The Thrifty Ear

This week The Thrifty Ear celebrates the individual, probably because he can't find a comrade who'll sit and listen to this music without killing him.

Kylie Minogue
Ultimate Kylie
Source: eBay
Price: $4.99 + $3.50 S&H
Ultimate Guilty Pleasure is more like it, purchased in its Japanese digipack form to eliminate the American middleman. If Ultimate Yanni taught us anything, this Ultimate-um will be distilled down to the Essential Kylie by next Christmas. Disc One mostly demonstrates producers Stock-Aitken-Waterman's uncanny affliction for reheating the same dance beat over and over. Time will prove Disc Two the true essential Kylie, with tracks from the years when her voice went from human to helium, mirroring the strange detours her Botoxed face and lips concurrently embarked on. I don't care if she looks like Aquaman's ride home now on -- future generations who've had their naughty bits cryogenically replaced with bug zappers are still gonna wet themselves to hits like "Can't Get You Out of My Head" and "Come Into My World," where her triple-tracked whispers beckon like a baby getting talcummed at a rave.

Bobby Vinton
Blue Velvet (LP)
Source: Goodwill
Price: 50 cents
There have been other color-themed albums before and since, but monochromatic (not to mention lonely) Vinton has only one hue here, and he really wears it out. Still, the fact that he clocked in so much overtime at publishing houses to dredge up a dozen songs with "blue" in the title commands some kind of grudging respect.

Orson Welles
"I Know What It Is to Be Young (But You Don't Know What It Is to Be Old)" (cassette single)
Source: People's Thrift Shop
Price: 25 cents
This self-pitying ballad from 1984 features recitin' Charles Foster Kane backed by the horrendously white (and no relation to the genius of soul) Ray Charles Singers. One year from death, Welles affects a Shakespearean catch in his throat as he gets out the last couplet: "In time, when your young days are through, there'll be someone sharing their time with you." But chances are, that someone won't be some fat guy in a black cape whose first film is the greatest of all time, but a guy whose final celluloid assignment is doing the voice of Unicron, an asteroid that eats other planets, in The Transformers: The Movie.


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