Making song requests on the radio

TGIF!… I haven’t blogged anything in almost 2 years. Seeing that it is Friday and I have something brewing in my head, let me write about it…

Sometime last year, thanks to my wife, I discovered this really cool local radio station that plays only old music (for us old people). Actually, this station plays a ton of 80s and 90s popular music… stuff from my teenage years, hence my affection for it. It is called Mix 93.8 FM and it broadcasts from Midrand. They play 60s and 70s music as well, but hardly anything from the present day.

So I totally got into listening to this station during my work commute. And at least a handful of times, I was tempted to call in and make song requests. One or two were played, one was forgotten (or ignored) and another one was replaced with a more popular song choice. All said and done, this is radio after all. The popular song choices will always win compared to the more obscure fan favourites. I think I requested something fast-paced from U2 and dropped the song title ‘The Electric Co.’ as well. They ended up playing their standard station favourite ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ which isn’t fast-paced by any stretch of the imagination and not at all what I requested for! Still, I was happy that they played a good song from one of my all-time favourite bands. But would it hurt if they venture out a bit, away from the typical classic rock anthems that have been played 16 trillion times already?

In other words, if I want to listen to R.E.M.’s ‘Disturbance at the Heron House’, my best bet is to dust off my CD copy of ‘Document’ rather than wait for it to be played on the radio. That said, every now and then it is refreshing to hear random songs played by a radio DJ. For instance, this morning Mix FM played Steve Miller Band’s ‘Rockin’ Me’ which I have to say I quite enjoyed listening to despite not caring much at all for Steve Miller Band’s music in general. But I hadn’t heard that particular song in several years and it was nice to listen to it.

A personal music collection trumps everything but it is still nice to have a good radio station on every now and then.

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Posted on October 10, 2014, in Music and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Jonny Come Lately

    Hi Musikwala,

    I went on to your blog and was surprised to see a new post! Some interesting thoughts here, I’ll add a few comments of my own.

    I have sometimes listened to the radio when they’ve been playing requests (this often seems to happen on Friday afternoons in the UK, at least on BBC Radio 2), of course the nature of this is that some people have tastes closer to mine than others so my enjoyment of this does vary. I’ve never made any requests myself although I must admit if I did I’d probably ask for one of the less obvious selections from any of my favourite bands.

    I think the radio station were relatively fortunate with the U2 song that you’re a fan of most of their music – if the request had been made by someone who was mainly into their post-punk era and lost interest in the band after War, I could imagine them being quite annoyed by the radio station’s choice. I can understand why they maybe didn’t want to play Electric Co., but I’m surprised they didn’t play an earlier hit like I Will Follow or even New Year’s Day.

    I had an experience similar to the one you described with the Steve Miller Band on the radio a couple of weeks back – I’m not an Oasis fan particularly but Don’t Look Back In Anger came on and I have to say I rather enjoyed hearing it.

    There are certain songs however I would rather hear on the original albums, even if they are popular with radio stations, as they invariably play the edit versions which usually are not as good, take Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac for instance, where I find the loss of the solo weakens the ending of the song. The only cases where this doesn’t bother me is if the edit do not cut out the actual music (Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 by Pink Floyd) or if the song is not significantly affected or weakened by the edit (Joe Walsh’s Life’s Been Good is an odd case where I actually prefer the radio edit).

    Jonny (Come Lately)

    • Hey Jonny! Great to hear from you outside of the forum, man. Sorry for the late response. I have been bad with this blog, neglecting it for almost 2 years. But life catches up with you and your family and kids take up all your time. There is not much time left for forums or blogs. But good to hear from you. 🙂

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