Day 140: The first song alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes.

“A” – Barenaked Ladies

Maybe You Should DriveAs you may know, I try to balance out the number of posts written about songs by my favorite bands, otherwise Genesis and The Cars would be in about 62 point font in the tag cloud below. Barenaked Ladies wouldn’t be far behind. But, there’s nothing I can do about this one. My hands are tied.

“A” came to my attention when I acquired Rock Spectacle (pronounced like “Rock Spectack” for some reason), which is their first live album. BNL were one of the first bands to embrace the fact that people were listening to CDs on their computers (God, that’s so… 90s), and thus they were among the first to put CD-ROM exclusive material on their CDs.

Not familiar with a song I’ve mentioned?
Click the > button above to hear samples
and purchase songs.

This was cutting edge stuff, requiring Windows 95 or later, a double speed CD-ROM player, 6MB (yes, that’s MB, not GB) of RAM and a color monitor. So those of you wanting to view it on your monochromatic 128K Apple IIe were completely out of luck.

I didn’t remember the “bonus” material being anything to write home about. And, since I had to pull the CD out to copy the system requirements, I decided to pop it in just for the hell of it so I could check it out.

I kid you not, this is the main menu:


I’m trying very hard right now to refrain from rolling on the floor. This is some serious design here. With this kind of complexity, it must have taken the graphic designer weeks to come up with. It’s a monumental achievement in menu design. Bwahahahaha!

My, how far we’ve come! (Sadly enough, I’ve been in the computer industry long enough to remember when things like this weren’t actually that easy to do.) And, as I remembered, the material is, well, bad. Not as bad as the menu, but bad.

At any rate, I digress.

As you clicked around in the “BNL TV” debacle (pronounced “deback” for some reason) there were short song snippets on loops. A lot of them, really. Some, like “Call Me Calmly,” “Grade 9” and “If I Had $1,000,000” I recognized right away. But one in particular caught my attention. At the time, I did not know what that song was. Some time later, when I acquired Maybe You Should Drive, and got to “A” it was immediately apparent this was the song in question.

So now it’s (hopefully) time for some déjà vu.

“A” also happens to be the first song in my iTunes list when sorted alphabetically.

Which, once again, is weird, because I’m used to Windows (even Windows 95) putting numbers first when sorting by name. But, the upside is, if it wasn’t this way, the first song would be “1-2-3 Go (This Town’s A Fairground)” by Joe Jackson, and like “Zorba The Greek” I have absolutely nothing to write about that song.

“A” is a list song, where they basically go through and make a lot of witty one liners about things that start with the letter “A”. It’s a decent enough song, and I do like it, but when I finally heard the whole thing, it didn’t live up to the promise of the short opening-bar loop. Too bad.

That’s all I have for today. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to fire up my Windows 95 PC and install the Quicktime Video Drivers. Thank God I only have to do it once!