The first CD I purchased, in 1986, was the self-titled debut album by Fine Young Cannibals
. WMHD-FM, the campus radio station where I was a DJ, had their debut single "Johnny Come Home
," and I loved the song, so I decided to pick up the album. That weekend I bummed a ride with friends from campus over to Headstone Friends Records, Tapes, Incense and Pleasure Accessories for the Mind, Body and Soul
at 12th and Poplar, an institution of music retail in Terre Haute, Indiana.
I had the vinyl LP in hand, when I went over to look at the CDs; at the time they kept the compact discs in a locked glass-front cabinet, with arm holes in the glass so you could move stuff around to look at it but not remove it. They had the album on CD for several dollars more, but it included two extended remixes not on the LP, for the singles "Johnny Come Home" and the Elvis cover "Suspicious Minds
". Lured by the siren call of the compact disc bonus track
, I ditched the vinyl LP and purchased the CD, which included the big production of Harold unlocking the display to remove the CD in its long box.
At the time, CD players were very expensive (even the cheapest models were over $200), and I didn't own one. Neither did my roommate. However, I was able to dub a copy onto cassette tape at the radio station's production studio. I think I ended up with a dozen CDs before I made the investment in a CD player, and many of my fellow WMHD DJs also ended up with CD collections before they bought their own CD player. I also made cassette copies of my vinyl too, to keep from wearing it out, so at the time I had most all of my music collection on taped copies.
What brought this all back to mind, is that a couple days ago I went by the local used music store on my lunch break. Its no Headstone Friends, but its close to work, and the day shift guy usually has Jason and the Scorchers
playing loud when I stop by around noon. There, in the LP section, I found a copy of Fine Young Cannibals
, in near mint condition, for two dollars. I was unable to resist.
When I gave the record a spin at home, I was startled to discover that the two bonus tracks on the CD were not the only difference. When I flipped the record over, the first track on the second side -- "Blue
" -- was quite different than the version I was familiar with from the CD (and from all of the other versions of "Blue" I have on 12" singles and FYC's greatest hits CD The Finest
too). It was a different vocal take, and had a different horn chart as well. After checking the covers of both the CD and the LP (both of which are USA pressings on I.R.S. Records), I discovered that the LP version lists Bob Sargeant as co-producer of the song; the CD lists Alvin Clarke instead. The two have different copyright dates as well -- 1985 for the CD and 1986 for the LP; last.fm lists a 1984 original release date. From what I can see on the intarweb, my CD has the original UK version of the album, while the LP included a new recording of "Blue" for the American market.
After more than 20 years, this is still one of my favorite albums, and discovering a new variation of it really made my day. Also, finding a newspaper article about Headstone Friends
on the web, and finding that it really hasn't changed (Harold still works there, and they still have the black light poster room and dinosaurs painted on the side of the building) was very groovy too.
Also, I can't remember what my second CD was, but I'm pretty sure I sold it years ago, because I didn't care for it anymore.