I woke up this mornin’ to the blues news that Whitney Houston is deid.
I was saddened of course. She was and is an icon. I admit that I’ve not yet shed a tear but I lay in bed eating my fruit ‘n’ fibre with a puzzled expression on my face.
Then the usual tirade. It is hard not to cast a cold eye on the routine that always follows a celebrity death.
Praise, praise, pity, pity, praise, what a waste of talent and so on.
I’m sure that the record companies will milk it and put out a retrospective best of. The albums will be remastered and held up as forgotten masterpieces and sold back to the masses at £24.99 on 180g vinyl with a free download ticket and bonus tracks thrown in.
Dolly Parton who wrote “I Will Always Love You” and already physically can’t stop smiling will become even more like Jack Nicholson as the Joker when the royalties flood in again. I like Dolly a lot so good for her : )
So shouldn’t VoxBox also get involved in the new Whitneymania? Well, no. Having never stopped trying to sell Whitney Houston I feel we have the moral high ground here. She’s never been away from VoxBox. George and I have had what feels like the entire Whitney Houston back catalogue in our Backroom at a wallet friendly £1.50 (7 for £10) since we opened.
No-one wanted to dance with Whitney yesterday.
Maybe she’s been taken for granted. She sold so many millions that it was inevitable that the used record market would be swamped by her brand of catchy soul pop disco. Ironically, it is truly a mark of extreme success to have so many unwanted records cluttering the bargain bins of record shops. I am happy not to have a bad word to say about Whitney and hope that some people will decide that they’re not bad records to own and appreciate after all. In a non ironic way too. Not everyone’s cup of tea but if you grew up in the 1980s and 90s they are undeniably genre defining classic pop sounds that for better or worse are indelibly stamped into our collective consciousness. Wow!
So I am happy to say that we will not exploit the death of Whitney Houston. George has been in charge today and may very possibly have moved some of the mintiest Whitney records to the £3 section in the Front Shop but that is just to make them easier to find when word gets out and the inevitable stampede inevitably comes.
The quote at the top is from Paint a Vulgar Picture by The Smiths. A song about the exploitation of dead pop stars. It is found on the album Strangeways, Here We Come priced at an affordable £8 and available from VoxBox Music Ltd, 21 St Stephen Street, when I’m in on Thursday. Oh! Darn the exploitation.
Thank you for reading this far and welcome to the VoxBox Music blog.