The Analog Kid’s iTunes music folder contains 124,341 songs, so you may think that I own everything by everybody. Not so fast, my friends– even a collection that large is bound to have some true one-hit wonders and/or obscurities mixed in with the 1,246 Bruce Springsteen songs. In this continuing series, I will feature an artist that has exactly one song in my entire digital library…
I spent more than four hours at Dallas’ Josey Records on Monday afternoon, and about half of that time was spent digging through their giant selection of $1 records. I am extremely choosy about my vinyl and I usually only buy stuff that is in mint/near-mint condition, so I would normally ignore the bargain bin. I have to give Josey’s some credit, though– they had some good stuff mixed in with the usual bargain crap, and I was able to find a few items that made the treasure hunt more than worth it.
One of my finds was the 1981 debut album from Get Wet, featuring their top 40 hit “Just So Lonely.” I recognized the colorful cover immediately when I came across the LP, and the band name certainly sounded familiar. A scan of the back cover told me that the album was produced by Phil Ramone and featured Liberty Devitto (from Billy Joel’s band) on drums, and that was all I needed to see.
“Sold for $1, to the idiot that’s been browsing through our garbage for two hours!”
Once I got my prize home and cued up “Just So Lonely,” I recognized the song immediately. A little googling told me that Get Wet performed the song on American Bandstand in the late spring of 1981, and I have no doubt that I saw that performance. I was a dedicated viewer of Casey’s AT40 TV show on Saturday mornings, and American Bandstand was always on right afterwards. This was before the advent of MTV, and that musical hour was required viewing for the little Analog Kid.
“Just So Lonely” peaked at #39 on the Billboard Hot 100 during the week of May 30, 1981. The band never had another Top 40 hit– in fact, they never even made another album. A little more googling turned up a crazy tidbit of cool information about Get Wet: main songwriter and keyboardist Zecca Esquibel spent time in Cherry Vanilla’s backing band in 1977-78. Cherry was invited to perform in London by manager Miles Copeland, where Zecca met (and played with) Miles’ brother Stewart and some fellow named Gordon Sumner.
Zecca and Gordon, circa 1977.
Hmmm…”Just So Lonely.” I wonder where Zecca happened to come up with the song title to his only Top 40 hit?
One other weird thing to ponder about Get Wet: as I mentioned earlier, the Get Wet album was produced by Phil Ramone. Ramone is perhaps best known for his work as Billy Joel’s producer. Is it merely a coincidence that Billy Joel’s 1983 album An Innocent Man— produced by Ramone, of course– contained a doo-wop sound eerily reminiscent of 1981’s Get Wet album? Another hmmm…
Note: if you’re saying to yourself, “Now wait a minute, Mr. Analog Kid. Why do you only have one song from Get Wet? You just told us that you bought the entire album.” Well, Timmy, that’s a great question and it shows that you’re really paying attention! The answer is actually quite simple. The record only cost $1 for a good reason– it was actually in pretty bad shape. It looked decent in the store, but one spin on my turntable revealed a tremendous amount of surface noise and pops. I was able to salvage a solid vinyl rip of “Just So Lonely,” but the rest of the record just wasn’t worth the time and effort. Perhaps someday I can find a better copy of “Get Wet”, and when I do I’ll be sure to share it with you!
Get Wet: “Just So Lonely”(Zecca)
From the album Get Wet
Boardwalk/CBS Records, 1981
Vinyl rip courtesy of The Analog Kid
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Billy Joel: “Uptown Girl” (Billy Joel)
From the album An Innocent Man
Columbia Records, 1983
The Police: “So Lonely” (Sting)
From the album Outlandos d’Amour
A&M Records, 1978
Cherry Vanilla: “Liverpool” (Cherry Vanilla)
From the album Bad Girl
RCA Records, 1978
The Police’s “So Lonely” is an all time favorite, but for years on my itunes I’ve been playing a tinny, thin sounding version I downloaded off a site in 2000 when I first learned about this magical thing called mp3. Your pristine vinyl rip is like hearing it for the first time! Wow.
Except for Sherri & Zecca the entire GET WET Band was Billy Joel’s back-up band at the time…