Sunday, November 27, 2011

I had lived with the frustration of not knowing the artist name or the song title. I had lived with the annoying possibility of not ever knowing. More often than not, such feelings attached themselves to anonymous reggae-pop dance hits of the early-to-mid 1990s. They were never particularly good songs, as such, but they contained a memorable quality which compelled me to seek them out. They sometimes featured on home-made mix tapes, dubbed from the radio. Occasionally, they lived on subconsciously, as thumping drum beats or neverending sustained notes. I only recently realised that I managed to conquer that impossible task: I had discovered the artist name and song title of every lost song, ever.

It was a grand and thoroughly challenging task, requiring hours of painstaking research online. It was sometimes stupidly impossible, having to google and regoogle lyrics which had no semblance of originality: Oh yeah, baby. Occasionally, the song title would feature a spelling mistake, à la Malcolm McLaren's Operaa House, or the song title would be entirely omitted from the lyrics altogether. There could be any number of reasons why these songs became lost. The fact is, we all have lost songs. Songs that haunt and taunt us, that compel us to sing to confused friends in Maths, in the hopes we might one day achieve that moment of clarity.

We thought it would be this way forever, as we would so frequently ask each other, "what was that videoclip where Stalin's face morphed into Thatcher's?" But as time went on and as more people contributed videos, lyrics, questions and answers online, the number of lost songs we were looking for diminished dramatically. Not only that, the application Shazam provided a hassle-free, almost instantaneous service to identify lost songs. Upon discovering my last lost song, Marcella Detroit's I Believe, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed that there weren't more to be found. Inasmuch as it is intensely satisfying to be able to identify lost pop, there is nothing more exciting than knowing there is more left to be found.


Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Early 90s Dance Podcast #36
Technotronic - Pump up the Jam
Milli Vanilli - Ma Baker
Snap! - Rhythm is a Dancer
KLF - Justified and Ancient (Stand by the Jams)
Jon Secada - Just Another Day
Janet Jackson - Love Will Never Do (Without You)
Elisa Fiorillo - On The Way Up
The Shamen - Ebeneezer Goode (Beat Edit)

Download (57.9 MB)

8 comments:

Erin - Mrs Monkei said...

I'm a lost song hunter from way back! I'll now publicly embarrass myself by admitting that I "found" Jon Secada whilst channel surfing 6 months ago and hearing that song on Baywatch, of all shows.. Thank goodness for Google for identifying it for me!

Eleanor said...

Thank you kindly for your comment, miss Kally!

I believe I found Jon Secada on 100% Hits XII, purchased from an op shop! What a relief it was to find it after so long, you have no idea!

Four Steps From The Blues said...

I know the feeling of finally finding your orphan songs. I had three that hunted for thirty years. It was only through the intervention of the internet that I was able to end the search last year.

The last holdout, "Automobile" by Hansie still defies every reasonable search method, but a knowledgeable blog reader saw my pleas to end the torture and supplied the title that had long eluded me. Once I had that I was able to get a copy of the song within the week and finally threw away that precious cassette artifact.

I am NOT sorry that I have no more titles to search for. With the demise of the CD imminent, I'll need to spend that time searching to replace albums in whatever format will be dominant in the next thirty years.

Eleanor said...

Hah, thank you for your comment!

That is an incredible story, I can't believe a blog-reader managed to identify your last lost song! You know, it reminds me a lot of Bucks Fizz's Making Your Mind Up... I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it's a faux German remake.

And don't fret about seeking out dem albums digitally, there are a lot of fantastic resources for the well known stuff (namely Demonoid, What.CD and Hype Machine). Failing that, you can always rip the CDs you already have!

James! said...

Hi Eleanor,

It's James from the contrast podcast. Just checking out your blog. And salivating over all the podcasts for me to listen to!!!

Can't wait!

Eleanor said...

Thanks for your message, James! I hope you find something that you like :)

dr maya vale said...

The scary thing is that the only song on the podcast that I'm *not* familiar with is the Milli Vanilli song. Is it a cover of the classic Boney M song? Two questions arise from this: (1) why cover Boney M? (No-one will ever do it as well as they did!) and (2) why Milli Vanilli? Did the lip-synching fiasco completely free them from any kind of sense of what else might or might not be appropriate?

Did you see how I diverted your attention from the fact that I was familiar with the rest of those songs? Classic. I remember the 90s very well. 80s songs yes; 70s not so much. I do remember hunting for Republica after seeing two seconds of "Drop Dead Gorgeous" on a station ID for MTV in about 1996.

I can't wait to listen to this podcast!

Eleanor said...

Why hellew, Adam! Thank you everso much for your comment!

I'm surprised that you even know the Elisa Fiorillo song! That's amazing!

Milli Vanilli's Ma Baker is indeed a cover of Boney M's Ma Baker and in my honest opinion, it FAR exceeds the original. The reason that this was done was because Frank Farian produced both Boney M and Milli Vanilli... which made sense, because both groups were involved in lip-synching scandals. Also, the MV's cover of Ma Baker is from 1988 and the controversy only emerged in 1990. Post scandal, Milli Vanilli were re-named "The Real Voices".

Ahhh! Republica's Ready To Go is a banging anthem! Love it.

Hope to see you soon :D