Friday, May 23, 2008


Used to be you could buy an album of all your favorite pop tunes for cheap. Really cheap. “As originally performed by [this artist, that artist].”

They were Sound-Alikes and were rather popular for a while. I haven’t heard of them lately, “lately” meaning “in an awfully long time.”

You couldn’t tell them apart from the genuine article. If Danny & The Juniors came out with a hot tune, along with eleven other people or groups, there’d be an album with people who nailed them dead-on. It was a lot less expensive than buying twelve singles.

I suppose it was legal; that’s something which never crossed my mind at the time. There was sort of an attempt to have you think they were the original groups, but I think anyone who could read would realize they were “covers.”

One of the more remarkable attempts at outright fakery was when Peter Best, the Beatles’ early drummer who was drummed out of the band before they became famous, issued an album of his own. He called it “Best of the Beatles.” The album sold very well with people who thought it was a Beatles compilation album and, when he was called on it, said, “I am Best and I was with the Beatles. Where is the trickery?”

I miss those Sound-Alikes. Singles in those days were less than a dollar and albums were anywhere from $1.40 for cheap labels to the regular $3.98.


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