I recently noticed that Little Hits is gone. As anyone who’s been scoring along at home might know, Little Hits was a music blog that went a long way towards inspiring this weekly feature. Updated regularly, the blog shared MP3s and reminiscences about the songs and bands they contained. My affection didn’t simply stem from the fact that I enjoyed the music shared there, nor was it the genial, knowledgable essays that earned my devotion. I did like the songs and the writing, but it was the actual nature of the selections that thrilled me, specifically the way in which the name of the blog perfectly encapsulated what was happening there. These weren’t hits, not even by the most generous reading of any charts. But to the writer — and presumably those who traveled in his circles around the time the songs were released — they had the same resonance as the most seasoned Billboard chart-toppers. Surely the songs were played within a certain cultural ecosystem with the same frequency, the same urgency, the same volume as the biggest hits of the day.
I know well the sensation of a song that was once so ever-present for me and my friends and would elicit nothing but a vacant, confused stare if it were played for the strong majority of other music fans. Too Much Joy’s “The Otter Song” was played so often at my college radio station that we had to briefly ban it from the airwaves. In of saturation airplay during the early nineteen-nineties, it was the “I Will Always Love You” of 90FM. A smart wager says practically every staffer that spent respectable time at the station back then can still sing along with the a cappella track without so much as a hesitant syllable, but I’ve never played to a gleam of recognition from anyone without that shared background. In my personal sphere of music fandom, that’s the sort of song that defined the driving premise of Little Hits.
As an active site, Little Hits has been defunct for quite some time, only a brief, humble farewell post at the top of the page. The links to the music files have been dead ends for nearly as long, likely wiped clean during one of the digital copyright sweeps that hobble or destroy various file-sharing services. From time to time, I’ve used one of those Little Hits offerings for this feature, always crediting the original blog, usually linking to and therefore deferring to the entry that accompanied the track in the first place. Those lingered a long time, in the familiar manner of the abandoned internet. I recently discovered those are gone as well, though the skilled surfer knows which digital wave to catch in order to retrieve those words if need be. In tribute, to the bygone blog, here’s one of the songs I nicked from it, basically chosen at random for today. It’s from 1982, and, like everything else I gladly claimed from there, it’s amazing.
Listen or download –> Smart Remarks, “Mary’s Got Her Eye On Me Tonight”
(Disclaimer: Borrowing from a certain website, I’ll note that the recurring “One for Friday” feature “does not intend to deprive artists and labels of revenue; it is instead hoped that the music presented on this site will contribute to interest that will eventually lead to legitimate re-issue of the works of the artists represented, or wider recognition of already available releases. If you have legal rights to any of the songs presented here, and wish to have them removed, I will attempt to dazzle you with the speed and abject humility of my compliance.”)