Friday, January 31, 2014

Sire Records: My City Was Gone

As we continue our look at Sire Records, we also feature a flipside this Friday. “My City Was Gone” got enough album rock play that charted as an AOR hit at #11. Although it didn’t chart as high “Back on the Chain,” the “A” side peaked at #5 on the AOR charts and at #4 on the Hot 100.

In this 1984 flipside, Chrissie Hynde reflects on her the Ohio of her youth that somehow disappeared during her absence. The places she enjoyed frequenting in downtown Akron had been leveled and replaced by parking lots. The pristine countryside became crisscrossed with asphalt highways and the rich Ohio farmland was plowed over for shopping malls. Even the seminal North East Ohio music scene was overtaken by Muzak that played non-stop in these establishments. Although her childhood home was still standing, her family too was gone.

The tune’s working title was “Ohio”; however, Hynde felt there would be confusion with the Neil Young song about Kent State. “My City was Gone” appears only in the lyrics of the first verse.

Over the years, it has been used as the recognizable as the bumper music Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. As far as Limbaugh’s use, EMI (who holds the publishing rights) ordered that he cease and desist. Limbaugh obliged and stopped using it for a short time. Chrissie Hynde, however, did not mind that it was used on his show and performance royalties were negotiated. Hynde contributes these royalties in their entirety to PETA.

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