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Thread: Songs that take you back to a specific place and time

  1. #1

    Songs that take you back to a specific place and time

    I am sure this has happened to you at some point in your life. Years ago, you may have heard a song quite regularly - perhaps it was a minor hit on the radio but not overplayed like most Top 40 - then you never heard it again for many years. Then one day it happens to be randomly played on the radio and just hearing that old song again instantly brings back memories of that time from the most recessed parts of your memory, only to dissipate once the song is over.

    Or maybe you heard a song a lot for a short period of time and haven't heard it since, but it still reminds you of a specific time and place, such as driving on the open road or maybe someone you had a crush on.

    There are quite a few songs that have had this affect on me, so much so that I even get goosebumps.

    The Eurythmics - When Tomorrow Comes - October, 1986

    Everyone knows about Eurythmics big hits like Sweet Dreams are Made of These and Here Comes The Rain Again from 1983-84. But did you ever hear of the above song from their 1986 album Revenge? It got a minor amount of airplay from local rock stations in the Fall of 1986. For me, the song will always remind me of my very first solo road trip when I was barely 22. I drove all the way from Toledo to eastern Kentucky. This song reminds me of a very specific place: Driving on the expressway at night, in Cincinnati, about to cross over into Kentucky. The song hit #5 on my own personal rock chart I used to keep.

    I haven't heard that song since 1986, but it will always remind me of that part of that wonderful solo trip and the beginning of those free-spirited days of the late 1980s when I subsequently would go on a whole barrage of road trips.

    Bow Wow Wow - Do You Wanna Hold Me? - February, 1983

    This song is kind of an anomaly. Unlike the previous track, I don't specifically remember hearing it when it first came out, but several years ago, when I heard the song at the coffee shop being played on satellite radio, it instantly took me back to that time and when I had a terrible crush on a girl I used to work with. Though I didn't even know who sang the song that day in the coffee shop, I thought, "That has to be from early 1983". Sure enough, when I Googled the song, it came up as one of Bow Wow Wow’s hits and it peaked in February, 1983.

    It's strange that a song that I don't even remember specifically hearing can nevertheless take me right back to those tumultuous days when I was so infatuated with this girl and could not stop thinking about her day or night. I mean this was a very short window of time – February-March, 1983. It could not have been any later. The feelings I had for this girl were not returned, but the song was played early enough that I still had hope, that there was a chance that she liked me. The song specifically reminds me of that time before everything went south later in March of 1983.

    I had never had such a horrible crush before in my life and never would again. Surely I had to have had heard the song at some point during that brief time span, I just don't remember. Yet like so many other songs, it instantly takes me back to that specific time and brings back a whole witches brew of deep-seated repressed memories.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Paradise City always takes me back to a certain girl when I was much, much younger.
    Tom Cochrane's Life is a Highway takes me back to another high school girlfriend.

    There are a few others, but they all seem to be girl related for the most part. Sadly my wife and I don't have a particular song.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    Paradise City always takes me back to a certain girl when I was much, much younger.
    Tom Cochrane's Life is a Highway takes me back to another high school girlfriend.

    There are a few others, but they all seem to be girl related for the most part. Sadly my wife and I don't have a particular song.
    I liked those songs when they first came out, but they subsequently got too much airplay to still remind me of their original peak rotation. Plus in our market, some bank used "Life Is a Highway" for a commercial. UGH.

    How do you avoid hearing a song so much that the original memories are not "polluted" by later ones? I have ruined many a song by playing it myself instead of just waiting to hear it randomly.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    There are a few selected rap songs that were played so often from cars on the Myrtle Beach strip when I was younger that I get flashbacks.

    There are also a few pop songs that I get conflicted memories with. When I was overseas they were played at every disco and I had some great times. When I got back stateside they were played out in Europe by then and just starting in the US clubs and I was sick of hearing them.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  5. #5
    Genesis - Fading Lights - September-October, 1992

    This 10 minute song is the final and longest track on 1991's We Can't Dance LP. Unlike popular hits like I Can’t Dance, No Son of Mine, and Jesus He Knows me, this one did not get much airplay on the local rock stations and I don't think it charted at all. But I did hear it enough for it to make an impression on me and it does take me back to a very specific and particularly melancholy time in my life…during the late summer and early fall of 1992.

    I was just months away from being married and not really sure if I wanted to really go through with it. I really liked my girlfriend, but I missed the dating scene that I was so entrenched in during the late 1980s and very early 1990s. These conflictions lead to a rather tumultuous early relationship her as I wrestled staying with her or getting back into the dating scene. But by 1992 with the club scene pretty much extinct (and so with it my attending self-confidence), I guess I was finally ready to settle down. I got engaged in May.

    That summer was pretty fun, but by September I was starting to wonder whether I made right choice. That month, my now fiancé had visited my family at Pokagon State Park in Indiana, a place that I had been going to since I was 11, but until now not visited until 1985. Since I never met any girls there, just being at that park again after so many years, reminded me of all those missed opportunities and how cool it would have been if I would have hooked up with someone there. Quite simply, the last time I was there was too early and this visit came too late. So much had happened during that seven year gap.

    Fading Lights is s a reflection of that somewhat conflicted and melancholy time: Being at a place that was so much of my childhood but I had never capitalized on when I was older because I was still so shy and inhibited around girls. But so much deeper than that, Fading Lights is representative of my fading confidence and my longing for the heady days of the 1980s club scene which ended all too soon.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Not so much a song but an entire genre, specifically early to mid 1960's cruising songs. When I was young, my mom would work until 9 or 10 on Saturday evenings at the local K-Mart and to be helpful, my dad, my sister, and I would clean the house. Well my dad had quite the collection of records from that time period and we would put a record and dance around cleaning. My dad would have to remind us multiple times not to jump around too hard because it would cause the needle to skip on the record. However we lived in a mobile home at the time, and it was in the early 80's, so walking fast would make the trailer shake a bit. A few years later, my dad's radio station picked up a nationally syndicated oldies show, so that took place of the records and for some reason, it could be the same song but it did not have the same effect.
    If you want different results in your life, you need to do different things than you have done in the past. Change is that simple.

  7. #7
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    I have this similar sensation every single time I listen to Tom Petty's 'Free Fallin', except it doesn't give me a distinct visual memory. I normally smell fresh seafood whenever i hear that song, as weird as it sounds! I don't remember where I was when i heard it, but i am pretty sure that i was around fresh seafood because I never fail to smell it when i hear that song. Its so weird

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by MaloneJ View post
    I have this similar sensation every single time I listen to Tom Petty's 'Free Fallin', except it doesn't give me a distinct visual memory. I normally smell fresh seafood whenever i hear that song, as weird as it sounds! I don't remember where I was when i heard it, but i am pretty sure that i was around fresh seafood because I never fail to smell it when i hear that song. Its so weird
    I believe there is a direct connection from one's sense of smell to past memories Listening to old songs from a specific era can certainly be a testament to that. It's like the song itself has a certain "smell"
    Last edited by Super Amputee Cat; 14 Apr 2016 at 7:49 PM.

  9. #9
    This is a long post, I realize. It was meant to be only a paragraph or two but if you read on, you can see how my writing kind of became an animal of it's own. If fact, just writing this post is bringing back all sorts of intense memories and deep, deep longing for the past.

    Levert - Casanova - November 28, 1987

    So far, all the songs I've posted have covered an rather ambiguous period of several weeks. The Genesis song for example, reminds me of about a six week period from mid August to the end of September as it "climbed up the charts".

    But how about a song that takes me back to a specific day or even a very specific time of day?

    1987 was a pretty good year for me. After years dealing with severe depression that transcended all of high school and my first three years of college, I was starting to experience my first feelings of budding self-confidence. The reason? I was finally starting to meet and date women. This was certainly a welcome change after being a loner for so long and having terrible crushes on girls (the source of many songs, believe me). I had finally started to come out of my shell and started dating in earnest in 1987. But with that exposure to the dating scene I was also becoming more jaded, as some of the girls I met were just hookups with no emotional attachment whatsoever. But on November 28, 1987 that all changed.

    I was at a friend's party somewhere and saw this cute girl that I had met in the mall marking lot just a few months before. She told me she was a sophomore in high school and she remembered seeing me too. I was cautious at first, because felt she kind of spurned me back then. Though a little friendlier now, it didn't look too promising at first. But then she asked me if I could take her and her friends to drop them off at home. Surprised and overjoyed by such a request, I readily agreed.

    After dropping her friends off, we headed back to the original party after stopping off at a store. But when we arrived at the house, we didn't go in right away. Almost spontaneously, we started to hold hands and then kiss, passionately. Casanova just happened to be playing on the radio at the very exact moment when all this kissing started.

    I couldn't believe I had made such a connection with such a cute girl! The sudden way she warmed up to me after ignoring me earlier was surprising as it was welcome and my heart about leaped out of my chest. I truly had a wonderful evening just kissing her in my car. Before she left she gave me her phone number and the very next day I went over to her house for another round of heavy kissing while she cleaned her parents rental house next door. Later that week, she invited me to a basketball game and I couldn't find her at first, but then she came running up to me in the hallway and hugged me. I never saw a girl so happy to see me before in my life. (Or since). The look of sheer joy in her eyes was something to behold.

    Later that week we went on a group date, seeing the film The Running Man.. (Her parents would not let her date solo). I think we saw Nightmare on Elm Street 3 later that same night too. I remember her covering up my eyes with her hands during some sex scene in the film. Between that and kissing her, I missed out on about 15 minutes of the film but, believe me, I didn't mind at all.

    I was falling more and more in love with the girl with each passing day...things were changing that fast. She had a very "bubbly" personality and seemed quite innocent. I wasn't quite at "crush" level like I had been with a couple of girls in the recent past but I do believe I was truly falling in love. And the way she kissed, it seemed like she was just as receptive. All my past insecurities about women just seemed to melt away with each round of kissing. Perhaps more importantly, after being so jaded from devastating crushes of the early 1980s, some of that innocence was coming back. This was the happiest I had been in years. I felt like a wide-eyed boy again.

    But alas, it ended as suddenly as it began. On the day we "broke up", December 9, it started out very well. In the afternoon I had just went a law firm to pick a check for $9,500 from an accident I had been in that spring. Check in hand, I headed directly to her house, to celebrate. I was going to take her to the best restaurant in town.

    But inside the house, she had some bad news. Her parents would not let us date because I was "too old" (She was only 16 I was 23). Then came the inevitable, "we can still be friends"

    Utterly shocked, I just went home. There was nothing more I could do or say. When a girl says "we can still be friends" that is worse that her saying "I hate your guts!" So much had happened that I couldn't take it all in. I didn't beg or plead with her...it would have been pointless. So I just said good bye and went home. Ironically, she told me she had been in an accident herself that day that was her fault. She seemed quite upset and I wanted to help her in the worst way; after all you can do a lot with $9,500, but there was absolutely nothing I could do to console her now.

    The freshly printed $9,500 check did help to ease the pain a little. (That's almost $20,000 in today's dollars, a serious chunk of change for a guy working part time and barely making $5/hour.) It was a life-altering event and would ultimately lead to a chain of events down the road that would give my confidence a much needed boost. The very next day after the "break up", I got an apartment with a couple of friends and that would lead to me hooking up with several girls in early 1988 that I never would have even met had I not had that money to get that apartment.

    But every once in a while, during early 1988, that song would play on the radio or a jukebox and it would take me back to that glorious day when I first connected with that girl. Suddenly, all those deep-seated memories of kissing her would come rushing back like an water from an overspilling dam. The timing of that song could not have been choreographed any better.

    Over the years, the intensity of that song has faded. In fact, another song from a little later in 1988 You're Always on my Mind by the Pet Shop boys would also remind me of her and has more "staying power" than Casanova. Now, on the rare occasions that I hear that song, it takes me back too, but with a more general "array" of conjured up memories rather than that of the very real memory of kissing her in the car that night.

    1987. So long ago. Nothing remains from that time. The house she lived in, as well as the rental house next door where we kissed on the couch have been demolished. The movie theater was torn down years ago. Even the high school where I saw that basketball game with her has been razed, replaced by a Best Buy. Nothing is left but memories of a young girl that really no longer exists herself. She would be 45 today and I am sure that her memories of us and our time together are as dead and forgotten as all the places we visited. As far as Casanova, though the song's impact may have faded, the intensity of those memories have not, and that time with her remains among the most haunting of my life.
    Last edited by Super Amputee Cat; 16 Apr 2016 at 4:34 PM.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian The Terminator's avatar
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    Wow. Thats quite a story Amputee Cat. Maybe you should take a vacay to Beautiful Scenic Washington State and devote some time to self care. I went to Seattle after a bad breakup in 2013 and it renwed me.

    A similar story on my part:

    Green Day - Jesus of Suburbia. September-October of 2004 to May of 2005.

    I was in 8th Grade when American Idiot dropped and Green Day resurfaced into the mainstream. It was all the rage and everyone at school had a copy. I had a horrible little boy crush on a 7th Grader named Martha. She was/is a stunnig brunette and had a very Middle School proto-hipster kind of look, she had thick black glasses and wore allot of American Apparal. 14 Year old pubecent Punk me with my studded jacket and Dead Kennedy's shirt longed for 13 year old iTunes girl Martha. I HATED Green Day because they were mainstream (as an adult I can now appreciate them as good pop) but at that time they were the only band I thought me and Martha might have in common, so I made her a mix CD with some Green Day and Myspace pop of the day on it, but shelved it for months. I had vowed to give her the CD and ask her out before the annaul 8th Grade Field Trip to Washington, DC in May. That didn't happen. I got back from DC with some Metro maps and a new Metallica shirt but no confidence to ask Martha out.

    Before school let out in June '05 and I moved up to High School and she stayed at Middle School for one more year I finally got the confidence to ask her out one lunch period and give her the mix CD. Her reaction, "uhhhh your weird, why does your shirt say Bad Religion, thats kinda mean". Totally rebuffed I watched her from afar and when the bell rang and she and her friends left the caf, the CD was left on the table. I took back the CD before the janitors got to it, broke it in half and threw it out before going to Math class, crestfallen. That year is when I learned you cant get always what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need. I also lerned not to force myself on women and that you cant control others feelings towards you.

    More than a decade later the joke's on her. She dated several losers in High School, became very religious and went to an expensive private college. From what I am told is still beautiul as a 24 year old but mutual friends say she has no direction or career and is sattled with student debt. Me, I have no loans, own a car outright and have started my Planning career, so I feel vindicated with time and tell that to myself to forget about my own shortcomings. Life is complicated, eh.

    Currently watching a Green Day live show from '94 and it rocks!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by The Terminator View post
    Wow. Thats quite a story Amputee Cat. Maybe you should take a vacay to Beautiful Scenic Washington State and devote some time to self care. I went to Seattle after a bad breakup in 2013 and it renwed me.

    A similar story on my part:

    Green Day - Jesus of Suburbia. September-October of 2004 to May of 2005.

    I was in 8th Grade when American Idiot dropped and Green Day resurfaced into the mainstream. It was all the rage and everyone at school had a copy. I had a horrible little boy crush on a 7th Grader named Martha. She was/is a stunnig brunette and had a very Middle School proto-hipster kind of look, she had thick black glasses and wore allot of American Apparal. 14 Year old pubecent Punk me with my studded jacket and Dead Kennedy's shirt longed for 13 year old iTunes girl Martha. I HATED Green Day because they were mainstream (as an adult I can now appreciate them as good pop) but at that time they were the only band I thought me and Martha might have in common, so I made her a mix CD with some Green Day and Myspace pop of the day on it, but shelved it for months. I had vowed to give her the CD and ask her out before the annaul 8th Grade Field Trip to Washington, DC in May. That didn't happen. I got back from DC with some Metro maps and a new Metallica shirt but no confidence to ask Martha out.

    Before school let out in June '05 and I moved up to High School and she stayed at Middle School for one more year I finally got the confidence to ask her out one lunch period and give her the mix CD. Her reaction, "uhhhh your weird, why does your shirt say Bad Religion, thats kinda mean". Totally rebuffed I watched her from afar and when the bell rang and she and her friends left the caf, the CD was left on the table. I took back the CD before the janitors got to it, broke it in half and threw it out before going to Math class, crestfallen. That year is when I learned you cant get always what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need. I also lerned not to force myself on women and that you cant control others feelings towards you.

    More than a decade later the joke's on her. She dated several losers in High School, became very religious and went to an expensive private college. From what I am told is still beautiul as a 24 year old but mutual friends say she has no direction or career and is sattled with student debt. Me, I have no loans, own a car outright and have started my Planning career, so I feel vindicated with time and tell that to myself to forget about my own shortcomings. Life is complicated, eh.

    Currently watching a Green Day live show from '94 and it rocks!

    Ugh. I feel your pain. Hearing "uhhh your weird" is almost as bad as "we can still be friends". Almost. Why was she offended by the Bad Religion T-Shirt?

    I like Green Day myself and American Idiot is probably my favorite song. It certainly was a song that was ahead of it's time. As for the girl you liked, unfortunately, if she is still good looking, she will probably latch on to some sugar daddy to take care of all that student debt.

    You are right though about not being able to control the feelings of someone toward you. I made the same mistake time and time again and it lasted well beyond high school. My issue was that I thought I could "make" a girl like me if I really let it be known to her how much I was in love with her. It was as if those feelings were good enough...that she would suddenly fall in love with me solely because of those feelings. Like no one else in the world was ever going to love her more than I was. Of course, it doesn't work out that way, but I was well into my 20s before I finally got it. Oh well, better late than never.

    Ironically, as I became more jaded and at least pretended that I didn't care if some girl liked me, then that always seemed to work in getting her interested. The more I acted like I didn't give a damn, the more these girls just threw themselves at me. It's totally stupid and doesn't make sense at all but it always worked like magic. Go figure. I guess the old adage, "nice guys don't get laid" really does apply.
    Last edited by Super Amputee Cat; 16 Apr 2016 at 10:31 PM.

  12. #12
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    There was a girl behind the counter
    Who would give away her smile
    Your could stand and watch her from the stationery aisle
    I found myself returning everyday after awhile
    For the torture that I knew would be in store

    Then I was kept away for a week or maybe two
    The wind came off the lake
    And drove the pigeons from the zoo
    I finally made it back to that familiar avenue
    I shivered as I pushed in through the door

    She doesn't work here anymore
    The clerk explained to me as he swept the floor
    I always meant to talk to her before
    She doesn't work there anymore

    A blizzard after midnight
    Blankets everything with snow
    Escalators empty out their cargo down below
    This city swallows people
    And they never even know
    Or if they do it's easy to ignore

    I used to like to think that I might see her on the El
    My thoughts would turn to words
    Would turn to crutches as we fell
    But there are few surprises
    When you know yourself too well
    There is nothing else in store

    She doesn't work here anymore
    I should have talked to her before
    I wonder what it was I waited for
    She doesn't work there anymore
    This 1988 tune could be autobiographical for me. It certainly resonated at the time.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  13. #13
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    This 1988 tune could be autobiographical for me. It certainly resonated at the time.

    From some of those lyrics, I certainly can relate. I’m sure if I think about it long enough, I could come up with a girl or two that would fit into that “she doesn’t work here anymore” category.



    So far, most of my posts, as well as those from several other posters it seems, have been about girls from the past, and there will be more to come, believe me. But other times, songs simply reminded me of just being on the open road. (The Eurythmics song is a good example). For me, 99% of the songs that touch the deepest parts of the soul neatly fit into either, or both, of those two categories.

    Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes - July, 1981.

    The above track was one of the biggest hits of 1981, spending 4 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart. Pop stations were all over it during that spring and summer. Some might say it was overplayed.

    However, because I was into AOR (Album Oriented Rock or Album Oriented Radio) at the time, I didn't hear it a whole lot. Rock stations wouldn’t touch it. But the one time I did recall hearing it - totally by random in a part of the country where I was unfamiliar with radio formats - is burned into my brain forever.

    It was early July and we were coming home from a 30-day family vacation out West in which we visited a lot of the popular national and state parks, going as far as SE Idaho. I was 16 at the time and as a result of that trip, added nine new states onto my list. Now it was the last day and we were just hours away from home. That 30-day vacation, the longest I have ever undertaken, was so long that the beginning (in Mitchell, South Dakota) already seemed like three months ago.

    After stopping at a McDonalds in Lansing, Illinois we were on the Indiana Toll Road with the final 200 miles to Toledo ahead of us. It was early evening and the constant speed of being on the toll road, and not having to worry about a lot of stopped traffic and red lights, was quite soothing and relaxing. You could just put your brain in neutral.

    As we were riding and I was fumbling around with the portable radio, Bette Davis Eyes came on, just a few miles east of the state line For some reason it seemed to blend in perfectly with just cruising down that expressway and going under all those overpasses (which are pretty thick in that part of Indiana). That's what I remember most, the sheer number of overpasses that seemed to blend in with the long instrumental section of that song.

    Overall, that trip wasn’t the most enjoyable for me despite visiting all those new states. As I mentioned before, I was in a deep depression during that time and not even being on vacation could pull me out of the funk I was in. But whenever I hear that song, it always reminds me of that relaxing final leg our trip, and viewing all those overpasses in the soft, early evening sunlight. After 35 years, the ugly parts of the trip have melted away and the memories of the freedom of the open road now shine through.
    Last edited by Super Amputee Cat; 18 Apr 2016 at 8:04 PM.

  14. #14
    Suddenly hearing a long-forgotten song on the radio from somewhere deep in your past can certainly be a goose-bump inducing experience. A true blast from the past. But there is a danger in that if you hear a song too much in subsequent times, it can overshadow and "pollute" that earlier memory. I have inadvertently ruined many a song that way, or at least degraded that earlier memory to the point that I barely remember it.

    The Kings - This Beat Goes On/Switchin' to Glide - Fall of 1980/March 1984.

    It's sometime in March, 1984. I'm at a video arcade (remember those?) playing Mrs. Pac Man. Suddenly a song comes on over the piped in airwaves that instantly brings back all these memories of an earlier era. I'm in a complete daze, trying to remember when I heard that song before. Unfortunately, being satellite radio, no DJ comes on afterward announcing the title or artist of the song. All I remember where the prominent words "Nothing matters but the weekend..." but I could never find any song by that title. (Remember, this was years before the internet so I didn't have the luxury of remembering a few lines and the "Googling" it later.). Almost two years go by and I continued to be haunted by who sang that song, and more importantly, when it charted and would have received peak airplay. I estimated it to be sometime around 1980 or 1981.

    Then one day, sometime in 1986, the subject song finally came on over a Detroit rock station. This time, it was announced by the DJ afterward. It was actually a double song called This Beat Goes On/Switchin' to Glide by a Canadian band called the Kings. So half of the mystery was solved. But when was it most played? When did it chart? I thumbed through a lot of old Billboard Magazines and soon found out that it reached #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in December, 1980, so I would have been a Sophomore in high school when I first heard it.

    Now it all made sense, it did take me back to that that time, an era when I was getting tired of pop and started listening to more hard rock. This song didn’t' even make the Top 40, but most likely because it was more of a hard edged rock song, it would have been in pretty heavy rotation on my local rock station. But Billboard didn't keep a separate Rock Track chart until 1981. Either way, it certainly must have received enough airplay to make quite an impression on me. Enough to stop me dead in my tracks almost four years later upon hearing it. But unlike other songs I've mentioned I cannot assign any more of a specific memory to it. It just brings up "general" memories and feelings of the Fall of '80. What I was doing when I heard that song all those years before is lost to history.

    The funny thing is though, I was so taken aback by hearing it at the arcade that day, that it started reminding me of that time, March, 1984 and the original memories were kind of "over layered" by new memories of that venue. But even that later memory at the arcade has faded after all these years. Now when I hear this powerful song, I conjure up my own "memories" of me driving around the city in my car with some imaginary, random girl. If you ever had heard this entire double track, the segue between the two songs is indeed unforgettable. And if you have an overly active imagination like me, it's perfect fodder to form your own choreographed memories.

    In this case, I wouldn't say I "ruined" the song by later exposure. It's definitely a very "crank worthy" tune meant to be played at maximum volume, preferably in an urban environment. By staying off the top 40, the song's integrity was no doubt saved from overplay by legions of pop stations. To me those are the best songs: The ones that get a fair amount of airplay on one format only and over a relatively short period of time. The ones that the pop stations shy away from. Thus they never get "overplayed" and become ruined forever because they can no longer be "assigned" to their original time.

    It's just that subsequent hearings and my own conjured up memories - a video in my head if you will - have long eclipsed my original intense, but vague memories of the song, to the point that I barely remember that time at all. That is more than just a little disheartening.

    This isn't the first time this is happened. Other "blast-from-the-past" songs have affected me to an even greater degree and I have a tragic story to tell of how I ruined a song (actually another double song) that had once had a huge hypnotic effect on me all during the strange summer of '82. But that is for a later post.

  15. #15
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    Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
    Boulevard - Jackson Browne
    Boys of Summer - Don Henley
    See You In September - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

    With Mom selling the family Jersey Shore house - end of our 46 summers there.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
    Boulevard - Jackson Browne
    Boys of Summer - Don Henley
    See You In September - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

    With Mom selling the family Jersey Shore house - end of our 46 summers there.
    So these songs remind you of the Jersey Shore?

    I was last in that part of New Jersey in 2000. My kids were 0 and 2. I played the soundtrack to Shawshank Redemption during most of that vacation (which also included Pennsylvania and West Virginia) so some of the tracks take me back to that time. Specifically, Track #20 So was Red and Track #21 End Title remind me of being in this little beach town called Villas on the Delaware Bay, near Cape May. It had a lot of cool old beach cottages there and I specifically remember by 2-month old daughter sleeping in the car the whole time while I took pictures while those two tracks played.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    For whatever reason, whenever I hear "The Movie", a strange instrumental on the end of Aerosmith's 1987 album Permanent Vacation, I always think of this time in June 1997 when I was 10 years old and driving with my dad up north to Wisconsin for vacation (my mom and brothers were in the other car), listening to the cassette version of this album as we were heading north on I-43 through southeast Wisconsin as these ominous dark clouds approached as we got closer to Milwaukee. The ominous music totally fit the mood of the ominous weather, especially as only a few tracks prior, we were rocking out to the upbeat rocking sounds of "Girl Keeps Coming Apart" and the title track when the sun was still shining. When we got into Milwaukee, we encountered massive urban flooding that shut down the interstate and detours just about everywhere we went.

    Whenever I hear "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" by Coolio, I go back to the playground in elementary school, and me singing this song to all my friends on the playground and everyone laughing and joining in.

    A lot of 90s alternative & grunge takes me back to fond childhood memories as well, particularly the more obscure stuff that was popular back then but hasn't had as much staying power today. I've recently rediscovered such songs as "Molly" and "Plowed" by Sponge, "Zombie" by the Cranberries, "Natural One" by Folk Implosion, "Stinkfist" by Tool, and "Shame" by Stabbing Westward, which instantly take me back to listening to the radio while my brothers and I spent hours playing with legos, drawing, or playing basketball. Even some of the more mainstream bands with greater staying power such as Bush and Live make me nostalgic these days.

    The Beach Boys, despite being more ubiquitous, often take me back to memories of going to my aunt's house and swimming in her pool in the summer, and they always had the oldies station on and the Beach Boys were always in the rotation it seemed.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    For whatever reason, whenever I hear "The Movie", a strange instrumental on the end of Aerosmith's 1987 album Permanent Vacation, I always think of this time in June 1997 when I was 10 years old and driving with my dad up north to Wisconsin for vacation (my mom and brothers were in the other car), listening to the cassette version of this album as we were heading north on I-43 through southeast Wisconsin as these ominous dark clouds approached as we got closer to Milwaukee. The ominous music totally fit the mood of the ominous weather, especially as only a few tracks prior, we were rocking out to the upbeat rocking sounds of "Girl Keeps Coming Apart" and the title track when the sun was still shining. When we got into Milwaukee, we encountered massive urban flooding that shut down the interstate and detours just about everywhere we went.

    Whenever I hear "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" by Coolio, I go back to the playground in elementary school, and me singing this song to all my friends on the playground and everyone laughing and joining in.

    A lot of 90s alternative & grunge takes me back to fond childhood memories as well, particularly the more obscure stuff that was popular back then but hasn't had as much staying power today. I've recently rediscovered such songs as "Molly" and "Plowed" by Sponge, "Zombie" by the Cranberries, "Natural One" by Folk Implosion, "Stinkfist" by Tool, and "Shame" by Stabbing Westward, which instantly take me back to listening to the radio while my brothers and I spent hours playing with legos, drawing, or playing basketball. Even some of the more mainstream bands with greater staying power such as Bush and Live make me nostalgic these days.

    The Beach Boys, despite being more ubiquitous, often take me back to memories of going to my aunt's house and swimming in her pool in the summer, and they always had the oldies station on and the Beach Boys were always in the rotation it seemed.
    Like the song, Fading Lights off of Genesis We Can't Dance, it indeed does seem to be the case that songs that were never released as singles are the ones that have "staying power". Perhaps for no other reason, than that they were never overplayed. But a lot of Aerosmith is done to death and many of the songs I really liked in the 1980s I cannot stand now. Still, The Movie's affect on you seems to be in the spirit of what I have been posting about: A chance hearing of a song that happens to coincide with a memorable event (in your case, the ominous weather). Though not totally random (you did have control of the cassette after all), it's ability to conjure up old memories is meaningful whatever the venue. I just hope you didn't overplay it (which is awfully tempting if you own the cassette).

    Yeah, I was into grunge back in the early 1990s. I clearly remember getting into in around 1991 when a new alternative rock station 89X out of Windsor came on the air. My personal music charts I kept back then were an odd mix of Alternative, Grunge and Metal as well as more classic acts like Tom Petty. I heard Molly for the first time in years just a few weeks ago but it really didn't take me back. Still, it's an enjoyable song.

    As far as the Beach Boys, many of their songs also have staying power, especially their minor hits that didn't a lot of continuous airplay on oldies stations. My favorites include When I Grow Up...and Sloop John B. None really take me back to a specific time other that perhaps Wouldn't it Be Nice, which reminds me of the film, Roger and Me. I can still get into their last big hit Kokomo, for it is quite catchy. I also liked one of their very obscure tracks Barbie, back in 1986, purely because I had a crush on a girl named Barb at the time. But none of them really take me back to any really memorable events in my life.



    Prince - Erotic City - ca 1988-89.

    Though saddened by his sudden death, I was never really into Prince all that much. As a crossover artist into the hard rock genre, he could belt out some really good tunes and I initially did enjoy some of them. The problem was the pop stations ran his songs into the ground and many of them are just too toasty to assign to even their original release era.

    Ironically, my most memorable Prince song wasn't even a hit at all. Erotic City was originally released only as a B-Side to 1984's Let's Go Crazy. However, it was a huge dance club hit, and it does take me back to my club days of the late 1980s. (I probably heard the 1986 12-inch remix.) It was always a favorite on the dance floor and somehow that repetitive beat was perfect fodder for all the alcohol-fueled craziness and recklessness of that era as I waited for the slow songs to start and could scope out lonely girls to dance with.

  19. #19
    Shania Twain - Forever & Always - unknown time before 2005 and January, 2008.

    This may seem like an odd song to add, considering I am certainly no fan of "New" Country and find most of Twain's works, cringeworthy. For a guy who is into such formats as Alternative and Electronica, I just don't get the whole mindset of the new country genre and just hearing it's over-twangy repetitiveness is depressing.

    But for some unknown reason, this particular song really gets to me. I have absolutely have no idea when I first heard this track, but it would have had to been after April, 2003 because that was it's release date. It certainly started to grow on me during the mid to late 2000s, bringing out some kind of nostalgic feelings from the recent past that I can not quite seem to pin down. Are they just conjured up memories of some imaginary road trip that never occurred or did I actually hear it at some point between 2003 and 2005 and it just kind of lodged itself somewhere in the deepest recesses of my mind? I guess I will never know.

    But I can now at least assign this song to a very specific event from the past. It's Martin Luther King Weekend 2008, and I'm driving in the Hocking Hills area of SE Ohio and the song comes on while scanning for stations. I'm staying with my kids at a cabin at nearby at Lake Hope State Park and we are driving somewhere near Nelsonville and Haydenville, Ohio. Forever & Always now reminds me of that weekend, and specifically that stretch of road. Whatever earlier memories I had have been overshadowed. But that's OK because it was such a wonderful weekend and the song fit in perfectly with that lonely stretch of road. On that extended winter weekend, it was the perfect late afternoon song to listen to as we made our way back to that cabin after a day of great adventure.

    But that is not the whole story. Its nostalgic value is elevated even more because very, very soon after that weekend, everything in my life would go to Hell. I would soon found myself afflicted by "recentness" and the attending impotent feeling of utter despair as I would harken back to that time, so recent, but now utterly and hopelessly out of reach. It would be many years before I would hear that song again, but I always would want to hear it, for it would remind me of a specific time when it was still not too late...that there was still time to get off the road I was on that would soon lead to utter ruin.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    I'm not a big fan (although they are very talented) but Heart's Crazy on You takes me back to the big dorm parties every time.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally posted by Super Amputee Cat View post
    This is a long post, I realize. It was meant to be only a paragraph or two but if you read on, you can see how my writing kind of became an animal of it's own. If fact, just writing this post is bringing back all sorts of intense memories and deep, deep longing for the past.

    Levert - Casanova - November 28, 1987...

    .
    I can't believe that day is exactly 30 years ago. By sheer coincidence, or perhaps maybe something more ominous, just an hour ago and totally by random on the radio, I heard another song that always reminded me of her: Groovy Kind of Love, by The Mindbenders. I knew I met her at the end of November, but forgot the exact date, so I came here and dredged up my old thread.

    30 years, still can't quite fathom it. When you think in terms of 30, for anything, it's pretty disquieting to say the least. Like I said, nothing remains from that time.

    Even me.

  22. #22
    Sound track to the City of Angels. It was popular when the ex and I got together. Hearing that always takes me back to when we first got together. Angel by Sarah McLaughlin from the soundtrack still has a lot of meaning to me.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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