As had been established over and over again in the “Disclaimer” section of this weekly feature, I genuinely try to make sure every song I post here is out of print, at least in terms of physical copies that can be ordered through a record store. Tim Quirk from the great Too Much Joy convinced me a while back that any similar reticence around sharing sound digitally-available music was at least somewhat misguided since I’m not all that concerned about damaging the ability of label bigwigs from lining their already overstuffed pockets (round these here parts, we call it “The Quirk Rule”). As I’ve admitted many times, my research into whether or not a particular album is out of print is not especially rigorous, so I sometimes doubt my own conclusions. For example, after yesterday’s Top 50 Films of the 80s post, I got to thinking about the outstanding Los Lobos song that plays during the man-made rain delay sequence in Bull Durham. But that song first appeared on the wildly acclaimed major label debut album from the band; surely that’s still in print.
I was all set to post about a different song today, but, for the hell of it, I looked up How Will the Wolf Survive? on Amazon and, for the life of me, couldn’t find a readily available copy. Every listing for the album directed me to used copies available from different sellers, and none of them even had that little message that sometimes crops up about how the item in question will be back in stock soon, honest it will. But this didn’t seem quite right to me. After all, just about every other Los Lobos album appeared to still be in print, including a few that I figured had probably been relegated to afterthought status by now. Maybe, I rationalized, Wolf had been pulled from the catalog in advance of some pending but thus far unannounced deluxe reissue. After all, next year is the twenty-eighth anniversary of its initial release.
So I uploaded it and started the process of writing about it, using my surprise at its unavailability as the premise for the very post. After all, I didn’t have that much more to say about the song. It’s great, sure, and I especially like how Shelton uses it in his film, which was undoubtedly the first time I heard it. I know it’s a favorite of a notable guest blogger in this space. But that’s all I got. It’s okay. It happens that way sometimes.
Thing is, I was wrong. When I checked again, after typing out the first couple hundred words of the entry, there it was, readily available through the sizable online retailer mentioned above. Gift-wrap is available! With a little more money spent, I could get it sent using FREE Super Saver Shipping. Of course, How Will the Wolf Survive? isn’t out of print! Who could even think such a thing? Not anyone who knew anything about music, that’s for sure.
But now I’ve already got all these words written, over five-hundred by now. The hyperlink formatting to the MP3 file is already set up. I could just scrap it all, but I don’t really want to. I don’t want to let the keyboard abuse go to waste (I really hit the keys hard), and I just plainly want to share the song. Admittedly, it’s no huge loss if I give up on the notion of posting it. Nor is it some great achievement to get this particular bit of writing out there. It’s not like it’s good enough to, I don’t know, win me a free steak or anything. I mean, look at it. Half of it is some meandering diatribe about my clumsiness in doing my due diligence and the naivete that led me to believe in a conclusion I should have instinctively known was false. Who wants to read this? Probably no one. Then again, the song is still worth listening to. That alone makes it worth it, right?
(Disclaimer: I think I’ve gone on about this mix-up quite enough. Let’s just say that I know this should be removed. I really do. If there’s someone else out there who knows the same thing and has a legitimate claim on its copyright or distribution, who then chooses to contact me and ask for its removal, or even just send an email in which the entire message is “Hey, what gives?,” I will assuredly remove it without regret or animosity. Meanwhile, anyone who doesn’t own this album should seriously think about ordering it through their favorite local, independently-owned record store.)