I found it curious to read your lists of top fives and see how many of you mentioned that the albums you chose were linked to important times or events in your life.

My number two pick for JoBeth Booksellers immediately brings to mind the four years I spent attending college in Texas.

I remember seeing the cassette (look it up kids. It used to be a word. And get off my damn lawn) for the first time in Tina Fey’s room.

I remember exactly how the tape case was cracked in the corner.

I remember hearing the first song while we sat on the dock on the lake one spring day enjoying the sun, water and friends.

I remember playing that tape over and over again while writing papers or driving home to Pittsburgh.

I remember Tina Fey’s friend Christy had a super old car that would at various unknown intervals chew up and then spit out a cassette tape so hard that the maimed mangled mess would land in the back seat where it would take its last gasping breath. This cassette wasn’t allowed in Christy’s car.

Fast forward to present day. Bloop-bloop-bloop.

Burghers, I cannot sing. At all. Like it’s a joke in my family how awful I sound. Screw waterboarding, can someone get me PittGirl to sing to these infidels? So it is a rare occasion that you’ll find me singing out loud. I’m a lip syncher. I’m selfless like that.

However, in my SUV, tearing down the Parkway, alone, there are certain songs that well, I don’t give a damn. The windows come down, I pull the hair band out of my hair and let the wind shake my curls out, I crank up the volume until I can actually feel my eardrums vibrating, and I sing out loud and strong and I do it with a smile on my face knowing how ridiculous I look and knowing that every dog in the tri-county area is reaching for a pointy object with which to puncture their own ear drums.

I’m that way with Martina McBride’s “Happy Girl”.

With Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”.

And I’m that way with every single stinking damn song on my number two pick, an album I discovered almost ten years after it was released:

2. Erasure, The Innocents.

Erasure is an English pop duo and I hope some of you have heard of them?

So listen, no, I mean really, listen. If I could take you and chain you down and force you to listen to any one album on my top five list, this would be the one.

Listen to Chains of Love.

Listen to Yahoo, my personal favorite. Yahoo! Ahhhh. Higher higher higher. Yahoo! Ahhhhh.

They just don’t write lyrics like that anymore. Heh.

Listen to Imagination.

And then you’ll know what to listen for when you’re driving down the Parkway wondering if PittGirl is on the road there with you. You’ll see that chick in the SUV with her hair a tangled Medusa-like mess screaming at the top of her lungs all “Come to me, cover me, hold me/together we’ll break these chains of love” and then you’ll take both of your hands off of your steering wheel to cover your ears and you’ll know.

That’s PittGirl.

And boy, she wasn’t kidding about her singing voice.


  1. back in the burgh
    August 19, 2008 8:03 am

    LOVE that tape (yes, tape … I still have the actual tape, I think!). Yes, it does link closely with some very fun times, but the songs are awesome … definitely some “I never sing out loud but I will to this” kind of songs. Great choice, PittGirl! I’m going to find a few of the others you’ve mentioned because you obviously have great taste!

  2. Christina
    August 19, 2008 8:13 am

    Actually, the first thing I thought when I saw the “Higher, higher, higher” clue yesterday, was the song “Yahoo” by Erasure. I thought there could be no way.

    Erasure is awesome. I got to see them live last summer at the True Colors Tour in Washington DC and it was one of the happiest/best concert experiences of my life. Dancing around with a sparkly, flashing tiara on my head while Andy Bell sang all of my favorite songs — nothing can ever top it.

  3. Questionable Taste Time!
    August 19, 2008 8:23 am

    That ya give me no, that you give me no, that you give me no, that you give me no SOOOOOoouuuullLLL…

    I lurve Erasure but I’m never brave enough to try and get people hooked on them, because it’s an acquired taste, I guess, and I don’t want to freak them out. I hope your recommendation gets some people hooked. :)

  4. Brother Anthony
    August 19, 2008 8:46 am

    In that picture they look like Truman Capote and Brett Favre.

  5. Stacey
    August 19, 2008 8:59 am

    Reminds me of dancing at Metropol! I love Erasure… now I have to go dig out my tape that I have somewhere… May be shopping on ebay later today for a copy…

  6. DPUTiger
    August 19, 2008 9:05 am

    LOVE that tape. I spent an entire summer listening to literally nothing but Erasure “The Innocents” and the A side of Bryan Adams “Reckless”

    I also clearly remember being … a bit shocked … after seeing Erasure in concert at Palumbo when I was in HS. Yeep!

  7. bucdaddy
    August 19, 2008 9:07 am

    “If I could take you and chain you down …”

    Excuse me a couple minutes, I have to clean my chair.

  8. gunnlino
    August 19, 2008 9:08 am

    You were actually tearing down the Parkway?
    As in going fast?
    On the parkway, really!

  9. pittgirl
    August 19, 2008 9:09 am

    HAH! Cute.

  10. the violet
    August 19, 2008 9:18 am

    OMG!!!!! I do the same! In fact, all weekend and even this morning I’ve been car dancing to Victim of Love! I can’t help but feel so gay (for lack of a better word) when I pull up next to someone with the windows down and Oh L’amore blaring, acting crazy. Awesome pick!!!!!!!

  11. Charlie
    August 19, 2008 9:31 am

    And…you get to hear Erasure in Scrubs!!

  12. Chris
    August 19, 2008 9:53 am

    LOVE Erasure!!! I’m the same dork when it comes to George Michael’s “Freedom.” Oh, and don’t forget the Alarm – loved that band – can’t go wrong with Welsh dudes with serious 80s hair :-)

  13. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    August 19, 2008 10:13 am


  14. LisaC
    August 19, 2008 10:31 am

    I have Chains of Love, Sometimes and A Little Respect on my iPod. LOVE ERASURE!!

  15. chrys
    August 19, 2008 12:30 pm

    ALso claiming Erasure as a favorite band. Reminds me of high school

    I absolutely loved the Smithereens too. The album from 1986 (in my case the tape..LOL) Especially for You is still one of my favorites. Love the song “Behind the Wall of Sleep.”

    Loved the band The Outfield!! And another favorite would be REM’s album Monster! That and The Smithereens are in the car..

  16. shouldbworking
    August 19, 2008 1:27 pm

    An ex-boyfriend of mine only listened to Erasure. That was the only thing he had going for him.

  17. scottie
    August 19, 2008 1:53 pm

    How about “I love to hate you”?

    “And the lovers that you sent for me
    Didn’t come with any satisfaction guarantee
    So I return them to the sender
    And the note attached will read
    How I love to hate you…

    I like to read murder mystery
    I like to know the killer isn’t me
    Love and hate what a beautiful combination
    Sending shivers make me quiver
    Feel it sliver up and down my spine”

  18. unsatisfied
    August 19, 2008 2:28 pm

    erasure? for me, not so much. but, I was really surprised to find 10 years ago that my sister was into them — totally not the type of band I thought she’d like. but, chicks dig ’em, I guess….

    @ chrys: the smithereens — AWESOME band. I got that same cassette in ’86 which I now have on cd — and, now, on my ipod. one of the truly underrated 80s bands — and GREAT in concert.

  19. Joe
    August 19, 2008 3:18 pm

    PG, some quick math puts you in college in the late 90s (The Innocents was released in 1988). So that would make you about 30. That sounds about right.

  20. Still A Fan
    August 19, 2008 6:09 pm

    i like their abba cover. i have some erasure on my ipod and i always have to explain myself if a co-op grabs my ipod to surf my music.