Back before streaming services allowed everyone to just build their own definitive genre-or-era-defining playlists, there was what was apparently a lucrative business curating and selling mixtapes to suckers who had way too much money on their hands. These mixtapes were advertised in long commercials on late night cable with cheesy, theme-appropriate imagery accompanying a scrolling sampling of all of the songs included on the compilation. Most of these were pretty stale efforts, but some were cheesy enough to be memorable. Case in point: Groovin’.
Groovin’ brought the best hippie anthems of the ’60s and ’70s back into your living room, where you could recreate a mellow freakout that absolutely never really happened for you. The setup: a yuppie shows up to his grey-haired hippie friend’s house, and is confused by this great music that he’s got on. Hippie friend exclaims that there is no other music than this. Strong take!
The song selection – that intersection between “most well known” and “cheapest to license” – rolls through as our aging hippies dance and relax. “Bend Me, Shape Me” plays over an awkward game of Twister. “Vehicle” sees our friends doing a Monkees-style walk. “Eli’s Coming” fuels a makeout in the corner.
The true irony, of course, is that this commercial targets the yuppie and not the hippie. The evidence? The price.
Those two CDs would cost 45 2020 dollars! That’s three months of Spotify.
Enjoy your trip!