Hidden Gems

01 February 2008 · 7 comments

It’s humbling to realize I have gaps in my musical knowledge. I know that’s a strange thing to say, but nowadays it’s rare for me to find songs from the 1970s and 1980s with which I’m completely unfamiliar.

Here’s a song I heard recently on XM 49 (which plays rock hits from the 70s and 80s, and which is my “station of the moment”). What makes it remarkable is that it’s a song from REO Speedwagon that I’ve never heard before. I love REO Speedwagon!


REO Speedwagon – Time for Me to Fly

Not only have I not heard of this second song, but I haven’t even heard of the band: The Sweet. According to Wikipedia, this song reached #5 in the U.S. during 1975 and was “one of the year’s biggest hits”. I can’t help but feel this is an elaborate hoax. How come I haven’t heard of the band or the song?


The Sweet – Ballroom Blitz

Wow. Can that be any more camp? It reminds me of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

One of my favorite parts of XM so far is discovering hidden gems like these. You should see my list of newly discovered dance and chillout songs. I’m discovering whole new worlds of music.

1 Cat February 1, 2008 at 20:46

For some reason I thought Ballroom Blitz was used in Velvet Goldmine, but I guess it just reminds me of the movie.

Hmm…I haven’t watched Velvet Goldmine in a few years…

2 pril February 2, 2008 at 03:42

holy mackerel, Ballroom Blitz was done in Wayne’s World, also. The girl that Wayne (was it Wayne?!) fell in love with did it. The Sweet also has a song called “love is like oxygen” that’s pretty cooooool. really can’t believe you’ve NEVER heard Ballroom Blitz. Never! :)

3 jdroth February 2, 2008 at 08:05

One of the best parts of XM 49?

They play Loverboy all the time!

4 Rich February 2, 2008 at 11:58

I’m more of an XMU guy, but it is hard to believe that you never heard “Time for Me to Fly.” Granted I grew up in the land where REO Speedwagon flowed as freely as Def Leppard and Duran Duran, but I still can’t believe that you never heard it!

5 Nikchick February 2, 2008 at 12:41

Like Rich, I can’t believe you never heard Time for Me to Fly. I can vouch that it was played all over the radio…I was even in Oregon at the time.

My very favorite cover of Ballroom Blitz is a live version done by the Rezillos. You can hear a sample here,,,they speed it up a bit, which I think really suits it. You may or may not have heard the Rezillos. The Jackass movie included them doing one of my favorites, Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight. They’re wacky. You might like their Destination Venus or Flying Saucer Attack songs. :)

The Sweet are like the real world Spinal Tap.

6 Paul J. February 2, 2008 at 22:35

J.D.,

I’ve heard of both but I remember hearing the Krokus version not the Sweet version. (gotta be one kick ass band to be named after a flower!)

I was having a conversation with a co-worker about music we grew up with. I grew up in a top 40 ghetto in Madras. There wasn’t any college stations, no computer access, barely any decent FM stations. We stayed up until 12:30 on Friday nights to watch videos and were frequently disappointed that the show wasn’t on or they only showed ones we knew before. It was a half hour show or was it an hour? They didn’t show more than 4 or 5 videos.

I think now that provincialism is dead. You’ve got kids hooked into the global community that didn’t exist when we were growing up. All I had was FM, AM (country). Oh yeah, we stayed up late on weekends listening to a Tijuana station, The Mighty 690. It came through like a laser beam, crystal clear from midnight to 5am.

7 Dave February 3, 2008 at 11:04

It does not surprise me that you’ve not heard of the Sweet. Glam rock was not your thing as I recall (nor mine, in all fairness). You are correct that it sounds a whole lot like Rocky Horror. There’s even a song in that film that sounds almost exactly like part of this one.

But, like Nikchick I’m surprised that you don’t recall “Time for Me to Fly”. Not so much because you would’ve recalled it’s 1978 release date or that it went to some abysmally low spot on the US charts, but because if nothing else it’s on the classic album, “You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish”. Classic. It’s on the Greatest Hits album. I think that KGON plays it every time they play a block of REO Speedwagon.

Previous post:

Next post: