Song Review: Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand

“I’ve been downhearted, baby, ever since the day we met.”

The song Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand is an excellent example of one of the dirtiest tricks the record industry played on us music-hungry fans: find an artist with a quirky, catchy song, have him or her record it (with a record producer’s finesse), then fill the rest of the CD/Album with his real talent, no talent at all.

I loved this song when it came out, and that’s no small compliment in the midst of one of the most creative, liberating, and musical periods – the mid-1990s – in entertainment. I heard it on the radio, which, of course, is much less likely today in the age of streaming.

I remember riding somewhere with a fellow newspaper staff member. When this song came on, I told him I liked it, and he added, “This guy is that one-man band.”

This song is moody, has thought-provoking lyrics, and has some edgy elements added to it, especially the church bell (or whatever bell) in the background offbeat. The beat and the doot-doos invite you to bob your head slightly when it’s playing, and even play it again once its done.

So I own a CD for this song, filled elsewhere with filler, songs that bring to a sharp point why we have one-hit wonders: talent is chance, success is chance, commerce is chance.

When I got this challenge, I grabbed the CD, which I bought when it came out, and put it in my car's CD slot, displacing the legendary Switched-On Bach.
When I got this challenge, I grabbed the CD, which I bought when it came out, and put it in my car’s CD slot, displacing the legendary Switched-On Bach.

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