I had something different in mind for this week’s “One for Friday,” but this song was lodged in my head this morning, begging to be shared.
I’ve previously shared about the old 90FM C Stacks. There was always a keen sense of discovery that accompanied a venture into that area, combined with an even more alluring shared secret quality. These were, after all, the most obscure records in the station. Playing a song off of one of those–especially a really good song–was like giving radio listeners a audio glimpse inside the diary of modern music.
Still, not everything housed on those shelves was a complete mystery. By some measures, Hunters & Collectors arguably could have been moved to a more prominent place in the station. Their relative success in their Australian homeland didn’t matter much in the heart of central Wisconsin, but they did garner enough attention stateside attention to get reviewed in Rolling Stone and stir up some meager interest from bolder radio stations. They stayed nestled in the H’s (over by the corner) area of the C stacks, though, and I would drift over and retrieve one of their records when I wanted something sharp and anthemic. It probably helped boost their spins on my various programs that I had a predilection of questionable motivation for Australian bands during a stretch early in my college radio career.
Most of the C Stacks songs that I loved and leaned on during my college radio days quickly faded from the ongoing soundtrack of my life once I graduated and (eventually) moved away from the little city that counts my alma mater among its major employers. “Back on the Breadline” by Hunters & Collectors did notably crop up again at least once. I took advantage of some rare time off when I was working multiple jobs in Madison, Wisconsin to drive down to Chicago and visit a friend. As was the norm, I tuned into WXRT-FM at the earliest opportunity. Racing down the interstate, the mammoth city buildings emerging before me, the DJ took great pleasure in introducing this song, treating it like a long lost friend.
(Disclaimer: I cannot claim that the record or CD containing this song as a part of my collection. In this instance, I retrieved this song from one of those Internet denizens who thoroughly learned all their kindergarten lessons about sharing, must to the chagrin of the R.I.A.A. I believe, in fact, that I got this from the same place that I got that The Cost of Living song from a few weeks back. To the best of my knowledge, all of the music of Hunters & Collectors is out of print, at least here in the United States. If someone with due authority to do so asks me to remove this audio file, I will comply.)