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Smashed CD


It may have happened to you.  Maybe you are browsing the used CD bin at your local record store.  Maybe you stopped to fill up at a Flying J on your way to South of the Border.  Maybe it was a gift from your clueless Auntie.  But this is no gift.  What I’m talking about is the pervasive threat of re-recorded country music.  Sure, that Merle Haggard’s Greatest Hits LOOKS like a bargain, at $4.95, but when you slip that shiny disc into your Pioneer, as you accelerate onto Highway 17 South, something sounds…different.  It’s shiny-sounding, the vocals are too smooth and loud and just WRONG.  You skip to the next track, same thing.  What the hell is going on here?


What’s going on, is you have bought a collection of re-recorded songs.  Flip over the case and look at the liner notes (if there are any).  You’ll notice the copyright dates are way too recent to match up with when you know this music was recorded.  Why does this flat circle from the depths of hell even exist?  A couple reasons.  Some artists want to take another swing at the sound of their classic songs, the Perfectionist Theory.  Add a horn section here, turn the bass up, the guitars down, etc.  Some artists owe a lot of bread to Uncle Sam, so this is strictly about putting more content out there to bring in the needed dough, the Empty Pockets Theory.  And then there’s the “Up Yours Theory”, where the original masters of these classic songs are owned by a greedy, evil record company and the artist puts out these versions to flip them the proverbial bird.  Whatever the reasons, it is still a kick right in the ear, the three or four times I’ve been excited to listen to some music, only to be greeted by some oiled up, sanded down, re-recorded bull hockey.


So, fellow country music fans, be wary.  Check the dates like you were looking for spoiled milk.  Because taking the rough edges and scars out of a Country song is like plastic surgery on a pretty woman.  All your doing is ruining a beautiful thing.

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