Gordon turns to his employee, Dick (Todd Louiso) and whispers "I will now sell five copies of The Three E.P.'s by The Beta Band." "Do it," replies Dick, with gravitas. He does, and the album's first track, "Dry the Rain," begins to play over the store's system. As it does so, Rob surveys the store, waiting for (and clearly expecting) a reaction from his clientele. He waits.
(It should be noted that when the song begins, its opening sequence is truncated. The portion of that is first heard is actually several moments into the song, rather than its initial beginning.).
Sure enough, the customers react.
One man, who is grooving to the music, asks Rob, "Who is that?"
"The Beta Band," Rob replies.
"It's good," says the customer.
"I know," says Rob, very sure of himself.
I remember seeing this scene in 2000 and being driven to investigate The Beta Band, a group about which I knew little, if anything, at the time. Sometime thereafter, I found myself at San Antonio's Hogwild Records, where I picked up a copy of The Three E.P.'s, which I remember wearing out at that time. A fine album, actually, and "Dry the Rain" does indeed provoke the same sort of reaction depicted in the film when first heard by an unsuspecting listener. Several years later, when I began frequently downloading music from the iTunes Store, I would also acquire the band's 1999 self titled album and their 2001 record, Hot Shots II (which Wikipedia alerts me know to confuse with the 1993 film, Hot Shots! Part Deux). Apparently now defunct, the band would release one more record in 2004 before calling it quits.
It's actually unusual in a film for a character to pick up a copy of a compact disc, mention both its title and artist, and the play a song from the referenced album. Here, Gordon does just that, which allows the viewer to later track down the song far more easily. (Remember, this was in the days before Shazam.). "Dry the Rain" would also appear on the film's soundtrack.
Below, you'll find a clip from High Fidelity, which includes the above referenced scene (as well as a scene featuring a discussion of Stiff Little Fingers to be discussed later this week).