Monday, February 23, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 91)

91. "Naked Eye"
Artist: Luscious Jackson
Year: 1996

Here's a little history lesson for you youngsters (as if there is anyone under 40 reading this!). The above is a picture of me holding a cassingle. This very minor and quite horrible format gained a tiny bit of traction in the late '80s and well into the '90s as a replacement for the 7" single, which at the time was on the endangered species list. They came in a cardboard sleeve with openings at both ends for the cassette to slip out. The whole thing was very cheap. As a former record-store employee, I can vouch these were a pain in the ass to display. They were too small for our plasti-lock cassette holders. So, we kept them in a glass display case at the counter. The problem was they didn't stand up well since they weren't in the hard plastic cassette cases you remember so fondly, and the weight distribution was all wrong for flimsy cardboard. So, picture these singles being knocked down like a row of dominoes several times a day. Yes, we workers were not big fans of the format.

Yet, here I am holding this cassette single. I remember buying it on a Saturday morning at Tower Records in Alexandria, Va., not long after seeing the music video on this wonderful new channel that had just launched... MTV2. Difficult to believe, but it really was good for a little while. Why this format? I probably wanted to listen to it in the car on the way home. I can come up with no other explanation.

This was the long way around to a song I actually have little to write about. This was a bona fide hit. Not the minor leagues, but actual Billboard Hot 100 material. It peaked at No. 36 here in America, and it did even better in the UK. I never owned the album it came from, 'Fever In Fever Out,' or anything else by them, for that matter. Sometimes a good song is just a good song, and these NYC gals struck gold with this one. Here's your trivia for the day: Luscious Jackson was the first band signed to Grand Royal, the label run by the Beastie Boys.


drew said...

I've got the album but have no idea what it's like think I played it once. I really liked the original of Naked Eye however the Propeller heads mix is the one for me.

I bought very few cassette singles in my time. One I do remember buying was The Blue Room by The Orb prior to hitching from Aberdeen home to Lanark. That cassette helped distract me as I waited a long time for a lift from Dundee

The Swede said...

A quick look tells me that I think I own three Luscious Jackson albums - no cassingles though! Yes, what a bloody horrible format! Great tune.

Brian said...

Just gave the propellerheads mix a listen. That one certainly gets your poor ol' body moving. Very very good. If anyone out there would like to listen:

Three albums! I bow before you with cassingle in hand.