Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Smithereens - 11 (1989)

Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette tape, later replaced by a CD.

When the CD Blow Up appeared on this blog two years ago, I wrote the following: "I wasn't looking to purchase this CD, but I saw it in a used clearance bin and I've got a music addiction I've got to feed so there ya go. I'd do the same if I ever saw a copy of 11." And I did.

Hooks a'plenty. From top-to-bottom, this is the band's best album as well as their most consistent. (My fave Smithereens tune remains House We Used To Live In from Green Thoughts, though.) To my way of thinking, the only description of the band's sound is Beatlesque power pop and there ain't nuthin' wrong with that.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #41

Tracks: I tried to pick favorites. I tried to rank the tracks. I couldn't do it (but Yesterday Girl is catchy as hell, ain't it? 😉). I like all 10 tracks. And shouldn't they have 11 tracks on an album with that title? This album clocks in at 35 minutes so there was room for more. Turns out the title has more to do with the Rat Pack than track numbers:

Billboard, December 16, 1989, p. 29

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I was in my first year of teaching when this album was issued and I played the heck out of it as I traveled in and among the suburbs of Dallas that year. I know this because I remembered all the words to songs I hadn't heard in almost 30 years.

This question may cross your mind: "Mark, you had a CD player in 1989, why on earth were you still buying cassettes?" And it's a fair question. Simply put, it was price. I was a first-year teacher trying to put my new wife through physical therapy school. Cassettes were running $6-8 cheaper than the newfangled CDs; more than that if the cassettes were on sale (the newfangled CDs were almost never on sale). Fast forward 28 years and I can buy the CD for $1.80 at a Half-Price Books.

Previously revisited for the blog:
2011 (2011)
Blown To Smithereens: Best Of The Smithereens (1995)
Blow Up (1991)
Green Thoughts (1988)

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