Saturday, May 9, 2009

Songs by Battery Type

Certain songs just evoke specific moods.

And certain sizes of batteries.

When I was a kid, I owned a transistor radio, but I remember nothing about it other than it's color (beige) and the round tuning wheel I used to shift between a half-dozen AM stations. It was a radio that seemed ancient even when it was brand new.

So did the song "Here Comes that Rainy Day Feeling Again" by the Fortunes, which I always thought of as a song from the mid-60s until I stumbled upon it on YouTube, Googled it, and realized in came out in 1971. (Maybe the slick 70s strings should have given it away.) The other thing I remembered about this song is that I can't hear it without thinking of a transistor radio powered by a 9-volt battery. Even though I'm not sure I ever owned a transistor radio powered by a 9-volt battery (or if I ever heard this song on a transistor radio).

Similarly, I remember Minnie Riperton's "Loving You" as a tiny whispered song (must be the "la-la-la-la-las" or the tinkly music-box keyboard sounds) even though the vocal has a lot of power behind it. Maybe that explains why I always picture AAA batteries when I hear this song (and associated AA batteries with an ever-so-slightly edgier sound, like an Olivia Newton-John ballad).

On the other hand, I can't listen to "Fire" by the Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, without thinking of a car battery hooked up to a huge boombox. Maybe that's because -- even though I've never actually seen a huge boombox powered by a car battery (and have definitely never heard this song on any size of boombox) -- I suspect that hooking up anything electrical to a car battery will cause an explosion.

And, in my mind at least, it's not possible to listen to certain bands with battery power. Led Zeppelin, for example, requires so much juice that you need a wall plug (and maybe a spare fuse).


Anonymous said...

So what kind of weird hybrid battery would AC/DC be?

Alex said...

Probably this one: