Spill Challenge # 34872395 – Music Junkies!

I first heard this on a mixtape my friend gave me back in the early ‘90’s which was made up of downtempo underground tunes (hip-hop, trip-hop, flip-flops etc.) that had completely passed me by as looking after a 3 year old girl with very little moolah to buy records will do that to you.

Also how do you go into a shop to try & explain how this sounds (“it sounds a bit like Horace Silver but with vibes and has a flute that rests so sweetly on the guitar, percussion, drums & bass …”), previous experience had told me that this would more than not be a futile exercise (N. Hornby’s High Fidelity sprung to mind).

From then on any jazz records I bought was in the hope that this tune would start seeping out of the speakers unexpectedly, but all to no avail and as time passes it occasionally pops into your head until …

A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon I was listening to Gilles Peterson’s show, now on 6 Music,  in the kitchen whilst preparing dinner for La Famille (a mild korma to go with my wife’s homemade garlic naan if you want to know) when I heard THAT intro and then felt the indescribable joy that is the essence of being a music junkie which is best described and to paraphrase Nile Rodgers, “I can’t kick this feeling when it hits”.

Question : Do you have a similar scenario – brilliant tune, no idea of who or what but by happy accident found it however long it took? Is there something you have that you would like to know who it’s by? 


62 thoughts on “Spill Challenge # 34872395 – Music Junkies!

  1. Yep – Jonnie Q. Public ‘Body Be’. I heard it during Autumn 2001 – very grim period obviously, with the attack on America and the launching of war. A really passionate, soulful grunger rock out:

    It took me ten years to track this down. A chance find on a Facebook page a couple of months ago.

  2. Yes!!! And i have the feeling that you’re just the man to finally give me an answer.

    Took me a long time to trace that killer tune i heard on from the boombox a guy walking down the street in Harlem had to his ear. And i knew it was James Brown too – the guy and i looked at each other and exchanged ear-to-ear grins. Wasn’t till many years later i finally id’s it as Funky Good Time.

    So i have one for you now – and i’m pretty sure it’s by Marvin Gaye. Starts out Yeah….yeaaah. Can’t recall any other lyrics. Please help?

    • I should say that i finally found the name of the James Brown tune not by happy accident but by relentless youtube and grooveshark trawling. I still haven’t been able to find the Marvin Gaye (?) song that way. Googling “yeah” lyrics is not helpful! I can say for sure that it isn’t Chained or You’re All I Need to Get By.

      • Nope 😦

        What’s probably going to happen is that 6 months from now, you’re going to get an email from the dead on this post when i finally comment “yes, i finally found it!” because they inally played it on Soultown.

      • Al –

        And you’re right, Doin It To Death is the actual title

        “Doin’ It to Death” (sometimes mis-titled as “Gonna Have a Funky Good Time”)

        But i can find it no problem under FGT.

        Also, it’s officially credited “to Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s”, featuring James Brown, which made it more difficult to find. One of those songs that got played at parties in my teens, but had a much later epiphany on the street in Harlem. Still maybe my favorite JB tune, tied possibly with Sex Machine.

      • We listen to the Soultown satellite channel at work a lot, i keep hoping it will show up on there. I tried to sing it to one of the college kids who knows more soul than i do, but she didn’t know either. (She probably does know it, but my rendition I’m sure bore no resemblance to the actual song.)

        Here’s the studio version of Funky Good Time for anyone interested – i think the above clip is from a Muhammed Ali documentary.

  3. My best friend is a lovely beautiful, gentle and very kind girl called Yuki and we meet at university and became best friends almost at once. But there was a song I kept half remembering and I could only remember a few words, but it was about best friends but I had no idea who it was by or anything about it. It was really frustrating ! ! !

    Then I had really duh moment when I was talking about it to a friend at home maybe two years after Yuki and I met. It was actually an old song by an Okinawan three girl J-pop band called Kiroro who I used to like a lot in high school ! ! ! As soon as my friend said it I knew it immediately.

    It is a lovely song about the most important relationship for a girl (but her family) The relationship with her best friend. It really does say everything about Yuki and me.

    The song finishes with these words:

    zutto mimamotte iru karatte egao de
    itsumo no you ni dakishimeta
    anata no egao ni nando tasukerareta darou
    arigatou arigatou best friend
    Zutto zutto best of friends

    In English this is:

    “For I will always be watching over you” You said with a smile
    We embraced tightly, like we usually do
    How often have I been encouraged by your smiles, I wonder?
    Thank you, thank you, best friend
    Forever forever, best of friends

    So here it is

    Kiroro – Best Friend

  4. From the mid 70’s to the early 80’s I was a dedicated watcher of BBC’s documentary series “Arena. Although I was aware of ( and liked ) the opening title music, it never entered my head to track the artist down. Later in life after I had become more interested in the past works of Brian Eno. Sometime in the early 2000’s I came across an album of his from 1975 that had passed me by.
    It was, of course, Another Green World and when I came to listen to the title track it hit me like a smack on the head from a green bottle.

  5. Christmas 1988 a friend played me a track that she had been given on a mixtape. She didn’t know what it was, nor did anyone else. e didn’t even know which country it was from o0r whether it was a man or woman singing.

    Pabout three years ago, I’m playing a German mix that the Guardian has put on its music page at, right at the end, there it was – Holger Czukay – Persian Love

    • I had kind of the opposite experience with this tune. I remember reading an essay about it by Alan Warner in Granta about 10 years ago, and thinking it sounded wonderful – but never heard it until a year or so ago (pretty sure it was you who provided the link). Wonderful stuff, anyway.

      This is a good challenge, but I need to sleep on it.

  6. Aah, take a bow, TFD. The one I tried unsuccessfully for nearly TWENTY YEARS to track down was finally presented to me by a retired Granny from Milton Keynes! 😉

    In 1988 Little Feat were recorded in London by the BBC. I taped the In Concert off the radio, and adored the guest spot from Bonnie Raitt singing (as she told us in the intro) a Denise LaSalle tune. Only a couple of years later, I loaned out the cassette to someone who promptly disappeared from my life.

    I spent countless hours scouring second hand shops, bootleg music fairs, libraries and who knows where else trying to retrieve, if not the version I heard, then at least Ms LaSalle’s original. Never found it. Mentioned it on here a while back, and lo, by the demonic powers of a tree frog …. it appeared in my Inbox.

    You have all had it put to you as an earworm since then, but someone has now ‘Tubed it, although it sounds like his tape is knackered, by what happens mid-way through.

  7. Now if anyone can help me track down a copy of the 1980s album by Bradford-based Ranting Poet Little Brother, featuring such classics as Super Soaraway Bible, and Kids’ TV

    Will O’The Wisp?
    More like whiff o’the spliff,
    Wi’a witch the shape of a telly

  8. Good challenge. Between Google and ‘apps’ that look up songs for you based on the ambient temperature in the room where you first heard it, the next generation won’t have stories such as ours. Sigh.

    Mine begins in a strip club with a friend, drinking away the afternoon in quiet companionship. I didn’t look at the girls; I was just there in a support capacity to make sure my friend got home safely. I might have had one beer, or perhaps two as it was a warm day, but certainly would have been carefully monitoring my unit intake to ensure I complied with all local and national regulations. I may also have seen some female naughty bits, but only inadvertantly. When you are sitting at the edge of the stage stuffing $1 bills into strippers’ g-strings, it is hard to avoid looking entirely.

    So there I was, innocently sitting – in fact, it is a wonder I didn’t think of this for the angel topic on RR this week, so innocent and pure and virtuous was I – when a song caught my attention. Strippers tend to have a limited repertoire; you can go to strip clubs in towns on all points of the compass and hear mostly the same playlists. So they say (see above re me and my halo).

    It was for the slow song, when the stripper brings out her blankie and removes the last vestiges of modesty. The song was a bluesy number that I called, based on the lyrics, blue jeans blues. I loved it, and for over a decade I’d enquire in record stores about this old blues song called something like Blue Jean Blues.

    Eventually I learned that it was:

  9. I have two if that’s okay. Again both are mix tape related. When my brother and I were children, we spent a lot of time in the car going to visit family in far flung places, we played a lot of I spy and various games and my parents had a few tapes they used to play. They had no idea who most of the bands were and no track listings were available, it’s taken us a long time to find out that there were songs by Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and, randomly, Lindisfarne. So now when this song goes through my head, I can at least put a name to it,

    The second, if you’ll indulge me, comes from an reggae compilation a university friend made for me, it was all great stuff, but I have no idea who the tracks are by until I hear them. This week on Reggae at the BBC, I heard Nightnurse by Gregory Issacs and it made me happy

    if anyone knows a song which starts with the lines “My father name was Elijah, but name is Rabnantizer (sp?)” I’d be grateful. In case he’s out there, thanks Peter, I still love it now!

  10. I doesn’t quite fit the bill of the challenge, but I only found out 2 days ago and got pretty excited!

    I’ve been listening to lots of jazz lately (mainly because I’ve been getting home late and want something instrumental to relax to) and have listened to Ornette Coleman’s excellent “Change of the Century” a lot.

    The opening track “Ramblin'” had something naggingly familiar about it that I just couldn’t quite put my finger on…I thought it might be a TV theme or something….then on Monday I was listening to an old episode of Desert Island Discs from the archives with Ian Dury on my iPod (I LOVE Desert Island Discs, the archive keeps getting updated and is such a great resource – Sue Lawley is so patronising, Kirsty rules ! !) and as well as being an all-round top bloke, he chose “Ramblin'” as one of his records because he nicked the riff for “Sex and Drugs and Rock’N’Roll” from the bass solo ! That was it ! That was what was so naggingly familiar. It made me like both tunes even more!

    (listen around the 4:40 mark)

    • Panther on the subject of Ian Durys’ DID, I remember hearing a tune he played but as usual forgot the title but with the help of Debbym here was able to track it down – the tune was ‘Smalltown Talk’ by Bobby Charles btw

      • yes, that was a great tune ! He had a nice eclectic mix too. DID can make or break someone in my esteem. Gary Lineker had the worst selection ever – Elton John, U2, Dire Straits, Simply Red… – he went down considerably in my estimation !

    • I bought the album Change of the Century because I read in an Ian Dury biog that one of the tracks was the inspiration for Sex and Drugs and R&R. Played the thing over and over and couldn’t hear where it was. Must dig it out again now.

  11. In the year of Our Lord 1977, enamoured with “punk” and keen to “get with the action” I journeyed to the great metropolis of London whence I engaged myself as a student in one of the leading minor Polytechnics of the time.
    This enabled me to become a full time, enthusiastic member of the “punk rock scene” and part time “student” of Geography ( go on, ask me the capital of Macedonia).

    I lived in various tatty , rented “homes” whilst there, one of which was in a highly dubious part of Hackney.
    My mate, with whom I shared the flat, and I soon found the least lethal “watering hole” to be the one frequented by the local “teds”. Which was kind of strange as , according to the media at the time, there was supposed to be enormous animosity ‘twixt punks and teds.

    To us, though, they were never less than welcoming and supportive, giving us cheery “thumbs up ” ( not in THAT way ! Honestly !) and “Aw’right mate” greetings.

    Much of the music played in this venue was familiar to me any way. I’d long been a fan of 50s music, especially the “tougher” stuff live Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochrane.

    One track , though, eluded me. They played it several times during our tenure there and it always seemed to perk the place up. Most of the “teds” here were also bikers and this song seemed to resonate with them

    When I joined RR , for some reason, probably a topic, I raised the question as to whether anyone knew it.
    Of course rockingmitch knew straight away and a quite trill over to i-tunes later and the song I’d first ( and last) heard nearly 40 years ago was , at last, mine.

    I wouldn’t call it the greatest song ever but it’s part of my “back story” and I’m glad to have been pointed in the right direction by our true 50s expert.

  12. Don’t know if it’s exactly what you’re looking for, but many years ago as a young teenager (actually, add an extra ‘many’ in there….) myself and my brother bought an old reel-to-reel tape deck off a friend of our dad. Beautiful thing, shaped like a small tweed-covered suitcase, moving parts all brass, gear lever control, horizontal alignment…. Anyway, there were a couple of tapes thrown in, one of which was completely unlabelled and featured some rockin’ blues, some countrified picking and some stadium-filling (style) rock.
    After about a month, we finally cracked and brought the previous owner in to listen and tell us what the tracks all were.
    And that, ladies and gentlemen, was my first exposure to Creedence Clearwater Revival, whose Greatest Hits was the entire content of the tape. Molina, Good Golly Miss Molly, Who’ll Stop The Rain, Effigies, Lookin’ Out My Back Door…..At first I flat refused to believe that they were all the same band, but the voice and guitar eventually convinced me to start scouring the second-hand stores (only affordable source, those days) for CCR albums.

    • Great story williamsbach, I first “discovered” Jimi Hendrix on a reel to reel tape deck of my Dad’s. Thought it sounded like Prince (I was young). It sounded great and like the one you described, it came in a sort of beigey suitcase. Thanks for reminding me!

    • My dad had a Dual hi-fi system purchased in about 1971 which he recently took to the dump, which included the reel-to-reel. Talk about a wrathful daughter! I could have cheerfully killed him for that.

  13. This is another “TFD to the rescue” story; funnily enough we were discussing the CD sampler that this came from only last night.

    A few years ago this song was blasting from someone’s car in the car park at the HEB grocery store one day when I pulled up in the next space. I was so struck with it, I asked the lady what it was. She didn’t know. Her husband had made the CD compilation and hadn’t made a track list. I tried googling the main part of the lyric I could remember but got nothing. Roll on five years to a few months ago, TFD directed me to a site where they had some of the Oxford American Southern Sampler CDs and I managed to get a couple of them and on the 1999 one – and there it was! Oh, joy!

    I’ve been meaning to write a post about the Oxford American and the CDs to see who else might have found them, but hadn’t got to it yet. Anyone? I can’t get any of the CDs I haven’t got in the UK and TFD has kindly agreed to bring back any that I can find and purchase in the US. (Several of my earworms have come from the few samplers that I have.)

    Meanwhile, here’s the song. I Cried All Night by Junior Kimborough.

  14. Al –

    Your Duke Pearson video was not available in my country, but the best i could find was a song from it called “Say You’re Mine” on Grooveshark. I absolutely loved it.

  15. Thanks to the power of Shazam this doesn’t happen very often these days. Used to happen quite a bit when treasured overplayed taped from the radio tapes (often John Peel) decided to self destruct, & your mission was to try & remember what was on it so you could somehow get the tunes back in your life one day.

    Here’s one (of many) that was recovered many years after when a CD finally came out:

    (Can’t wait for the new unreleased Can project).

  16. This is superb, I can see why it stayed with you.

    Strangely, the only thing I can think of is a song called “The Shoals of Herring”. Ionce watched a programme about trawler men – no idea why it interested me, I was quite young at the time – and it had this song in the background. I always remembered it yet had no idea who it was -I discovered years later and quite by accident that it was by Ewan MacColl.

    I’ll google it now and find it was someone else. But it’s a great song, sung well.

    • It’s from one of those Radio Ballads of the late fifties or early sixties isn’t it? I can remember hearing the song on the BBC “Light Programme” but it must have been a repeat I think.

      In the eighties my then girlfriend did a course in media studies and her tutor insisted on the students listening to “Singing The Fishing”. When she came home she complained about a really boring BBC recording she had been made to sit through with some folky bloke singing about fish.

      I automatically put on “that voice” that Ewan McColl made de rigueur for folk singers and intoned “shoals of he-err-ing” much to her surprise. “How the hell do you know that?” she wanted to know.

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