Late to the party: Songs you discovered long after they were popular


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In about my sophomore or junior year in high school, 1979 or maybe 1980, I discovered Led Zeppelin. It didn't come as a club over the head, but more like an increasing awareness that they had made some really great music. As my tastes changed and developed, my enjoyment of their music grew. That seems to be one theme of my life: Discovering something long after everyone else knows about it.

For example, fifteen or sixteen years ago (or so, don't remember exactly when), I discovered Linkin Park. I was amazed to hear this music that, while not particularly virtuosic instrumentally or vocally, combined types of music I enjoyed with types I didn't like so much, the result of which was something unlike anything else I had ever heard. It was amazing. I believe my first introduction was Figure.09, but it quickly grew to encompass almost every song in their album Meteora. I found they had produced an earlier album, Hybrid Theory, which was cut from exactly the same cloth as Meteora. How this music had completely gotten by me, I didn't understand. It was amazing. Around that same time I discovered Evanescence's album Fallen, probably from the very popular Bring Me to Life. Same story. The album had a gritty, intense feel, and I admit that the lyrical and musical darkness appealed to my inner teenage Goth. (Along with some surprising, to me, Christian themes, such as Tourniquet, which I gather is actually a cover.)

This happened to me yet again recently, a few months ago. I discovered Foo Fighters through a song called The Pretender. Now, I had heard of Foo Fighers for two decades, but I had never bothered to seek them out and listen to what they wrote. Turns out the band has a glimmer of talent.

So what songs or groups have you discovered long after they were popular? I'm thinking specifically about music during your lifetime that you missed the first time around, but if you want to list Johnny Cash favorites that your Grandpa used to listen to or Mozart standards or something, that's okay too.

 

Edited by Vort
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I've lost count of all the songs I've loved, covers or remakes or parodies of an original, and I go years or even decades before ever hearing the original.   The "Weird Al effect" was a big contributor.  I never heard half the songs he parodied until later.   Another one bites the dust.  Like a Virgin.  Gangstas Paradise.  Never heard them until years later.

In fact, now that I google up a list of Al's parodies, I learn for the first time today that these original songs even exist:
Fancy (Iggy Azalea)
It’s All About The Benjamins (Puff Daddy)
You Belong With Me (Taylor Swift)
Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke)

But it's not just parodies.  I'm a sucker for undiscovered talent, and I've got an awful lot of music produced by folks on places like Bandcamp and Soundcloud and YouTube. Each one better and more amazing than the last.  And at least once a year, I'll be listening to someone's mainstream radio station, and learn for the first time that one of my cool songs was just a remake of some original song. 

 

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Slightly off topic, but speaking of not grasping the popularity of things-


I was shocked how many people loved Jimmy Buffett. At first when he died, I was like “Okay, everyone becomes a fan of dead celebrities.”

Nope. I was wrong and frankly, I should have known. I’m stunned how many people are Parrotheads.   

Edited by LDSGator
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When we finally got the game RockBand, probably 2 years after it came out, my appreciation for all the songs that the family (fake played) increased dramatically. 

Kinda like how fantasy football has given the NFL a shot in the arm.

 

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57 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

Slightly off topic, but speaking of not grasping the popularity of things-


I was stunned how many people loved Jimmy Buffett. At first when he died, I was like “Okay, everyone becomes a fan of dead celebrities.”

Nope. I was wrong and frankly, I should have known. I’m stunned how many people are Parrotheads.   

Everyone says Jimmy Buffet's best song was Margaritaville. Nope. It was Come Monday.

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4 minutes ago, mikbone said:

When we finally got the game RockBand, probably 2 years after it came out, my appreciation for all the songs that the family (fake played) increased dramatically. 

Kinda like how fantasy football has given the NFL a shot in the arm.

Rocksmith is how I discovered Through the Fire and Flames, another of my late-to-the-party songs.

 

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

I've lost count of all the songs I've loved, covers or remakes or parodies of an original, and I go years or even decades before ever hearing the original.   The "Weird Al effect" was a big contributor.  I never heard half the songs he parodied until later.   Another one bites the dust.  Like a Virgin.  Gangstas Paradise.  Never heard them until years later.

In fact, now that I google up a list of Al's parodies, I learn for the first time today that these original songs even exist:
Fancy (Iggy Azalea)
It’s All About The Benjamins (Puff Daddy)
You Belong With Me (Taylor Swift)
Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke)

But it's not just parodies.  I'm a sucker for undiscovered talent, and I've got an awful lot of music produced by folks on places like Bandcamp and Soundcloud and YouTube. Each one better and more amazing than the last.  And at least once a year, I'll be listening to someone's mainstream radio station, and learn for the first time that one of my cool songs was just a remake of some original song. 

 

 

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I love songs that sample the good oldies.

Best of my love - The emotions

 

"Mo Money Mo Problems" by The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Puff Daddy & Mase (sampled "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross)
 

Edited by mikbone
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Leonard Cohen weirds me out.  Everyone and their dog loved Shrek's Hallelujah, but far fewer love the original, because Leonard Cohen weirds them out too.  Honestly, I like the antireligionist comedian Tim Minchin's cover than the Cohen original. (3:57-4:15 is one of the greatest vocal performances I've ever heard.) 

That said, if you're gonna have a weird fascination with the gloomy defeatist Everybody Knows from the Justice League, well, nobody does gloomy and defeatist as well as Leonard

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Oh Jeez @mikbone!  GotG Awesome Mix 1 used to see daily rotation in my playlist!   Just about every song about love, but there's something missing or broken or not quite right about it.  Dude is hooked on a feelingMoonage Daydream is trying to obtain it, same with Come and Get Your Love and Ain't no Mountain High Enough. Fooled Around & Fell in Love is a story about the downside of moving from serial hookups to something meaningful. Escape/Pina Colada Song deals with looking elsewhere for love without knowing you already have it.   Ooh Child is about hoping for something better than the current horrible situation.  And I Want you Back and I'm Not In Love are self explanatory. 

And yes, most of these songs I heard grown up with, but never really listened to until that movie and it's soundtrack.

Edited by NeuroTypical
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I was introduced to classical music by Saturday morning cartoons (particularly Buggs Bunny).  But really got into them due to sports (olympic theme, etc).

Every time I hear Aaron Copeland’s fanfare for the common man I get excited.  -  Kinda like Pavlov’s dogs.

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2 minutes ago, mikbone said:

I was introduced to classical music by Saturday morning cartoons (particularly Buggs Bunny).  But really got into them due to sports (olympic theme, etc).

Every time I hear Aaron Copeland’s fanfare for the common man I get excited.  -  Kinda like Pavlov’s dogs.

The Rabbit of Seville was among my first introductions to Italian opera.

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I tagged along to the Taylor Swift concert movie. I owned like two of her early albums, but pretty much ignored her over the past decade. 

I admit I get the appeal.

This past week I discovered I may like Pink.

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On 5/8/2024 at 12:08 PM, mikbone said:

 

Every time I hear Aaron Copeland’s fanfare for the common man I get excited.  -  Kinda like Pavlov’s dogs.

We had it as part of a fireside event at Scout camp. Same program for years.

I love it. I associate it with trying to get my guys organized as we manuevered canoes, tiki torches, and worked with the flaming arrow people.

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