I purchased a nice receiver and turntable and speakers that stood about three feet high. Truth be told, this was far too much power for my modest living quarters, but I was a young man addicted to fast, loud Rock 'N' Roll, and I wanted to have that capability to turn it up to eleven and blow my roof into the next county! And that I could do.
Back in those late-1970s/early-'80s years, whenever a friend came over and I wanted to show him or her how great my stereo sounded, I would invariably put on my 'MOONFLOWER' album by Santana and play the song 'SHE'S NOT THERE'.
I felt the song 'She's Not There' had a great range of sonic textures and then really seemed impressive when Carlos Santana would make that electric guitar scream like a wildcat through my 3-feet high speakers.
In 1987 or '88, I made the switch to compact discs and gradually sold off my LPs, replacing some (but not all) of them on CD.
At first, I just played my CDs on a very small, portable, nonimpressive-sounding player. Eventually I purchased one or more "boombox" type CD players and these sufficed for quite a long time, as I was no longer the 15-year-old who needed to hear everything cranked up to eleven.
Then in 2002, I took the plunge and bought a Bose CD player / radio. I thought it sounded fantastic. In fact, I thought it sounded as good as my old stereo system ever did, except for the fact that the speakers couldn't be separated into opposite ends of the room by long wires.
In 2007, I had a handyman working at my house for a couple weeks, doing some painting, cabinet refurbishing, etc. One day he noticed my Bose unit sitting on a shelf. He said he'd often thought of looking into getting one and asked me what I thought of the sound. So I told Mr. Handyman I would play something for him so he could decide on the sound quality for himself.
Well, I no longer owned Santana's 'Moonflower' album (nor was I interested in owning it again). But I did have a copy of the 'ENDLESS SUMMER II' movie soundtrack by Gary Hoey on compact disc. (Hoey? Who he?) By the way, it's a super-cool movie, too!
I put the Gary Hoey soundtrack album into the player. Although I truly dig every track on that disc, my very favorite is 'SURFDOGGIN'' because of the tremendous dexterity and cleanness of Hoey's playing, and the hybrid musical concoction he had created. To this day I don't know exactly how to describe 'Surfdoggin'', other than to say it strikes me as a sort of cross between Bluegrass and Surf Guitar. It's fabulous!
However, wanting to give Mr. Handyman a good taste of how loud the Bose can play without degrading into music-destroying distortion, and wanting him to hear the crispness of the slicin' 'n' dicin' guitar and the inescapable brain-pounding drums throughout, I put on the first track, 'RIPTIDE', and turned it up to
Cats died, babies cried, women screamed, and manly men ducked for cover!
I'm pretty sure Mr. Handyman purchased a Bose CD player of his own shortly afterwards, because while 'RIPTIDE' was playing he just looked at me wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open.
Sadly, I did not feel I got my money's worth out of the Bose player because after owning it for only 5 to 6 years, the CD player stopped working, and I just don't listen to radio much.
I was not inclined to purchase another Bose player again, despite the excellent sound from such a small desktop unit. But last month I learned that Bose was offering new CD players for a little over half-price on a trade-in of an older unit, working or not. So I decided to give Bose one more chance, and I have a silver front-loading model sitting atop one of my bookcases now.
I am a huge fan of Western films. In fact, I've seen well over 200 of them, and as you might guess, the Western is my very favorite of all movie genres.
Without question, amongst my Top Ten Favorite Western Movies Of All Time is the sprawling Sergio Leone classic 'ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST', the best "Spaghetti" Western ever made, and I don't give a Hoot Gibson who says differently. In my opinion, even the music was the best that Ennio Morricone ever composed for a Western (even though this movie is more of an American-made "Spaghetti" Western).
'ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST' ('OUATITW') includes that fantabulous crane shot early in the film - a shot that you may have seen parodied a number of times in a number of places, even if you were not aware of the original. I seem to recall seeing it mimicked in cartoon format once on an episode of 'The Simpsons'. But the real deal can be seen HERE.
I own the 'OUATITW' soundtrack also and play it far more often than one might expect. It's loaded with highly interesting musical compositions and snippets of soundscapes that really evoke a sense of the dusty, dangerous, wild West.
I recall one particular road trip I made to Las Vegas when I had the 'OUATITW' soundtrack playing in my car and glancing to my left, I saw a train rumbling through the dusty, desolate Arizona desert. It was the perfect music for that image; a flawless example of what I call "Congrutiating".
A few days after acquiring my new Bose compact disc player, I got the idea to find out how one of my very favorite instrumentals from the 'ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST' soundtrack would sound through the Bose "Wave" sound system. So I put the disc in, forwarded it to Track #2, 'AS A JUDGMENT', and cranked that bad boy up to about 63. HOKEY-SMOKE & HOO-WEE! You wanna yak about "Heavy Metal"? This is IT!
If you're looking for a great Western movie, you could do a lot worse - I mean, a LOT worse! - than 'ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST'. And if you're looking for a truly memorable music-listening experience, you couldn't do much better than 'AS A JUDGMENT' as heard through one of the new Bose CD players!
By the way, this was definitely NOT an advertisement - paid or otherwise - for Bose products. I'm waiting to see how long this new unit lasts before I recommend Bose again to anyone else. But I just wanted to inform ya about a cool movie and its cool soundtrack, and to let you know why I seem to be suffering from hearing loss.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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