Record Machine: “I Don’t Wanna Be Around You” by The Innocence

Before flipping through my dad’s box of 45s, acquired mainly in his junior high years, I’d never heard of The Innocence. The “Kama Sutra Music” label is what first caught my attention. Listening to the “There’s Got to be a Word” single and its B-side, “I Don’t Wanna Be Around You,” provided no additional illumination.

The Innocence - I Don't Wanna Be Around You

“I Don’t Wanna Be Around You” has to be one the more upbeat-sounding tunes about heartache.

I don’t want to be around you anymore
Please, please don’t make me
Don’t smile and break me
apart

The person in question has “made a fool out of me,” but apparently that only warrants 1:50 of song-time. Really, you gotta admire the economy. There’s no guitar solo or endless moaning — just a short bit of pop music ready for the radio, should a DJ have decided to play the B-Side instead of the A.

The single, “There’s Got to be a Word,” is rather reminiscent of their chart-mates, The Monkees. The song sounds like a commercial jingle.

Crazy though it seems
I feel more than love

Originally called The Trade Winds, the band changed their name in 1966 to The Innocence and released only one eponymous LP before changing their name again in 1969 to Anders & Poncia. Perhaps the group’s most recent cultural footnote is being mentioned in a Season 5 episode of Mad Men, where Harry signs The Trade Winds. Commercial jingle, indeed.

I’m not overly in love with either song, but these oddball singles floating about in my inherited collection still make for interesting listening. My dad would have been only 11 years old when “There’s Got to be a Word” was released, and that is possibly the age most filled with pop music consumption. Then, the music nerds hit high school, and we start to be contrary and judgey. Some of us soften, some of us head into even more obscure musical territory, but we all have to start somewhere.

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Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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