I have been mocked relentlessly over the years for the fact that 90 percent of my CDs are greatest hits, best-ofs, the “essential collections” and a few soundtracks. It used to make me a little defensive when I was in my 20s and one hipster boyfriend or another would imply–nay, state outright!–that I was a superficial consumer of music without intellectual or cultural curiosity or any hope for redemption.
It made me defensive because it was more or less true. I had the “best of” everyone from AC/DC to Barry White to the Ramones. The difference now that I’m a Formerly is that I don’t give a shit that anyone thinks I’ve got marshmallow fluff flowing through my veins. One insomniac Sunday night a few years ago, I actually ordered Superstars of Country off the TV (five double CD sets featuring 150 of the greatest country songs of the 60s, 70s and 80s, per a totally face-lifted Kenny Rogers and some lady who just agreed with everything he said). It makes me inordinately happy to listen to, which is weird because lord knows I didn’t grow up listening to Charley Pride, Tanya Tucker or the Bellamy Brothers on 1970s AM radio in New York City.
In the spirit of the great lovers of compilation CDs–you know who you are–I’m posting the best of Formerly Hot. Feel free to disagree and tell me what you think the best posts on this site are and were. I look forward to your comments.