Unmasking mysterious tracks


Jan 1 2008, 17h28

It's January 1st, 4 PM (when I started writing) and I woke up three hours ago. The past six days I've been addicted to the Top 2000, which ended 16 hours ago. The perfect time for a journal entry.

In the Top 2000 (on the Dutch radio) the best songs of all times are presented. Although some of them are really crap, there are also many very good ones. The unfortunate thing is, I know hardly any tracks by title or artist. Even though I've had the entire list lying in front of me all the time, I got surprised by most of the tracks.
Some surprises were good, some bad, and a few them really amazed me. Those were the songs I knew since I was a little child. And because I was so young, I can't remember any of those artists or track titles. Trying to sing it or describing its melody, I've tried to find out what they were called, but I hardly ever succeeded in that.
But then, somewhere in the last six days of the year, some of those tracks show up in the Top 2000. Eyes open wide, goosebumps everywhere and euphoric by hearing it, I shall never forget its title. Another mystery is solved.
On the other side, it's a pity songs lose their mysteries. Once I know its title and I have it on my computer, I can listen to it as many times as I want and it's not that special anymore.

I will mention some of those tracks, listed from most amazing to... well, less amazing!

VangelisConquest of Paradise
I think more people will agree with me in this case. This music is absolutely beautiful but it's impossible to hear the title.
For many years I've tried to find out what it was called – I even remember asking complete strangers when I heard it on the street once. My mother thought I went crazy when I tried to hum its start and sing like the choir for the 10th time and she still didn't understand which song I meant.
But then, I'm not sure if it was one or two years ago, I heard it in the top 2000. As I knew exactly which song was on on the list, I went completely crazy when I finally found out what it was called. I still remember all those years of desperately looking for its name, every time I listen to it.

Diana RossTheme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)
Now that I found out what this song is called, I don't understand I couldn't find it earlier, because of the 'Do you know where you're going to'. On the other side, if you see those words, you still don't have a clue of its melody.
I remember myself, being a little child of about three or four years old. I can even imagine what my old house in Groningen (where I lived at the time) looked like when I listen to this song. I have always loved it, it's given me goosebumps and tears in my eyes for as long as I can remember. It was probably one of those songs you try to sing in fantasy words when you are an infant, because you can't speak English yet!
Anyway, I found this title only days ago, in this year's (oh, actually last year's, 2008 has started!) Top 2000. It must have been the first second when I recognized its beautiful melody and I felt like screaming of euphoria!

Billy JoelThe Longest Time
Twelve years ago I lived in Switzerland and we travelled to the Netherlands and back almost every month. During this twelve-hour journey, my parents (and thus me too) always listened to the same cassette tape. I really enjoyed this one year abroad, and every song of that tape reminds me of the happy years when I was little.
Like some other tracks in this list, I can recall old scenes when listening to this one. And of course it's a car I see this time. Two little sisters (one was three, the other a baby) sleeping on both sides of me.
I found out this title one day before Diana Ross and I think I felt even happier this time. But that must be because it's such a “feel good” track. Maybe I should thank my parents for having a good taste in music!
Having found some other songs by Billy Joel, She's Always a Woman, Goodnight Saigon and Leningrad, I think I'm becoming a fan of his.
By the way, Goodnight Saigon will not be listed here, but for me it used to be 'the song with the helicopter'. I always had to force myself not to cry when I was younger, because somehow I felt it was about people dying or living in dangerous situations.

TotoAfrica and Stop Loving You
Africa was one of my favourite tracks on our travelling cassette tape. It was the last song of the A-side but it didn't fit on entirely. Halfway the song, the tape turned to the B-side and Africa started over. Which I didn't mind at all. I loved the beginning with those drums and the chorus is still beautiful.
Two years ago I intended to go to Tanzania, Africa, after my graduation. I was having e-mail contact with Kaniki, an African man who wanted to guide me through Tanzania. He showed me pictures, taught me a little Swahili and told me many things about Africa. Hearing most of his stories in this song made it very special to me.
And then those first sentences of the chorus. I know it's about a continent, but to me it's got a different meaning. It's one of those songs I listen to when I feel down and it helped me through a very hard period in my life half a year ago.
It was the first time I heard of Toto, but since I got to know him a little better. Stop Loving You was also one of those beautiful songs I didn't know by name. I heard it in a remix version, some months ago when I was going out. The very next morning I tried to sing it for my mother, and she told me it was Toto. For this one time, she knew immediately which song I meant!

Simon & GarfunkelThe Boxer
I got to know this title only two days ago. When it started, it somehow sounded familiar and I knew I had to look for the song with that 'la la la-chorus'. But while listening to the track I thought it sounded even more like the one I had to look for. And when the chorus finally started, I had to cry. I don't know why this song had so much impact on me. I have known it for many years and always wanted to know its title, but as far as I know it doesn't have a special meaning to me. I'm not sure, but it might be on the cassette tape. Anyway, I'm really happy I found it and I think it will be in my Top Tracks, together with some others in this list!

Bon JoviLivin' on a Prayer and You Give Love a Bad Name
I've always loved both songs, I even think they were the first rock songs I liked. Because I knew they were both performed by Bon Jovi and I liked both of them the same way, I've doubted for a while if they weren't actually combined in one song instead of two. When I got older however, and I was able to understand the English choruses, I found out they were two different songs after all.
My best friend's mother is a huge fan of Bon Jovi and that's why I tried to sing these songs for her instead of my own mother. However, (as always, I'm a bad singer) she didn't know what I meant.
But one day I went shopping with them in Arnhem and she bought Slippery When Wet. As we are all fans of Bon Jovi, we listened to that CD on our way back. It was during the second track that I went crazy of happiness: 'Oh my god, that's one of the two songs I've wanted to know by name for years!'. And when Livin' on a Prayer followed as number three on the CD I got euphoric again. I think it's no surprise I now have that CD myself too.

EuropeThe Final Countdown
I've loved this magnificent chorus for many years and I remember singing a song about Heineken on primary school using this melody. (Don't ask me why we were singing about beer when we were ten years old...) I tried to ask my teacher but she was having a bad temper and didn't want to tell who performed the original.
I don't know exactly when I found out what it was called, but it was some years ago (not in the Top 2000 this time).

BanglesEternal Flame
Unfortunately, this is one of the songs that lost their mystery because of listening to it too many times. But I will name it anyway, because when I found it, some years ago, I was really happy.
When I got to know this song, I must have been about four years old. I didn't understand what the lyrics were about, but I loved the chorus. In the end, some drum is used and sometimes it still gives me goosebumps.
Some years ago, Atomic Kitten covered this track and that's how I found out its track title, but it still cost me about a year to find out that the original was performed by the Bangles. And of course I like the lyrics when I'm in love..!

There are some more tracks I could name here, but it would make my journal way too long. So here are some of those other tracks:

Cyndi LauperTrue Colors
REO SpeedwagonKeep on Loving You
Deep Blue SomethingBreakfast at Tiffany's
KansasDust in the Wind
MeatloafParadise by the Dashboard Light
Matia BazarTi Sento
Alice & Franco BattiatoI Treni Di Tozeur
Eric ClaptonTears in Heaven
Supertramp - School
Dire Straits - Private Investigations


  • atis-phantasa

    Hmm, actually I don't even know the second song you mentioned... but I shall have a listen! ;)

    Fev 25 2008, 21h34
  • dinges

    Kende jij scenes from an italian restaurant niet eens, jongedame! Ga je in een hoekje zitten schamen... Comment inclusief onbewuste rijm (Y)

    Mar 25 2008, 11h02
  • atis-phantasa

    Goed hoor van die rijm. :P En oeps, die heb ik nog steeds niet geluisterd... xD

    Mar 26 2008, 7h22
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