It reminds me of a story. When I was a preteen, I found a list of Cher's ouvre in a record guide sitting in the entertainment section at our tiny B. Dalton bookstore at the mall. I secretly wrote the list out on an envelope found in my purse. Back then, you couldn't just peruse books with a cup of coffee like you can do at Borders (well before Borders went kaput). If you were caught reading something, you might hear: "Are you gonna buy that?"
With that stolen list, I was on a mission. My mother made my brother drive me from the burbs into the city of St. Louis to search the two local used record stores. It wasn't the bonding moment it would have been had I had a flamboyantly gay brother.
Soon, I found a list of more used record stores in the back ads of Rolling Stone magazine. Bingo! I hand-wrote letters to stores all over the country. I wish I had a copy of one of these dorky letters by my 10-year old self. Let me tell you, in the early 80s nobody was looking for Sonny & Cher records. Long story short, I was very excited to find someone in Indiana or some such place had a copy of Cher Sings the Hits. I was picturing an album of 60s covers. Okay so that pretty much describes any Cher or Sonny & Cher album of the 60s (give or take a few Sonny songs)...but I was imagining different covers, new covers. More hit-y covers. What I did not expect was another Cher compilation album of somewhat questionable hits like:
- You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
- Blowin’ In The Wind
- Will You Love Me Tomorrow
- Like A Rolling Stone
- I Want You
- Magic In The Air
- Masters Of War
- Catch The Wind
Ok, so some of those had been hits by other people. But clearly not all of them. And I took umbrage with the usage of the work the in the title, as if this indicated surely that these would be the definitive hits of the day.
Add to that the travesty that the album didn't even include a picture on the cover! Why did it exist?? It was my first moment of compilation dismay, heralding in a lifetime of more to follow. Do James Joyce scholars go through this? I don't think so.