Just one day remains before I receive some well-deserved time off.
There are any number of ways to celebrate breaking the chains of societal demands and I'm sure I'll imbibe in all of them -- food, booze, babes (well, one babe) -- in the week to come.
But as for right now, it's quite simple:
I wanna rock.
Recently, I received a sizable chunk of the 1991 Pro Set SuperStars MusiCards series from The Writer's Journey. I've made no secret of my love for music trading cards -- I wish there were more of them, there should be more of them (and if there were more of them this would be a baseball blog no more) -- and lately have been focusing more on finding them.
One of the easiest sets to find is the 1991 Pro Set ... uh, set (stupid Pro Set and its stupid name). And it is my goal to complete it fairly quickly. I will be posting a want list just as soon I can figure out what I received from J.T. here.
I bought a number of MusiCards ... uh, cards (sheesh) in 1991 because it was 1991. That's what people did in 1991: buy cards. The local drug store shelves were like nothing you see today. They were filled with card product. Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Score, Upper Deck, Bowman and Pro Set's many dabblings in several areas of entertainment, NFL, NHL and nonsports.
I liked the look of the MusiCards and I especially liked the selection. Pro Set really tried to cover the spectrum of the music scene. The set of 340 cards is broken up into Legends, Pop, R&B/Rap, Rock and some old-school psychedelic posters. The design is color-coded, too, with gold for legends, light green and pink for pop (yes, this is the early '90s), green and purple for R&B and pink and black for rock.
I've already gone on far too much for a set that is almost as ubiquitous as 1991 Donruss, but, man, music is more of my life than baseball, so you'll have to suffer through this.
Let's start with the beginning and a Legends card.
The legends are who you would expect: Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, the Allman Brothers, etc.
My selection of Jefferson Airplane is related to my fascination with the band. Due to many changes in the band lineup (and many band name changes), it went from "White Rabbit" to "We Built This City" with a stop over at "Count On Me". Listening to the queen of '60s psychedelia, Grace Slick, sing "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" from the Mannequin soundtrack will never stop blowing my mind. The weird thing is, I like it all. (P.S.: "Winds of Change" is awesome and very '80s).
Part of me wishes the set wasn't numbered by genre, as musicians really dislike categorization, but that could be a little jarring to view. You get a bit of an idea when the card numbers turn over from Legends to Pop. Card No. 25 is Led Zeppelin. Card No. 26 is Paula Abdul.
Because it's 1991, the set is heavy on who was popular in 1991. Paula Abdul, head over heels for MC Skat Kat at this time, appears on multiple cards. So does Debbie Gibson (I still can't figure out how she got on the radio). So does Madonna. And Janet Jackson.
Rob Van Winkle.
This is a definite disadvantage of the set. But with such a wide-range of musical acts, I'm willing to take the good with the bad and I'm having a great time going through some of the groups and singers forgotten by the public at large but not by me.
Alannah Myles is in this set because of "Black Velvet," and is known as a one-hit wonder in the U.S., although she generated a few more hits in her native Canada. Another tremendous singer who was victimized a bit by formulaic recording, but "Rockinghorse" still kills.
For me, the set is a little bit thin on alternative acts, which is too bad because that's where my musical interests resided from the late 1980s into the '90s. Nothing from the Cure, Love and Rockets, Tears for Fears or New Order. Too bad.
Morrissey helps a bit. There is also a Sonic Youth card.
I tried to get into them. Bought one of their albums during my '93 alternative phase. Just couldn't handle it -- after many listenings it was just too much noise -- and went back to the Smashing Pumpkins and the like.
Let's take a look at some of the rock cards:
Kind of all over the board there. A Buckingham-less Fleetwood Mac. A bespectacled Idol.
For me, Soundgarden is the undisputed king of the grunge era. Nobody did it better than Chris Cornell. Then you plummet all the way down to Europe. You may be sick of "The Final Countdown" and I understand completely, but every time I hear that song, that's three minutes-and-whatever that I'm not hearing that other song, possibly the worst thing ever: "Carrie". If I was a girl named Carrie, I'd change my name instantly for fear some guy would come at me with that song.
Too absolute legends. The Legends cards, for the most part, cover a period before my time. I was a little kid when Hendrix and Page were doing their thing. My legends are people like Petty and Chrissie Hynde. These cards need some gold on them.
This is why I like this set, why I like music trading cards in general. How cool is it to have a card of U2? I don't get that feeling when I pull a card of Mike Trout. I don't. U2 and many musicians are on a whole other level.
The rock portion of the set gets weighed down with too many hair bands, most of which I had no idea existed. (Trouble, Lord Tracy, Vio-lence). You see all that "who?" and you get a bit miffed there's no card of Heart or Rush.
Just a few more of these:
If I were you, I'd take pre-caushuuuuuuuunnns.
(Also, thank goodness there's only one Richard Marx card).
Here are four examples of the concert posters (I mis-cropped the right side). The fonts used for the posters are virtually unreadable but I selected four that you can make out.
Going through these cards has been a great time and I'm not sorry to say it's a much better time than going through the latest baseball card sets on the shelves, even something like Stadium Club (which may be at my nearest big box stores right now, but I have no inclination whatsoever).
The Pro Set MusiCards also produced a set in the United Kingdom in 1991. The set is smaller, but features lots of notable artists who aren't in the U.S. set (the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Annie Lennox, for example). I've already got my eyes on a box of UKs because I want all of the cards that are offered.
So if you have any extra of these lying around and they're on my want list, let me know.
And if you're wondering where the baseball cards are, here you go:
Everybody's talking all this stuff about me, why don't they just let me live.