Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Category: 45 sides +/- obscure tracks

45 sides +/- obscure tracks
Zeroto180

“What Is a [blank]” 45s

Today’s piece is inspired by (i.e., lifted from) a special Top 40 list of 7-inch vinyl compiled by 45Cat contributor, stereotom.  These (literally) defining songs — whose titles all begin with the phrase “What Is a [blank]” — have been organized chronologically and married with streaming audio where possible (click

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45 sides +/- obscure tracks
Zeroto180

Quirky 45s That “Bubbled Under” 1959-1976

It’s almost impossible to fathom now, but at one time in the United States, tiny “indie” labels could actually get their records played on the radio.  This period was a narrow window of time, as predictably (and inevitably), the major labels would consolidate their hold on the marketplace by effectively

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"Four Wheel Drive"
Zeroto180

Zero to Infinity: Buddy Emmons

This week we said goodbye to Buddy Emmons, one of the world’s great musicians and subject of three prior Zero to 180 pieces.  Here is but a *45-second live demonstration (beginning to end) of Buddy Emmons’ singular genius with the pedal steel guitar: “Four Wheel Drive” (live)     Buddy Emmons    

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“Hold It Baby”: Swedish Soul

Sweden’s Slam Creepers, judging solely by their name, sounds like a band of relatively recent vintage (e.g., 1980s hardcore?) — and yet, their first release, fascinatingly enough, was a split single in 1965:  a 7-inch flexi-disc in which shared Slam Creepers shared space with The Hollies and fellow Swedish band,

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“Winged Mammal Theme”: Batty B-Side

Michael Stipe and his REM bandmates, it would appear, are bat fans, as evidenced by their non-LP B-side, “Winged Mammal Theme.”   This abstract (near) instrumental take on “The Batman Theme” – flip side to their 1992 hit, “Drive” – would be rejected, interestingly enough, for the soundtrack to Batman Returns.

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"Plain Jane"
Zeroto180

“Plain Jane”: Mean People Suck

Thanks to Lester Bangs for pointing me to one of the more unusual storylines in pop music – B.J. Thomas‘ 1966 single, “Plain Jane“: A dramatic narrative about a serious issue, “Plain Jane” might strike today’s ears as being a bit hokey or kitschy, even though this sort of thing

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“Ain’t You Glad”: 35-Year Victim of Criminal Neglect

On December 16-17, 1966 Mill Evans recorded three songs in Chicago for King Records.  For some unfathomable reason, one of those tracks – “Ain’t You Glad” – stayed in the can for 35 years and would have remained unissued, had it not been for the fine (and far-sighted) folks at

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“Always Unknowing”: Roxy Music, Forever Uncertain

Phil Manzanera squeezes off soulful guitar lines, particularly during the instrumental coda, on “Always Unknowing” – the flip side of Roxy Music’s Top-20 hit from 1982, “Avalon“: This languid and forlorn Bryan Ferry composition remained a B-side for 20 years or so until included in a remastered CD mix of

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“Love Can Run Faster”: B-Side of Mystery

In 1978 Robert Palmer traveled to Lee Perry‘s recording compound in Kingston, Jamaica to get a little piece of that magic Black Ark sound.  “Love Can Run Faster” (B-side of Robert Palmer’s big 1978 hit, “Bad Case of Lovin’ You“) is the only song Palmer released from that recording session

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