Let’s face facts: 45s are practically antiques, artifacts from another era. My nieces were in my apartment last week, and upon seeing a stack of singles, asked, “What are THOSE?” It’s a shame that the youth of today is missing out on the single greatest format for recorded music ever. The best song goes on the “A” side, the throwaway on the “B.” No fat, no filler. The format is all but dead now, reserved only for major-label vanity pressings, and otherwise kept alive by fans that double as indie label owners.
On this day in 1997, the Dictators recorded what not only might rank as their best track, but what might also stand as the last desert island tune to ever see release as a 45.
Since you asked, my top 5 45s ever would be, in no particular order:
1. She Loves You
2. Surfin’ Bird
3. Rockaway Beach
4. Glad All Over
5. Who Will Save Rock and Roll?
It’s still available from Norton Records (www.nortonrecords.com), in case you’ve worn your copy out. But if you bought 5 copies like I did, the go dust off your turntable, set the volume on stun, and spin it a dozen times in a row. It’s the American thing to do.
— Salvi C.