Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blasts from the past

You know what’s utterly groovy and totally awesome for this music-loving American who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s? Only two of my favorite radio stations ever—Radio Dos and Best FM—found on the airwaves of beautiful Costa Rica!

Sprinkled with bits of news—sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in English—these two gems are all about the songs of Generation X. What most interests me is that the people who choose the play lists for these stations definitely have favorites, and sometimes they are obscure or just unusual choices to air repeatedly. Months ago I started listing tunes that I hear a lot—many of which I hadn’t heard for years previously.

This list is by no means inclusive, but here are the songs that have stuck in my mind long enough and often enough to make it from brain to blog. And note that I hear a real variety of Heart, Duran Duran, and Survivor—the tunes listed are just those I hear most often.

  • Alan Parsons Project: Time
  • Andy Gibb: Shadow Dancing
  • Bee Gees: Night Fever
  • The Carpenters: Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft (how weird is this song, anyway?)
  • Duran Duran: Ordinary World
  • George Michael: Monkey
  • Gerry Rafferty: Baker Street
  • Glen Campbell: Rhinestone Cowboy (always wish I could call Dad on the cell when I hear this in the car)
  • Golden Earring: Twilight Zone
  • Heart: Alone
  • Lionel Richie: All Night Long
  • Martika: Toy Soldiers
  • Musical Youth: Pass the Dutchie (on the left-hand side)
  • Paper Lace: The Night Chicago Died and Billy Don’t Be a Hero (I had to mention both)
  • Pet Shop Boys: West End Girls (Erin loves this song!)
  • Sniff’n the Tears: Driver’s Seat (I love this song!)
  • Survivor: Burning Heart

... and deserving their own mention:

  • Terry Jacks: Seasons in the Sun: I’ve heard this a dozen times here in CR; before this, I'd probably not heard it since 1978. Erin says "Mom, it's so sad!” and I must admit, I still find it’s as tear-jerking as it was when I listened to it on my friend Lori’s record player back in third grade.

  • Culture Club: I’m sure I’ve heard every Culture Club song ever made popular in the US and then some while here in Costa Rica. I'm still trying to figure out the deal with Ticos and Boy George. I’ve heard The Crying Game too, more times than I can recall (including just a couple of hours ago on the way home from the grocery store). Oh, and I once saw a CC video/movie on TV here. It’s weird.

  • The good news is that in addition to these curious choices for repeated play, I still get plenty of pop rock: U2, Foreigner, Van Halen, the Stones, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard (love them!), Scorpions, Poison ... it's not all Carpenters, thank goodness!

    Wanna listen to these totally terrific tunes for yourself? You can get live, streaming audio for 99.5 Radio Dos and 103.5 Best FM online by clicking the links. Which really makes me happy, because I like knowing I can enjoy these cool stations even when I’m back in the Queen City.


    Justine said...

    Christine, if I had to sit in a car with you with these songs playing, I'd throw myself out on the highway! ROFL!

    Justine :o )

    Lisa said...

    I LOVE 80s music. I am always in the mood for some Culture Club, Wham, or Erasure. But I also love Bon Jovi and the hair bands of the 80s. I am so going to check those stations out. :)

    Four in Costa Rica said...

    Lisa, give 103.5 a try; it's more of the '80s stuff. I have to laugh because as I was reading your comment a Bon Jovi song was ending, and now as I'm typing, Careless Whisper from Wham is on. Hope you're listening. :)

    Justine, I'd throw myself under a bus if I had to listen to Ozzy with you, so no worries. Ha!


    Shelli said...

    Okay, I admit that I grew up listening to the Carpenters, but THAT'S the song they pick? What the heck? Sounds like Richard and Karen were using their bong when they wrote that one.

    Maybe the Ticos love Boy George's flamboyance? He's been in a bizarre bit of trouble lately...

    When I was in grade school, I had a dream of singing "Rhinestone Cowboy" onstage with Glen Campbell. Yeah, that's right--aim high Shelli.

    Audrey's going through a Heart stage right now. She has a collection of Girls Rock guitar picks designed by Nancy Wilson. Go Barracuda! Incidentally, Fergie does a bang-up cover of that song.

    Laurie Starr said...

    OMG, this is just a riot! I loved that Terry Jacks song as well as the APP "Time." But why do they pick THAT Carpenters song when there are so many other ones that are better (Justine, they really are nice songs!!)

    I'll have to tune in and get nostalgic with you. We won't invite Justine on our next car trip!


    Four in Costa Rica said...

    Shel and Laurie: They play other Carpenters' songs too, but I have heard Calling Occupants a few times and absolutely had to include it on my list. It has to be one of the weirdest songs ever, right?

    I've heard Barracuda too. :)


    aimee said...

    I would totally enjoy a station like that! Have you ever heard of BOB FM? Very similar concept and one of our favorite radio stations when we travel (we don't get it locally).

    katdish said...


    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. Don't listen to Justine -- she obviously has no taste in music!!! Check out my post (it's a few posts back) "Ann and Nancy: I don't know if I heart you anymore!" I'm with you -- I LOVE "Driver's Seat" and I haven't heard it in years!