Monday, January 16, 2012

Song #88 of 9999 - Spring Collection by The Vapors

Song #88 of 9999

Title: Spring Collection
Artist: The Vapors
Year: 1980
Album: New Clear Days

This is about to get tough for me. It has been pretty easy to be analytical about songs from 1950 and '60 because it was not the music of my youth and I'm pretty disconnected from it. I suspect the 90s and 2000s will fare similarly. But the 1980s....this is the music I grew up with and it holds so much sentimental value that it tends to bypass the brain and go straight to my heart. Simply making a list of songs from 1980 was a difficult task; narrowing it down to seven for this week's posts seems impossible. (It doesn't help that I just realized I gave 1970 an extra song!)

So I'm going to try to pick songs that are perhaps a little off the beaten path, starting with one very few people probably know. If you don't even recognize the band name, that's okay; The Vapors had only one hit called "Turning Japanese." But for me, this was the first band that really made me feel...rebellious. Trust me, I understand how pathetic that is. The end of the 70s brought The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones—none of that stuff connected with me like The Vapors' New Clear Days, which I listened to whenever I was angry, frustrated or sad. I devoured this album and it's still one of my favorites to this day.

In reviewing songs for this post, I was happy to see how well it holds up. It's really a great pop record, which is probably why I preferred it to the punk bands I mentioned earlier and to other post-punk bands who attained greater popularity. "Spring Collection" has a great riff to open the song, a subtle rhythm guitar part, a clever pre-chorus chord progression, great vocal harmonies and a bouncy beat. This isn't my favorite song from the record, but I think it's a good alternative to "Turning Japanese" for the Vapors novice.

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