by Tyler Coates
I like to tell everyone that the first CD I ever bought was the soundtrack to "Reality Bites." I saw that movie when it came out--I was eleven and there's something insufferably hilarious about an eleven-year-old considering a movie about post-graduate angst among Gen-Xers to be, you know, the best. (It still is, btw.) Obviously, I have to pick up the soundtrack for the following reasons: "My Sharona," "Stay," and that Juliana Hatfield song about Spin the Bottle in which she says "fuck." (My parents didn't know about that one.)
The truth, of course, is that the soundtrack was actually not the first CD I ever bought. I convinced my parents to let me buy a CD player the year before, and after saving up a hundred and fifty bucks, my dad took me to Circuit City in Fredericksburg, Virginia to pick up the Aiwa version of the Discman. (The salesman convinced me on the brand after saying they invented CDs, which was probably a lie but I generally took for granted anything that someone over the age of fifteen told me.) After making my purchase, we went to the Camelot in the Spotsylvania Mall across the street where I bought the soundtrack to "Grease."
I have another confession: it wasn't the soundtrack. It was the Broadway cast recording. Of the revival. You know, the one from the '90s featuring a young Megan Mullally as one of the Pink Ladies and Rosie O'Donnell as Rizzo, because people thought that was a good idea back then. But here's the other thing: the cast album didn't have Rosie on it. Instead, it had Brooke Shields as Rizzo, who replaced Rosie in the show. Some genius decided to dub Brooke's voice over Rosie's. Even my dad tried to talk me out of it (for multiple reasons, I'm sure).
While we're on the subject of terrible music purchases, I can also mention that I once owned the soundtracks for The Brady Bunch Movie, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, and Batman Forever (I'll never be ashamed of the last one, I've still got it). But those are stories for another time.