06 April 2004

1. the most beautiful girl in the world (from the beautiful experience ep, 1994)
i assume we all know this record, yes? no need to speak of its merits as philly soul confection? all right, let's historicize then. if memory serves, "tmbgitw" was the first record released under the symbol. so, if this set were organized chronologically (and it isn't), it would serve as the opener. as it is, i selected it to start this compilation because it betrays a certain mindset of its creator at this time. not only was "tmbgitw" issued under the symbol, it was also released independently. what it suggests is that the songwriter believed he could still dash off pop hits whenever he chose, just as long as it didn't detract from his headier pursuits. it served as proof that he had not lost his touch, nor, more importantly, had he lost his mind. and! he did it without the benefit of a major! surely, if he were free, the only way was up. he must have felt untouchable, his hubris at its pinnacle (which, given the nature of the artist, is saying a lot.) in short, "tmbgitw" begins this compilation because, during the symbol era, it was also his commercial pinnacle.

and, oh, did he have a long way to fall.

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