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Old 05-16-2020, 03:32 PM
Anny Middon is offline
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Music you bought because you heard it (or heard of it) in an unlikely place


MeTV has a commercial for their line-up of classic Westerns that features a woman singing something like, "Everybody's got their weapons drawn/Darling, darling/You're in the Wild West."

I like the song, but research shows it's not actually an entire song, but rather a promotional piece. It got me thinking though of times when I bought an album because I heard a song in an unlikely place.

I mean, I think we've all had times when they played a song on the radio, or a friend played a song on the stereo, and we liked it so much we bought it. Also times when a trusted music critic wrote about a song that sounded like something we'd like. But how about other ways of discovering a piece of music?

For example, years ago there was a commercial for cereal (Cheerios, I think) that featured a rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" that I really liked. It took some research but I found out it was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" by Israel Kamikawiwo'ole (may he rest in peace). I'd never heard of him before (I'm often quite out of it), but I bought the album and still love it.

Another time, I was reading a book by Jennifer Crusie (her books are a lot of fun). At one point the protagonist and her niece were riding in her truck, singing "Us Amazonians" by Kirsty MacColl (may she rest in peace). I'd never heard of MacColl before (again, out of it) but I bought the album and love it.

So what music have you heard (or heard of) in an unusual place and bought the album?
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:25 PM
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I miss Tower Records and the new and eclectic music they would play. I made many an impulse buy. In my opinion, we are poorer as a music listening peoples without places like Tower.
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:37 PM
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I learned of Jessy Bulbo from the Grand Theft Auto 5 soundtrack. This is one of the coolest songs in the game, and there are lots of cool songs in that game!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSaN3KbyH6g
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot View Post
I learned of Jessy Bulbo from the Grand Theft Auto 5 soundtrack. This is one of the coolest songs in the game, and there are lots of cool songs in that game!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSaN3KbyH6g
This reminds me of Monster Magnets See You in Hell from Fallout 4. Dark and hooky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYiU8mO4g1M
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:53 PM
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The Last Temptation of Christ, boring movie but saw the soundtrack was by Peter Gabriel and bought it. Not music you’d play at a party but quite interesting.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:25 PM
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One from me, and one from my wife:

I work in advertising. About a decade ago, our creative team had put together a concept for a TV ad for our client (a health insurance company), with a neat piece of music as a temporary soundtrack. I asked the ad's writer about it, and he told me it was a song by Interpol, "Hands Away." I went out and bought the CD to get this particular song.

In the late '80s, before my wife and I got together, she was living with her dad in Florida. She heard a song on an ad for Publix supermarkets which she liked, and somehow managed to track down that it was a song by the Pat Metheny Group, "Last Train Home." She, too, bought the CD for that song.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:53 PM
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Twenty years ago, we were driving from Dublin to Cork with our little kids (9 and 4), listening to the local radio. On came a sprightly Irish trad piece, played on PIANO. Ukulele Lady and I said “My god, this is great!”

Passing through Cork, we headed up the west coast, constantly asking about this musician...Padraig SOMETHING. From county Clare. Everyone was “Irish trad on PIANO? It don’t happen.”

We had to drive back from Sligo to Dublin to fly back to NYC, and we found time to hit a local Tower (or similar record shop) and scored the last CD by Padraig, with the piece we heard as the opener.

Most of my CDs are down in the basement now. If Yojimbo or another Irishman music lover can identify this piano guy, great. Otherwise, I’ll go down and burrow around.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:46 PM
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On my honeymoon in Jamaica, I kept hearing a song blasting in the streets, and finally found a place that could sell me the album. The song was Sean Paul, "Infiltrate," and the album was No Fear 2 Hard, which has a number of artists (including Beenie Man) singing over the same couple of rhythm tracks.

I was in a strange little shop near Kilauea Light--unclear if it was mostly selling cushions and cushion covers, or plants, or arty little things. They were playing a song that sounded like weird reinterpreted lounge music, so I bought the CD, Don Tiki Adultrated, a remix album.

I love and don't really understand both albums.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:50 PM
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Not really an unusual place....the record store was playing it...but Buckshot laFonque wasn't my usual fare, but I was impressed enough to purchase it on the spot.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:51 AM
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Back when Craig Kilbourne was still doing his show after Letterman (I think it was), he started talking about this British singer, and how he'd finally learned who she was, and she was going to be on the show in a few weeks time. So he had a timer at the bottom of the screen for when Dido was going to be on the show. He played a snippet of one of her songs, and I was transfixed by her voice. I went out and bought her CD that next day.

I got into Ben Folds because I'm a huge Counting Crows fan, and a line in one of their songs mentions Ben ("got nowhere left but home to go...got Ben Folds on my radio right now"), so I had to give him a listen.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:46 AM
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In rural Tennessee there is a yearly festival - RC-Moon Pie Festival. They have crafts and a stage for different acts. It's basically celebrating old-time/rural stuff.
One of the acts did a dance to I Don't Feel Like Dancin' by the Scissor Sisters. I wonder how many of the conservative country people knew the song, the artist, and what the group is named after.

I hadn't heard the song before, but I liked it and bought it.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:31 AM
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On So You Think You Can Dance one season Hosier's Like Real People Do was used. I bought the cd.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:03 AM
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I was walking past a music store in Lisbon, Portugal in 1993 and heard "What's Up?" playing through the open doorway. I literally stopped dead in my tracks, listened for a moment, then went in a bought the CD. Linda Perry just has one of those powerful voices that demands your attention.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitap View Post
On So You Think You Can Dance one season Hosier's Like Real People Do was used. I bought the cd.
I picked up Roisin Murphy for that exact reason.

Went to the local Renn Faire where Sirena was performing. Grabbed most of their stuff off Amazon Prime Music, but sprang for a CD as well.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:41 PM
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I was 16, it was 1977 and I was reading Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, and it mentioned the Mars, The Bringer of War by Holst being used as the planetary anthem and I had never heard it before so I went to a record store [Buzzo's in Geneseo NY] and bought the Tomita version. It is a funky synthesied/sampled version. I also later bought the London Philharmonic version to hear the 'regular' orchesteral version. I have to admit, I prefer Tomita's version. I actually have a fair selection of Tomita [love his version of teh Firebird Suite] I had them on vinyl, but ended up rebuying them on CD later. No longer have the vinyl.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:55 PM
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Caught a bit of the tune from the ads and liked them enough to seek them out.

Joy Zipper (Cigna) https://www.ispot.tv/ad/7LWQ/cigna-go-you-costumes

Alex Clare (Internet Explorer 9) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOaE4MV5IcM

Dirty Vegas (Mitsubishi) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH0zWrDi6GA

LMFAO (Kia): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg-aMDXzu8c

Fun (Taco Bell): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEm2cMi5Lag
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:46 PM
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I was in a Barnes and Noble and the music they were piping in caught my ear so I shazammed it - it was Tillery by Becca Stevens Band. Bought their albums, became a big fan. They're NYC based, so I saw them a couple of times.

A few years ago I watched a spate of European supernatural/science fiction series on Netflix - The Rain, Dark, The Innocents - the soundtracks had songs by Feist, Eefje de Visser and Agnes Obel. I think I bought all their albums. Great stuff, even though Eefje de Visser sings in Dutch exclusively.

A little research into a Volkswagen commercial yielded Y Desacher by Argentinian rocker Marilina Bertoldi.

A query on this very board identified a song that made me grin while grocery shopping - Runaways by Janet Jackson
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:30 PM
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About a year ago I was in the Tower Records in Tokyo when a Japanese song started playing. It sounded really good, so I bought it even though I never heard of the artist and I don’t speak Japanese. I was very happy with the purchase.

The artist was Daoko.
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Last edited by suranyi; 05-18-2020 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:04 PM
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I first heard the group Material when The Sopranos used their piece Seven Souls for the opening montage of season 6, possibly the most unlikely music for a gangster show ever (especially with a narration by William Burroughs). I got the album and love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
I miss Tower Records and the new and eclectic music they would play. I made many an impulse buy. In my opinion, we are poorer as a music listening peoples without places like Tower.
I recall hearing Lua Soberana from Sergio Mendes album Brasiliero at Tower Records in 1992, and immediately getting the record. Mendes had been passe in the US for some years at that point and I wouldn't have heard it otherwise. I made dozens of impulse buys there. I miss it a great deal.

Last edited by Colibri; 05-18-2020 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:35 PM
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Ah, Tower records--I bought The Cramps' Psychedelic Jungle because they were playing it while I was browsing and I couldn't stop dancing. I miss Tower.

The Sopranos used a track from Alabama 3 as the theme music and I went scouting for the band and discovered that's the least of their songs. Love those guys.

It used to be WAY more of a challenge to track down music before the internet made it simple. The movie Subway Stories used Los Lobos' Everybody Loves A Train and that was a real bitch to find but it remains one of my favorite songs to this day. I found Morphine's Murder For The Money in the movie Wild Things then discovered that Mark Sandman was the vocalist for Treat Her Right as well, and I had the cassette tape of their first album I bought on a whim back when it first came out, years previous. Amores Perros introduced me to Control Machete. IMDB sure makes it easy to find music from movies and TV shows, I must say.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
I recall hearing Lua Soberana from Sergio Mendes album Brasiliero at Tower Records in 1992, and immediately getting the record. Mendes had been passe in the US for some years at that point and I wouldn't have heard it otherwise. I made dozens of impulse buys there. I miss it a great deal.
Pretty much the same experience, only it was at (I think) Borders Books. I walked into the store and Brasileiro was playing. I was studying Portuguese at the time with Brazilian instructors, but nobody can hear that album and not be swept up by it. I was so surprised by it, as well, because like you say, Mendes has been around since Brasil 66 was his group and they were mostly covering American pop hits. Brasileiro is a total departure from that sort of thing.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:14 PM
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I was watching Larry Wilmore's The Nightly Show (RIP) and one of the guests was a rapper/personality named Action Bronson. I was curious to see what this dude's music sounded like so I checked out some tracks on YouTube. One of his tracks is "Baby Blue." I watched the video and thought it was a pretty good song. There was a feature in the middle that I thought was the funniest break I'd heard in a long time, and I loved his style (3:30 in the linked video if you're interested). The artist was Chance The Rapper. I immediately checked out all of Chance's stuff on YouTube, and downloaded everything I could. All his music was free at the time (still is if you're interested). Eventually he released a studio I could pay for, and did a show in Cleveland I could pay for. And I did. I'm obsessed with the dude!

So, thanks to a random guy being on a random show, I found one of my favorite artists (who was neither guy).

I've found a lot of good music via Stephen Colbert, both on The Colbert Report and Late Night. Lizzo, Vince Staples, Ok Go, Movits! to name a few. I usually give artists on his shows and on SNL a try.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:24 AM
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In the early 2000s, I was watching a cop show or movie on TV which had a scene set in a dance club. The song being played grabbed me immediately: "This is so frickin' cool!" I'd only heard a fairly short snippet, so it took me the longest time to determine it was by Depeche Mode. I eventually found "It's No Good" on the Ultra LP.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stpaq27-V70

A song in a Mitsubishi ad caught my ear. Eventually tracked down "Breathe" by Telepopmusik.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyut3GyQtn0

Saw this TV ad by Volkswagen back in the day:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSEnzs8AocY

Young guy is racing through the (Irish?) countryside to get to a wedding and try to stop the love of his life from marrying some other guy. Very dramatic and memorable ad, with haunting music. It's called "One Million Miles Away" by J. Ralph.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7veONcwvjVk

Last edited by LLCoolL; 05-19-2020 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:46 AM
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Heard Island in the Sun by Weezer on the muzak of a bank in the mid-2000s. This was unusual since in-store music was in the middle of transitioning from catering to Boomers to the X-ennials and millenials (I guess we older X'ers were written off as a lost cause) because they knew they would need to eventually. This was also before you could easily search for music you heard anywhere.

I only heard it five years later in a game store and recognized it as the same song I heard in the bank, and this time did find out who it was by.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:52 AM
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Not exactly unusual, but... I only bought one artist's music because I saw them on the Tonight Show, and that was k.d. lang in 1986. She made an impression.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:48 AM
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Stumbled across this video of an Oklahoma ghost town. "Down to the River" by The Cadillac Black.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSKX1GOGgck
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:00 PM
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I was on deployment to Guam in 1978, sitting in my room and reading, when I heard guitar music. It was insistent enough that I put down my book and opened my door. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and went down the hall to the room it was coming from and asked the guy "Who the hell is THAT?" Well, it was Al Di Meola and Paco de Lucia tearing it up on the Elegant Gypsy album. An amazing fusion of jazz and rock, with some flamenco thrown in. I asked him to make me a copy and I wore out that cassette.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:04 PM
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Ha, I was just going to post how I've purchased a few albums after hearing one of the songs in an ad, and I that was one of the ones I bought as well. I bought the entire album The Heartlight Set, partly to support the band, and partly on the idea that if I like one of their songs there's a good chance I'll like others.

Besides that one, I've also bought Shiny Toy Guns' cover of "Burning For You" after it was used in a Lincoln ad. (that time I just bought the one song).

I also bought Freezepop's album Future Future Future Perfect after hearing them on NPR. That's probably not all that unusual, but the reason they were on NPR was to talk about how they experienced a sudden rise in popularity after one of their songs was included in Guitar Hero.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 05-19-2020 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:32 PM
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I first heard The Ramones, Frank Zappa, The B-52s, Devo and Weird Al on Dr. Demento. The last two were several years before getting a record deal. In Al's case sending in tapes; In Devo's case sending in copies of their first indie singles.

I learned about Big Star/Alex Chilton from the Replacements' song "Alex Chilton".

I discovered Southern Culture on the Skids after "Camel Walk" was featured over the end credits of the indie comedy "Flirting With Disaster".

When I was a kid, a garage/punk band named The Weasels was renting the house on the corner. Us youngsters would hang out and chat while they were rehearsing. One day in 1977 they told us they were going to be playing in a club on the Sunset Strip up in Hollywood. They were going to play before some band called Van Halen. About a year later, VH's cover of "You Really Got Me" exploded all over the radio. "Hey, that's the band The Weasels played with!"
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