Rediscovering obscure old songs from your youth

For some reason, the phrase “traffic city, what a pity” popped into my head this evening, and I wondered if it might be from a song. And guess what? I was right! I probably hadn’t heard this in 30 years.

It’s from Styx’ first album, and at 13 minutes, it goes without saying that it’s rather, ahem, proggy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NBZTkPxWek

I love that song, but occasionally I wonder, even in the world of Dylan’s imagination, what’s a souvenir stand doing by an old abandoned factory? They’d probably go days in between customers!

“Not Alone Anymore” is another of my favorites from that album. The album as a whole makes me think that Orbison would have been much better as an integral part of a combo, rather than a solo artist. Kinda like the way the Beatles were all better as Beatles than as solo artists.

Since there’s been some discussion of versions of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” in this thread, here’s Beethoven’s Wig:
*
Here’s a piece that’s quite perverse 

It’s the same every verse

So for better or for worse 

We’ve 17 to go *

I’ve seen both TM and Kristen Hersh many times. They are not to be seen for any sort of stage presence or dynamics. They pump great music out of the amps, but are otherwise motionless at the mic stands.

For the OP, I’ve been diving back into Grant Lee Buffalo who I was a little bit aware of and liked back in the 90s but got distracted by different music at the time.

Perhaps not really obscure but still…

A few months ago, as I was leaving the supermarket, I heard a soft piano melody on the radio that immediately rang a very distant bell. I know that song. 1980s for sure. The verse was familiar, too but I still couldn’t quite place it. And then the epic chorus blasted out and I was completely transfixed.

I loved, loved, loved that song when I was a kid, but I’m certain I hadn’t heard it in… decades, really. As soon as I got back home, I played it on youtube 2-3 times, something that I never do.

That was a weirdly bittersweet feeling.

Great thread & topic. As I’ve gotten older (I’m in my late 40’s), this happens more & more often. Two specific examples in the past year:

-I’m a huge cinephile, and recently watched a great & underrated Australian movie called Little Fish (2005). It stars Cate Blanchett as a woman in her 30’s who is re-evaluating her life & dealing with the after-effects of some bad decisions she made when she was younger. Great indy film, and at one point she hears the song “Flame Trees” being sung by a group of children. When I heard this song, it stirred my memory of hearing the original song back in the mid-late '80’s, on the radio. The song was originally sung/composed by the Australian pop group Cold Chisel. I’m in the U.S., and don’t remember hearing it that much here, but I guess it made a huge splash in Australia at the time. Prior to seeing this movie, I hadn’t heard (or thought) about the song in 30+ years. In any case, I actually prefer the version from the film better - I find it to be much more haunting & melancholy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyQSsuNe-Bk

-I also recently watched Super Dark Times (2017), a very disturbing film about a crime committed by some teens growing up in the 1990’s. During a party scene in the film, in the background you could hear the song “Standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my hand” by “Primitive Radio Gods”. Great song & one that was all over the radio back in '96. However, I hadn’t thought about this in years, until this film.

To add to my last post:

-I was surfing the 'Net a couple of years ago, and came across a song from my youth, “Self Control” by the late Laura Branigan. I remembered hearing the song on the radio back in the '80’s, but hadn’t thought about this in years. In any case, I ended up seeing the video on YouTube (for the very first time), and found it haunting & creepy. Great stuff here, and IMHO Self Control was Branigan’s best song. She was truly gorgeous back in the day, and could really dance :wink:

How about:

Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba

Israelites by Desmond Dekker

I Love Onions by Susan Christie

Not exactly from my very young youth, but Dutch band Urban Dance Squad was fairly obscure in the U.S. in the 90s (this song rose to #22 on Billboard Hot 100) and I don’t remember it at all. My son finds obscure bands/songs that I like and happened across this one. You can really hear the influences and commonalities with more popular bands of the era, specifically Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Color and Rage Against the Machine. Their video Fast Lane has cameos of LA artists Henry Rollins, Mike Muir, and Flea. It looks like Ice T is also in it holding Malcolm X’s autobiography and a gun, but I can’t confirm. That song was apparently in the movie Pump Up The Volume, but it wasn’t on the soundtrack that I had.

I did not know Laura Branigan had died. 47 is way too young. :frowning:

Anyway, my favorite LB story is this one: I was in an aerobic dance class and the instructor said that our next routine would be to “Gloria”. My first thought was, “U2? Cool!” and then realized that it was the Branigan song of the same name. :o

Here’s the U2 song. It does have a good beat, but most people would have a hard time dancing to it.

And the Laura Branigan song.

These songs take me back to 1975–77, a pretty eventful time in my life:

Hurricane Smith, “What Would You Say?” (Yes, the one Frasier sang)

The Carpenters, "Only Yesterday"
Roger Whittaker, "The Last Farewell"
Lynsey Paul, "No, Honestly"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz06eCFF-oI

The Carpenters, “Top of the World”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-gDWnzs4Kc

John Denver, “Back Home Again”

Don McLean, "Wonderful Baby"
Orleans, "Dance with Me"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-IXJLgRnvs

Johnny Burnette, “You’re Sixteen”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wjy-OMIyXbg

The Three Degrees, “When Will I See You Again?”

Janis Ian, "At Seventeen"
John Denver, "I'm Sorry"
Twiggy, "Here I Go Again"
Sunny, "Maybe in the Morning"
Hi, Gina! :o

Sorry, no “in.” My mistake. :smack:

This is a fun thread to read thru, but I don’t know what I can contribute as far as myself rediscovering any music from my youth because I still own all the music that I’ve ever bought (and I buy a lot of music). I’ve been buying records for myself since I was about 7 or 8 years old. Hell, I still have this 45; I’ve been rocking out to that song for 51 years now.

[quote=“nearwildheaven, post:110, topic:737234”]

And the Laura Branigan song.

[/QUOTE]

I didn’t know she had covered it. I’m much more familiar with Umberto Tozzi’s original (I’ve always loved the transition to minor at 0:50).

This reminds me that Italian songs were (coincidentally, another lovely chord change at 0:50) quite popular here in the late-70s to mid-80s.

These are all among my earliest childhood musical memories and I love to listen to them from time to time.

Does anyone remember this song? Takes me back 20 years, to when I was working on the radio (though I wouldn’t say my 40s were my “youth”):

“Louise,” by The Human League.

I absolutely love this song! :o

When I was six years old (1973) the local radio station would play the song Singin’ in the Kitchen a couple times a day. I loved that song! I googled it not long ago and discovered it was performed by Bobby Bare with his family. Ah, the good ol’ days. :wink:

When I was 16 I would play guitar with a friend of mine. He played 6 string and I played bass. He was much more skilled than me, and he would teach me how to play rock songs. One of the songs was by the Japanese band Loudness. It was a great song, but for the longest time I couldn’t find it because I forgot what the title was. After much searching I found it a couple years ago: Mr. Yes Man. Great tune.

Songs like this remind me of the wonderful Meri Wilson (Telephone Man and Peter the Meter Reader).

Lots of fond memories listening to Dr. Demento in the 1980s. Many of those songs are still stuck in my head…

[quote=“nearwildheaven, post:110, topic:737234”]

I did not know Laura Branigan had died. 47 is way too young. :frowning:

Anyway, my favorite LB story is this one: I was in an aerobic dance class and the instructor said that our next routine would be to “Gloria”. My first thought was, “U2? Cool!” and then realized that it was the Branigan song of the same name. :o

Here’s the U2 song. It does have a good beat, but most people would have a hard time dancing to it.

And the Laura Branigan song.
[/QUOTE]

I would have thought of Them/Van Morrison first, and I was in diapers when the U2 and Branigan songs were released.

The “Gloria” that was recorded by Them or the Doors has certainly endured better than the other two versions mentioned above.

Didn’t Patti Smith record it too?

One can write a song on just about any topic. Here’s proof.