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what's that "radio on" song ?
June 22, 2011 2:09 AM   Subscribe

Help me figure out what song this is. I am pretty sure it is a post-punk / new wave band, early eighties.

what I think is the chorus has multiple guys singing "radio on!" at the end of every couple bars, probably with some other words in between. medium tempo, driving, kinda anthemic, im pretty sure it was a radio single. all these details could be wrong. I've googled lyrics sites heavily and not had any luck. it's nowhere near as bubblegum as Video Killed The Radio Star.
posted by thetruthisjustalie to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Roadrunner.
posted by Judith Butlerian Jihad at 2:10 AM on June 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Beat me to it! Definitely the Modern Lovers. Great band.
posted by Ted Maul at 2:22 AM on June 22, 2011


In case you heard a version other than the original, wikipedia sez covers have been performed by Joan Jett, The Sex Pistols, The Feelies, Wire, Greg Kihn, Yo La Tengo, Scrotum Poles, The Jazz Butcher and Gary Valentine.
posted by dubold at 3:53 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roadrunner was also the closing number at shows by the seminal punk band The Insect Surfers.
posted by OmieWise at 5:01 AM on June 22, 2011


You should totally listen to their first album, um, The Modern Lovers. There's nothing quite as happy as "Roadrunner", but "Old World" and "Government Center" come close. Plus the language-drift-evidence of "I'm Straight".
posted by Frowner at 5:05 AM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


In case you heard a version other than the original, wikipedia sez covers have been performed by Joan Jett, The Sex Pistols, The Feelies, Wire, Greg Kihn, Yo La Tengo, Scrotum Poles, The Jazz Butcher and Gary Valentine.

Wikipedia. Like Jonathan Richman's "Pablo Picasso," this song was all over college radio in the 80s. Great stuff. And there was that promo for This American Life that played about a million times in recent years with a kid with a stuffed up nose singing a couple lines from "Roadrunner" as well ("Goin' faster miles an hour!") which anyone who listens to NPR has probably heard.
posted by aught at 6:44 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, the version you likely heard (with the Modern Lovers) was recorded with John Cale in 1972 ... postpunk predating punk!
posted by lisa g at 9:38 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes! Definitely roadrunner. Such a great feeling! I've been wondering for a couple months now. And now that wikipedia points out that it is based on Sister Ray, it really is similar. As a songwriter, it is actually really cool to see a song so closely related to it's inspiration, even produced by John Cale, and yet totally stands on it's own.

I always had thought the Modern Lovers was an 80s band -- I guess when you copy a band that is ahead of their time, you get another band that is ahead of their time.

I'm off to check out more of their stuff! Thanks!
posted by thetruthisjustalie at 10:49 AM on June 22, 2011


Jonathan Richman's solo stuff is also worth listening to.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:39 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


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