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Old Songs

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been slowly building every KROQ “Top 106.7 Songs” playlist for the years they did them, and recently finished 1985. It’s interesting to see how many of the songs that were considerd the biggest of the year (for that station) are completely forgotten today. For instance, the John Palumbo song “Blowing up Detroit” – I don’t remember that song at all, nor the singer, nor the band he’s still in today (Crack the Sky). Other songs are an interesting piece of history. There’s the obvious John Hughes reference – Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me.” And there’s also the social commentary – Artists United Against Apartheid’s song “Sun City” was big in 1985. It took 5 more years for De Klerk to begin negotiating an end to apartheid, and it wasn’t until 1994 that apartheid ended with multi-racial elections in South Africa. But, the song is a part of many people’s memories of the era when (after 40 years) we in the USA finally noticed apartheid was part of the society of a country where our rich people went to party.

As Kat points out, the list also includes a very obvious LA-centric slant.  Three Oingo Boingo songs are on the 1985 list, and yet most folks outside of SoCal have heard of exactly one OB track – Weird Science. Amusingly, there’s also a Danny Elfman song, “Gratitude,” on the list, which was recorded with the entire Oingo Boingo band on an Elfman solo album (So-Lo) – the ridiculous nature of recording an album with the exact same people but calling it solo instead of Boingo is due to some dispute with their record company. So, “Gratitude” is considered to be both an Elfman solo track and a Boingo band track – it appeared on the Best O’ Boingo compilation album years later, adding some credence to the Boingo provenance. Hard to believe it’s been 15 years since Oingo Boingo performed their farewell Halloween concert.

So, any bands or songs you remember from years past, but are completely lost to most of your friends’ memories?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 24th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
I listen to a lot of Oingo Boingo now but I didn't really discover them beyond WS until 1991.

I don't know about music that my friends wouldn't remeber, but The Clash's Sandinista was huge album in my life and I never felt it got adequate praise.
Nov. 24th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
I'm not familiar with Sandinista, and I only really listened to anything beyond the few most well-known tracks from London Calling and Combat Rock in the past ten years. I think I discovered the Clash after Big Audio Dynamite, so I'm obviously a punk heretic.
Nov. 24th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
I still remember the first time I heard BAD sitting at Cosmo's Pizza on the southside of Birmingham, AL.
I didn't recognize it as being Clash related AT ALL, and I went to a RECORD store and sand part of Rewind for the clerk and I was all, "OMG what is it?" and he told me and I was like, "Uhhhh...I don't think so."

In my early twenties, my boyfriend and I had a gekko and whenever the gekko would molt we'd KNOCK EACH OTHER OVER to put this song on for him:

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )