I was once a little…um, okay, terribly obsessed with iTunes. I got my first iPod in 2004 and became immediately entranced by Apple’s seeming infinite lists of music for sale. Over the years, I spent way too much time on iTunes and spent way too much money on music, some of which was great, and some of which was not. In 2011, for the sake of my sanity and my bank account, I went cold turkey. I suspended my iTunes activities and completely stopped visiting site. With the iTunes Diaries, I take a look back, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly in music that I just had to have in the moment.
If I had to name one thing that really got me hooked on iTunes way back when, it would be the ease with which I was able to revisit songs from my past. Note there I didn’t just say “the past,” but rather my past. And since my past is replete with Top 40 radio fodder, iTunes also opened my eyes and ears up to the betrayal of the “radio edit.”
Okay, so maybe I’m taking a little poetic license there, because there was nothing new in artists offering up unedited versions of their radio hits on their own albums. But as I veered away from the ritual of buying albums to buying singles, when it came to using iTunes, I faced (and relished) the funny choice of choosing between various versions of songs. Studio recording or live? Explicit or non-explicit? Short version or original length? In some cases, the choice was obvious. Don MacLean’s “American Pie” is a good example of the short vs. long question. I knew the song was edited for radio due to its length, but before the choice to get the original song in iTunes came along, I had only heard the full version once in a blue moon, and, it was so much better than the shortened version. Therefore, getting the proper, long version just made sense.
Sometimes, the choices were less obvious, particularly when it came to explicit vs. non-explicit versions of songs, as was the case with The Outhere Brothers’ “Boom Boom Boom” from their 1995 album 1 Polish, 2 Biscuits & a Fish Sandwich.
Prior to iTunes, this was the version of the song I knew:
Catchy and cute, no? Err…well, as catchy and cute as a 90s club hit can be, I guess. In the day, had “gotten down,” as the kids say, to this classic from 1995 myself, not thinking twice about its repetitive, saccharin words set to an pumped up, Euro-inspired beat. And when the time came years later to make a 90s dance playlist — because nothing else could have made my iPod more complete — “Boom Boom Boom” undoubtedly had to be on the roster. A search for the song back in the winter of two-thousand-aught-eight brought up, much to my wondering eyes, not one but two choices: clean or explicit. What caught me off guard was that I honestly had no idea there was a explicit version of the song. It took me a minute to wrap my head around the idea that one of my favorite “catchy and cute” dance tunes could be in any way risqué. But as I was a legitimate and legitimately curious adult (so said my driver’s license), I trod the path of the no-goodnick and bought the explicit version. Feel free to partake below, taking special note of how the video has dick to do with the song.
Folks, I’ve culled my share of songs of a lascivious nature. I’ve heard songs that are way more graphic and blush-worthy. But there’s…it’s like…um *stutter*…when I heard the explicit version of “Boom Boom Boom,” my reaction was a little like discovering porn for the first time — giggly, confused, heated, a shroud of shame, a sense of panic, a tingly sensation. It was, in a word, awkward, for I could not think of a single instance of a song that even came close it. I mean, how many songs do you know in which a man says, presumably to a woman, “Hey! Can we do it doggie style? (I’m excellent at jizz management, btw.) No? Then how about I eat you out and you sit on my face? A good time will be had by all!”
If ever you see me, iPod in hand, wearing a horribly smirky grin while hanging my head, I’m probably listening to this most honest version of “Boom Boom Boom.”