I think it's time for another sporadic feature, this one devoted to songs from my pre-teen to adult years that have shredded my guts with slow, deep cuts. These aren't just run-o-the-mill sad songs, but the ones that struck hard, penetrated thoroughly, and just refused to let go.
Or maybe it's just a bunch of cheesy breakup songs. Whatever it is, embarrassment will surely fall upon my house for it. But that's the price I'm willing to pay to assemble my love-history in song. In any event, dig into a box of kleenex, and let's get started.Barry Manilow - Mandy
As a youngster, my love of this song was a harbinger of the long, sap-filled existence still to come. I used to think it was all about how this Mandy "kissed him and stopped him from shaving," which isn't that cute, but is an indication of how influenced my mind was by commercials from the idiot box.Buy it!The Halo Bit - Let You Know
Alex Kemp's (Small Factory, Godrays) second or third band, the record was a little hit-or-miss, but mostly hit, like this epic little yearner that made for all kinds of good-bad-sad-sad in my little basement hovel in college. Buy it!Depeche Mode - But Not Tonight
Holy crappenstein, this song, which I managed to live without from high school to thirtysomethinghood, has only recently returned to my player, and not a moment too soon. How many times this accompanied various overcoated nighttime meanderings in my Valley Forge Military Academy walking loop, I cannot say. But times-a-many. Prayers for rain, Philly Titans, and whatever other drama I could milk out of by charmed life. Buy it!Lloyd Cole - Loveless
Another from the high school rain period, this one coming to prominence during my first foray into true love. Not sure how I ended up buying this record, but I remain utterly unable to shake the Cole, in spite of the many cooler-than-Cole periods I tried to go through. Buy it!Courtney Love - The Second Most Beautiful Girl in the World
Just to be clear, in case you haven't heard, this was a band named for the lead singer of Hole, and did not feature said personage. It was the work of Pat Maley and the gifted Lois Maffeo. This song is the definition of wistful, and it shaded a certain period of college with a kind of generalized, gossamer lovesickness.Pester K Record to re-release it.
Future Gut Twisters promise to be far more embarrassing. xo