Songs you used to adore that fell out of your brain for over 20 years

“The Captain of Her Heart” by Double. 1985 was when I lost interest in pop music. When I heard the song 25 years later, I thought “oh yeah, that song… I vaguely remember it”. But also, 25 years later I knew a lot more about music and recognized the unusual chord changes, and could appreciate a well-crafted haunting song.

Brilliant song! Grabs you with that guitar opening and doesn’t let go.

My lost gem is

Brothers Johnson - Strawberry Letter #23 (1977)

Chicago – Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Used to hear it often on the radio in the mid-to-late 70s and was very happy to find that it sounded even better than I remembered when I went looking for it last year. I love the combination of hippie ethos, soaring harmonies and jazzy arrangement. The muttering heard toward the end adds something special.

REM – Radio Free Europe
I used to play this a lot on the guitar and forgot all about until a couple of years ago.

General Public – Tenderness
Not really a favorite, but it got a lot of airplay on WXRT and I used to enjoy the springy rhythm while I cleaned the apartment.

The best thing about these rediscoveries is when they’re fortuitious. It’s fun and gratifying to remember something and find it online or whatever, but it’s almost overwhelming when you’re doing something else and the forgotten song comes up on the radio, in a film, etc. It grips you in a special way, and, for a moment, it’s as if you and the music are all that’s left in the world.

Good one, I rediscovered it after watching the movie Jackie Brown.

It’s pretty much all I’m hoping for when I listen to the radio these days. It’s why I change the station so much. Mostly, I have to settle for just hearing songs I like all right, but before long I’m off looking for the lost gems again.

This one fell outta me brain for about forty years.

The Rodney Crowell original “Voilá, An American Dream” and The Dirt Band’s cover “An American Dream” with Linda Ronstadt singing backup.

This triggered several of mine:

The first “House” song that I remember playing out in Germany (and it caught on fast):

Farley “Jackmaster” Funk = Love Can’t Turn Around

Tom Browne - Funkin’ for Jamaica

Slave - Watching You (and yes, that is Mr. Steve Arrington himself)

Don’t know if it had been a full 20 years, but I was tickled pink when this song came on the car radio on my first night in Canada back in 2006 (I had been living overseas since 1992).

About a year ago a local radio station played an old favorite that I hadn’t heard in over 30 years:

I started a thread about this a while back, that gets bumped occasionally.

“Wildflower” by the band Skylark is a great song that I remember all the way back to its release in February of 1973, when I was all of eight years old. I remember really liking it a lot, even as a young child. Skylark was a Canadian band that featured a very young David Foster, who would go on to huge fame in the coming decades. Interestingly, Foster did not write the song Wildflower, but obviously played keyboards on it. Just a couple of years ago, I heard the song randomly somewhere after decades. It still resonates as an excellent song to me.

They played Summerfest (Mke) this fall. I swear, minor festivals and state fairs are the place to see your old favorites cheap… Joan Jett, Everclear, Men Without Hats, Guster, Psychedelic Furs… all the bands you’d forgotten about.

Soul Asylum (hey, I remember them… well, Runaway Train at least…) put on a great show there, too.

Elementary school, 1971-ish: the school library had this record laying around and while I didn’t love it, it staked a spot in my brain and never left. When Homer Simpson started using the ganga in one of the episodes (easily 25 years later), that part of my brain said, Hey, here’s that song, can I go home now? Ladies and gentlemen:

I just picked up Donovan’s greatest hits. Such beautiful hippie music.

I had fond memories of “There Is A Mountain”, and the witty lyrics that start with:
Look upon my garden gate, a snail, that’s what it is…
Look upon my garden gate, a snail, that’s what it is…
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

Those of us who got our early rock’n’roll from static-y AM radio (often through cheap car speakers) forget how much better those songs sound nowadays. Even more if remastered.

Christopher Cross - Ride Like The Wind and Say You’ll Be Mine

I had almost forgotten about Chris. I heard he got Covid last year and started playing his music on YouTube.

One of my 45s had a really off-center spindle hole and all you could hear was Wow-Wow-Wow-Wow. The needle on my mother’s record player looked like a 10 penny nail.

I’d agree, but it will depend on the recording and the equipment it’s being played on. The typical low-fi experience is probably better today insofar as equipment, and recording technology has certainly improved since the 1960s.

However, I don’t have dedicated hi-fi equipment set up in my apartment and, for convenience, I just listen to YouTube audio/video on a relatively new TV. In that sense, I’d say the average listening experience has lost quality vs. “back then,” especially for those who just use their smart phones to listen to music.

In any case, when I said that the Chicago track sounds even better today, I was referring to my ears and my understanding of music compared to back then. The actual audio quality was probably better in the circumstances of my youth, because everyone I knew had some kind of dedicated sound system at home. The closest thing back then to YouTube audio quality were probably those homemade cassette copies of vinyl recordings that some of us listened to.

A friend mentioned how rushed his Saturdays were getting and i suddenly thought of:

For some reason, i misremembered one of the lyrics as “Harry the dog just ate the TV.”

Special Lady was my “what was that song?!” for years. Nobody else remembered it.

Old charts and playlists are an interesting source of inspiration. In my first post here about a year ago, I asked about a song that I remembered but couldn’t identify. Before posting, I went over several old WXRT playlists (to no avail), and it sparked some long-lost memories. Not as good as the fortuitous find, but similarly stimulating.