In advance of tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities, how about the leadoff track from R.E.M.’s 1988 album, Green? I still remember when I first bought this album on audio cassette, primarily because it was one of my initial picks when I joined the BMG music club for the first time. BMG and Columbia House’s music clubs were one of the great things about being a music fan in the 90’s; for a penny, you could get a whole bunch of tapes or CDs, committing only to buying a few at “regular price” in the next year. Over the years, I joined and canceled memberships in these services several times over, but the first time I got a package of tapes in the mail was pretty exciting. In addition to Green, I also picked up Paula Abdul’s Forever Your Girl, Milli Vanilli’s Girl You Know It’s True and one other album that I don’t remember in my first shipment. That’s right, I haven’t always had especially good taste, so there’s hope for you Nickelback fans yet!
The BMG music service actually held on until mid-2009, when they finally shut down operations. I still get CDs in the mail from time to time, although admittedly that has been a declining practice given the competitive pricing of .mp3 albums from Amazon. Mostly, I’ll get some second-hand back catalog stuff that you can find really cheap (see what I did there?), but occasionally I’ll spring for a CD from an artist I really like. After all, it’s still just about as exciting to get a shiny new CD in the mail (no AOL, I wasn’t talking to you) as it was back then.