"Agony" can be found on many of those oldies compilation CDs covered with drawings of lowriders, crying clowns, Latinas in Jessica Rabbit dresses and various other images you may find across the average Mexican Mafia member's chest. Mildly acclaimed LA rapper Defari's nod on '98's "Keep It On The Rise" ("I like the oldies / like 'Agony & Ecstasy' by Smokey") is 90% of the reason I half care about him. I forget the circumstances under which this song got lodged in me, but I recall a crisp winter and whisky in the morning. It's about accepting a fucked-up situation, it's an affirmation of an immutable law of love, and it always seems to come on just when you're dancing with someone you have no business dancing with and that's how you know you're getting older.

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