So anyways, I was driving to work one day, busily working on some parody lyrics to the Smashing Pumpkins' "Eye" (first words: "I whine. A lot."), when a song popped up on the radio.
I knew that I had heard the song a long time ago, but I couldn't place what the name of the song was, or who sang it.
All that I knew was that the title of the song probably began with the letter B or the letter C. You see, the radio station (The Sound 100.3, KSWD) was playing its end of summer 2000 songs from A to Z thingie, and they were early in the B's yesterday afternoon. Since the thingie is going on until the United States Labor Day holiday, I knew they had a long way to go on their list.
Afterwards, I was reflecting on all the songs that are in the recesses of my brain. I've heard tens of thousands, or perhaps hundreds of thousands, of songs over my lifetime. I can divide these songs into four categories.
Category 1 includes songs that I can pretty much hear on demand, any time I want. A prime example is Royksopp's "The Girl and the Robot"; even if I don't have my netbook with me, the song is loaded on my phone.
Category 2 includes songs that I've heard recently, perhaps on the radio, or perhaps on one of the many streaming services that I use. An example out of this category is Rob Dougan's "Furious Angels."
Category 3 includes songs that I haven't heard in years, or perhaps decades, but if I hear the song, I'll immediately remember everything about it. An example out of this category is the Supremes' "Love Child." This is a pretty fun category; when my daughter was very young, I'd hear one of these songs and say to her, "That song was a hit 21 years ago." Sadly, I never managed to sell my daughter on Madness or the Buggles or Foghat or whoever.
Which brings us to Category 4, which includes songs that I haven't heard in years, or perhaps decades, but if I hear the song, I end up saying "I know I've heard this before." For whatever reason, the song made an impression on me when I heard it, but it didn't make THAT big of an impression. An example out of this category is the song that I heard that one morning while driving in to work - "Breakdown" by the Alan Parsons Project. This song originally appeared on the I Robot album in 1977, and it's probably safe to say that I haven't heard it since the 1970s. "Breakdown" was never released as a single, but I probably heard it on one of the Washington, DC rock stations, since it went into heavy rotation on those types of stations (which is why The Sound included it in their playlist).
So what happens when a song such as this goes from the recesses of your brain and ends up at the forefront of your brain? Will it soon be forgotten again, or will this supplant "Time" as my favorite Alan Parsons Project song? Who knows?
P.S. Speaking of whining, the next song played by The Sound was the Tom Petty song also known as "Breakdown." But they played the live version, in which the first verse was sung by the crowd, not by Petty.
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