Spotify track labeled "Explicit": How can I get a copy of it?
February 5, 2020 5:01 PM   Subscribe

I want to get a personal copy of an obscure tune that came out as a single in the UK back in the late 90s. It is only available now either in its original format via Discogs for $$$ (and I do not even have a turntable that I could play it on), or on Spotify as part of huge compilation of late 90s UK tunes. Alas, that entire collection has been incorrectly labeled "Explicit," and so cannot be played on the desktop version of Spotify.

(If I could play it on my desktop, I understand there are ways I could grab the audio so I could replay it without Spotify). Apparently one can allow streaming of tunes labeled "Explicit" only on the mobile version of Spotify, and there exist apps like Syncios Music Recorder that can grab Spotify tracks on a rooted Android (though I do not have an Android or indeed any mobile device). Anyone have a suggestion of a way for me to get a (ideally, a better than 128k) copy of this long-forgotten yet much-cherished tune?
posted by tenderly to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So, what's the song?
posted by mykescipark at 5:11 PM on February 5, 2020 [8 favorites]

Are you absolutely sure it’s not lurking somewhere on YouTube? I’m always amazed at the obscure tunes one can find in there.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:13 PM on February 5, 2020

Check your desktop app settings – do you not have an option for "Allow playback of explicit-rated content"? I do.
posted by WCityMike at 5:21 PM on February 5, 2020 [15 favorites]

Apparently one can allow streaming of tunes labeled "Explicit" only on the mobile version of Spotify

This is categorically untrue, at least on Spotify desktop here in the U.S. My desktop version of Spotify plays tracks marked explicit all the time. If that's not true for your country, maybe try changing your location in your Spotify account?
posted by katyggls at 5:22 PM on February 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

I listened to Martha Wainright's Bloody Motherfucking Asshole on Spotify desktop very recently (like, today) and it is labelled explicit, so I don't think there's a universal prohibition on Explicit songs on Spotify desktop.

You may need to ensure that your phone doesn't have the explicit filter enabled, even though it's the desktop version you want to change. The integration between Spotifies versions that can cross-connect to each other is ... spotty.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:22 PM on February 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

I think I was getting confused by Spotify community support posts online stating things such as, "Currently, there is no settings option in the Web Player" and not distinguishing between the options available in the browser-based player and the Windows Spotify app. While there is no "Settings" option in the browser Spotify, there is in the Windows app. However, even with Explicit Content allowed, that entire album is not playable (even using a UK proxy); at the top of the player, it states: "Spotify can't play this right now. If you have the file on your computer you can import it" and all tracks are greyed out. :(

(I suspect that the compilation – never issued in physical form – was not legitimate, and rights holders complained.)
posted by tenderly at 6:44 PM on February 5, 2020

Can you provide a link to the album? The button with three dots next to the heart; then Share; then Copy Album Link or Copy Spotify URI. Or, right-click on the song, Share, and then either of those two items.
posted by WCityMike at 7:00 PM on February 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

I solved a similar problem recently by finding an mp3 of the song I wanted on Soulseek (the filesharing program.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:15 PM on February 5, 2020

Truly, what's the track? I'm sure we can hivemind you a copy!
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 7:23 PM on February 5, 2020 [5 favorites]

Why so coy? Even if it's called "I hate vaginas" I won't judge. If you let us know the song, we can help. I'm from the UK too and was a teen in the 90s. I bet I know it.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 10:28 PM on February 5, 2020 [9 favorites]

it's most likely an issue of the rights-holder not having the rights for either the uk or your country. i run into this all the time with new canadian and australian albums that i can track down on spotify but not play.

but i'll also join the chorus of "if you tell us the artist and the name of the song we can probably still help!"
posted by noloveforned at 7:56 AM on February 6, 2020

For Reasons, I'd prefer not to mention the name of the track in the public thread, but it's safe to say that unless you are a true afficionado of UK Garage you probably would not know the piece, and would be very unlikely to actually have a copy yourself. It's good that I posted, however, as memails have been exchanged and I've received some positive news.

Thanks all!
posted by tenderly at 9:41 PM on February 6, 2020

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