There's almost never a time when I don't hear music playing. Unfortunately for those around me, they often hear the same music, mediated by my humming, singing, or, especially, whistling through my teeth. Yeah, I'm that guy.
I've always been curious about this, because it's so unconscious, and many of the songs are not songs I would seek out to listen to. So this past month as an experiment, when I noticed that I had a song going through my mind, I broke out of my mindless reverie long enough to write down the title.
While some of these might be tracks on albums I listened to hundreds of times in the past, some are just songs I heard on the radio and would never claim to hold affection for. But I'm not sure if it's honest to say that I actively dislike some of these songs—obviously some part of my brain likes them.
I'm linking to the versions of the songs that come into my head, where I can find them.
These start in reverse order, from the beginning of November, to the end. Don't judge.
Let's kick it off with with perhaps the most embarrassing entry:
OK, now let's really get the party started. This one has long been in my heavy mental rotation:
This next one, a tune from my old band the Horsies, was swirling through my brain because someone had posted a link to this video on our Facebook page a few days earlier:
Now, here's Keef!
This is one of those songs I find myself singing and I wonder, "Where the hell did this come from?" I don't even own Dark Side of the Moon, and I'm sure I haven't heard the song in years (until now, searching out the video). Haunting tune, though:
Another one I'm sure I hadn't heard forever:
Ugh. Am I proud about a second appearance by the Association, with neither of them being Windy? No, no I am not:
While the Mamas & the Papas' and Eddie Hazel's covers are both in the mental record bin, Bobby's fantastic version is the one that comes up most often:
No mystery about why this song came up—I was reading the book at the time. I've only ever heard Benatar's version of this, and never voluntarily. The refrain sticks in my mind like flypaper:
This one is definitely in my earworm top 10, and has been for decades:
Next, a timeless effing classic:
Another one from the heavy mental rotation:
After that, this lovely ditty:
The next few tunes I noted were repeats, none of them by the Association, thank God. Then I veer into my old art rock crush. It's pretty weird that you can find obscurities like this on YouTube. Scoff all you want, Phil Collins kills it on the tubs on this tune. I also like bass pedals. Sue me.
This is another one that had me wondering where the hell it came from when I noticed it going through my head. Shows you what millions of radio plays will do to get your work in the collective unconscious:
I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. Imagine being me:
Back to Genesis's Foxtrot album, for some reason. Give this one a chance. It really gets going around the seven-minute mark:
I must've been on my Genesis period this week, although the next two tunes are late rather than early Gabriel-period. I hadn't remembered that they were the final two back-to-back tracks on the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album until I found this video that presents them together. More bass pedals! More Phil killing it on the drums!
The next two entries were a repeat from earlier in the list. And then, the mighty Prince Buster. Nice!
God, what a good-bad/bad-good earworm this one is:
Another head-scratcher. What can I say? The world of full of stupid songs, and lots of 'em, like this one, are stuck in my head:
Sigh. I wish I could say this was the only Frankie Vallie earworm lodged in my brain:
This one's from my second ManChildATX record. Until now I had no idea that CD Baby provided all my tracks to YouTube, and that YouTube auto-generated videos for them. Anyway, enjoy:
Here's a palate cleanser:
This next one comes up all the time, because I sing it to my dog, changing the lyrics to "Your Boyfriend's Coming." When she hears it, she knows she's going to the park with Louis, her boyfriend, who is a Boston Terrier.
I've got a mind like an indiscriminate steel trap:
After that, another one of my ManChildATX tunes came up. While searching for it on YouTube, I discovered Juvenile released a track with the same name. Weird. Mine was first:
I'm reading Costello's Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink, so this. No apologies, I love this song:
A classic I know from the Routes of Jamaican Music collection:
Wow, I'm amazed I can't find a YouTube video with the original track for the next entry on my list, Radioactive by the early and incredibly influential (on me) Austin punk band Terminal Mind. I did find a (very slow) cover version by these guys. It doesn't come close to the original, but I credit them for keeping the song alive:
Check out this Terminal Mind song to get an idea of what they were actually like.