of the 
best songs the group had ever recorded. If I go to the days of the 
70's... The Doobie Brothers would've seen their career "washed up" 
after the successful "The Captain and Me" album as their first single 
from the next album, "Another Park, Another Sunday" from "What Were 
Once Vices are Now Habits" charted a "weak" 39 on Billboard. 
Fortunately, a DJ flipped it over and played "Black Water". You know 
who to thank now for that song and the later success of the group, 
whether you like them or not.

Other B-sides that have resurfaced on compilation albums include The 
Beatles' "The White Light" (3 minutes of George leading an Indian 
group through a nice, airy song that ressembles "Within You, Without 
You" in instrumentation), Jethro Tull's "Witches' Promise" (It freaks 
me right out. Light psych, I guess you could call it.), and Fleetwood 
Mac's "Silver Springs" (which many, including myself, consider to be 
Stevie Nicks' strongest song). And let's not forget how it originally 
went with LP's and 7"s in the U.K.: no cool group dared to put songs 
they'd put out as a recent single on their new album. That would be 
cheating the fans. I'm still undecided on that one. I mean, by the 
time the album comes out, wouldn't your 45 be worn out?

Ah, well,
Glen (aka Barney Rubble)