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iTunes music downloads we regret

Philip Michaels | April 29, 2013
The great thing about the iTunes Store is that you can buy just about any song you can imagine, cheaply and easily. And the worst thing about the iTunes Store? Sometimes you can buy those songs a little too easily.

You Light Up My Life

The song You Light Up My Life comes from the movie of the same name. The version I inexplicably downloaded from iTunes did not.

There is one last item from L'Affaire One-Hit Wonder that I hesitate to mention, largely because it reflects poorly on me. VH1's list of now-you-see-'em-now-you-don't musical sensations includes "You Light Up My Life," the title song from the forgettable movie of the same name. It is a treacly, drippy ballad in which singer Debby Boone fails to bring the raw, unbridled energy her father Pat used to bring to those Chevrolet ads. It also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, proving that the late 1970s really were the age of malaise.

Anyhow, Debby Boone's version wasn't in the iTunes Store when I wrote that one-hit wonders article. (It is now, you lucky people.) Undeterred--and for reasons that remain a mystery a decade later--I bought an instrumental version of "You Light Up My Life". Because, obviously, once you strip "You Light Up My Life" of its vocals and lyrics, you've improved the song immeasurably.

On a Bicycle Built for Joy (Raindrops)

In 2010, Apple extended song previews in the iTunes Store to 90 seconds for songs longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds--a welcome change for those of us who want to know just what the heck we're getting ourselves into when we part with our hard-earned 99 cents. Oh sure, iTunes always offered 30-second previews of songs, but that was hardly enough time to figure out if the musicians were on their best behavior right up until the moment those 30 seconds were up.

Terrible, things happen 90 seconds into the copy of Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head that sits in my iTunes library.

Case in point: This version of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" from the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid soundtrack. I have pleasant memories of that song from growing up, when my mother would sing it to me whenever I was feeling glum (which is to say, she sang it frequently). And indeed, this particular rendition offers just the right note of wistfulness--right up until the 1:29 mark where the song takes a sudden 180-degree swerve into a bouncy, 1970s-style ragtime orchestration that sounds like the sort of thing one would hear at a clown's funeral procession. This continues for nearly a full minute--perhaps B.J. Thomas had excused himself to grab a glass of water--before Burt Bacharach's Groovy Good-Time Band finishes killing the mood and we resume with our regularly scheduled ruminations on how my eyes won't be turning red 'cause crying's not for me. But crying is most certainly for me, at least now that I had to endure that.


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