Ruminations on Music - Part I

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader hopes that you all had a festive Thanksgiving spent in the company of family and friends. Your Maximum Leader had a great long weekend. He visited with family from far and wide. He cooked a huge feast. He’s eaten leftovers. And now he’d like to speak about something bugging him…

Your Maximum Leader was driving home from his sainted in-law’s house on Saturday night (after a quick day-visit) and was listening to XM Radio along the way. He was listening, as is his habit, to the “80’s on 8.” About halfway back to the Villainschloss they played the extended dance mix of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.”

Now, first off let your Maximum Leader go on the record and say that he believes that “Dancing in the Dark” - the album version - hasn’t aged well in his mind. As the years pass that song seems more dated and flat. But if you want to hear something that truly offends the ear dig up a copy of the extended dance mix of the song. You’ll recognize it by the presence of the xylophone in the first few measures.

Gawd the very act of rememberance makes your Maximum Leader cringe. The xylophone. The cheesey back-up singers. The constant repetition of the same riffs over and over and over. Indeed, your Maximum Leader thinks that Springsteen intentionally screwed up the song just to “stick it” to the record promoters who said to him, “Look Bruce we need a dance mix… You know… For kids…” After realizing that his contract required him to do a dance mix at the behest of the label Springsteen probably said to himself, “I’m gonna make this the shittiest dance mix ever.” While your Maximum Leader cannot confirm that the “Dancing in the Dark” dance mix is the most horrid one ever re-recorded - it certainly ranks right up there in the annals of regrettable recordings.

Your Maximum Leader feels that this post will go a long way towards exorcising the demons of that song…

Carry on.

Kevin Kim said:

“You know… For kids…”

Was this a “Hudsucker Proxy” reference? A subtle, between-the-lines dig at Tim Robbins, perhaps?


Yes, indeed it was a Hudsucker Proxy reference. And I wouldn’t characterize it as a dig at Tim Robbins at all. A tribute perhaps. Hudsucker is a great film. And you know Tim Robbins is a great actor. I think his politics are wacky. But that doesn’t detract from his acting ability.

Brian B said:

Indeed. His performance in “High Fidelity” was both amusing and self-lampooning, whether that was intentional or no.

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