I go back and forth on Napster. On the one hand, the concensus seems to be that the iPod is the best .mp3 player around and that iTunes has a pretty solid grip on the market. I can respect that, and the iPods are certainly the coolest looking little guys around (not so much the white ones, but those metallic blue iPodMinis are pretty darn slick. However, at this point in my music career (and probably for a while, that I can foresee) I don't have an .mp3 player of any brand, so that point is kind of moot. I've looked around the iTunes website a bit, and I am impressed; I know there's some exclusive stuff there not available anywhere else. But I've also really gotten to like Napster in the past year. I like their format, I like their playlists, I like that it's free. I like that I can play full albums, etc. on my computer without paying anything. Can I do that on iTunes (really, I'm asking. I don't know.) I don't know what I'll do when Napster goes away. Probably nothing--I don't know that I'll have enough disposable income anytime soon to just pay $15 a month on music. I mean, this week we're struggling to pay for chicken, so you know how it is.
The point of all this is that I turned on Napster today to get some tuneage going while doing my homework and found their "classic rock" playlist. Never mind that it took about four songs to find anything I'd really define as classic rock (hint: the 80s should not yet be in classic rock territory. In fact, much of what was made in the 80s should never be played again, anywhere) the fact remains that I like me some classic rock. Zep, Clapton, Stones, Skynard--I like it all.* I also like The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. First question, then, is Bruce really classic rock? I guess he is; his first (I think) album came out in '73, so that's firmly in classic rock land. But somehow I always think of him as something unto himself. Whatever, though, that's not the point. So the first song on this playlist is Bruce's "Born to Run." If you don't know this song, it's important enough that like it or not you should hear it. But if you do know this song listen to it again. Right now. Listen.
Now tell me that wouldn't fit in PERFECTLY on any one of Meat Loaf's albums. OK, OK, maybe it needs to be about four minutes longer and have a longer "quiet part" where Meat could whisper, but all the basics are there: slightly-operatic chorus, saxaphone solo, slower segment, back into the rockin' piano-fueled finale. Heck, he's even singing about the highway! You know it's true. It's like they actually tossed an old Meat Loaf song Bruce's way and he made a classic out of it. Awesome.
By the way, have you heard his "Devils and Dust" album yet? Highly recommended. I'm no Springsteen-ologist, but it's worth checking out for sure.**
*Yes, I am aware that at least two of these performers are still touring and/or making music. Hush, now, I'm making a point.
**In a hilarious bit of irony, Napster totally shut down while I was writing this entry. I have no idea why. But, ummmm... it's really good.