I’d Have To Be Crazy / The Joy of The Single (BBC Documentary)

As I’ve mentioned before, I pick a couple songs to listen to with six year-old Lucinda at bedtime. Tonight “I’d Have To Be Crazy”, sung by Willie Nelson, originally appearing on one of my dad’s favorite albums, The Sound in Your Mind. Take a listen. Like Al Green’s “Simply Beautiful”, I could listen to it one thousand times in a row and still have that feeling of awe you get when a song just nails you in the middle of the chest. Willie didn’t write this one, Steven Fromholz did. He also sings that haunting background vocal at the end of the song. Perfection.

Tonight Lucinda told me, “Sometimes things that are close feel really far away.” I know the feeling exactly, and I remember laying in bed next to my mom as a kid trying to convey the same feeling. Anyone else?

Speaking of the power of song, sincere thanks to Peggy Dold for sending a link to the BBC special “The Joy of The Single” this evening. I have nothing against entertaining but songs can be powerful in a way far beyond simple entertainment. If you need a reminder (or even if you don’t), watch this:

It’s also about a time when music listening and music purchasing were one and the same. When I was a kid, if you wanted to hear a song you either borrowed it from a friend, waited for it to come on the radio, or you bought it. I bought a lot of records. Today, music is “No Purchase Necessary”. If you think about the process of music discovery, as you move from unaware of a song, to aware, to a fan, to a customer, music LISTENING is no longer at the “customer” phase. It’s at the awareness phase. It’s impossible to overstate the impact this change will have, and we’re only part-way through this transition.

So the above video, being about the 45 single, is 100% nostalgia.

But listen again to that Willie Nelson song. From YouTube. For free. There’s nothing nostalgic about that experience. The power of the song is timeless. We will find a way.

I talked more about this in my presentation at Billboard’s Future Sound Conference a couple weeks ago, if you’re interested.

“Albums, yeah, albums. I think it might have been the start of something really bad and insidious — it may have been the beginning of that little bit of rot that got into the gunnels of the ship of rock and roll.” – Jimmy Webb

“You never thought of albums. Albums were the process that came along after you had two or three hit singles. Then the record company would let you make an album. You didn’t cut an album and then start taking singles off the albums. The albums were an afterthought, really.” – Noddy Holder

Fact: Lucinda (age six) has two turntables, one in the album, one in the playroom.


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