Oct 052011

Let’s review the ground rules here. The Mystery Date song is not necessarily something I believe to be good. So feel free to rip it or praise it. Rather the song is something of interest due to the artist, influences, time period… Your job is to decipher as much as you can about the artist without research. Who do you think it is? Or, Who do you think it sounds like? When do you think it was recorded? Etc…

If you know who it is, don’t spoil it for the rest. Anyone who knows it can play the “mockcarr option.” (And I’ve got a hunch at least one of you know this one.) This option is for those of you who just can’t hold your tongue and must let everyone know just how in-the-know you are by calling it. So if you know who it is and want everyone else to know that you know, email Mr. Moderator at mrmoderator [at] rocktownhall [dot] com. If correct we will post how brilliant you are in the Comments section.

The real test of strength though is to guess as close as possible without knowing. Ready, steady, go!

[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Mystery-Date-100511.mp3|titles=Mystery Date, “Mystery Date 100511”]

  30 Responses to “Mystery Date”

  1. pudman13

    OK, I don’t know what this is, but the vocals (not just the lead but that ohhhh bit at the end) sound like a dead givewaway to me. I’m not going to say the name of the band, but if it is them it must be a later song from a period of their career I ignored or didn’t know existed. Or is it a reunion recording?

    Failing that, the obvious guess is early/mid-80s from the UK or Ireland.

  2. BigSteve

    I certainly know the song. The reggae version by the Nicky Thomas is a classic. Paul Young also recorded it. This is not him.

  3. This is not him, indeed.

  4. By sticking with the entire song you have uncovered some fine insights.

  5. The Nicky Thomas version is classic, although I’m slightly partial to the other less well-known reggae version by Eric Donaldson.

  6. Welcome aboard, ivanomartin! I was not really familiar with any version of this song. Although I’d heard this particular one before, it hadn’t stuck in my mind when I revisited it today. I’ll have to look into the other versions you guys are talking about.

  7. BigSteve

    The original is by the Four Preps (1967):


    The Everly Brothers also cut a nice version during their Warner Bros era.

  8. This album is probably one of the more-disliked by this band, but it was a constant companion of mine the last half of high school and beyond. I even put the poster on my wall!

    I have a way of favoriting lesser albums by good artists, purely out of laziness. Once upon a time I knew I wanted an album by these guys, and this is the release that showed up in the bins underneath my fingers. Kismet!

  9. Cool story. I’ve taken my first chance with the bands’ cut-out bin staple as well. Thanks for keeping the identity under wraps so that others may share their impressions. Thanks, too, to tonyola for playing the mockcarr option.

  10. Thanks. There’s also a pretty good Waylon Jennings version, and I agree w/ Steve that the Everlys’ version is also worthwhile.

  11. Add misterioso to the list of smartypants who have played their mockcarr option.

  12. I’ve not heard any versions of this song. It sounds like someone trying to sound like the Clash but with some of the rough edges smoothed out. I agree with Pudman’s early 80s/UK guess.

  13. I should add that I like this song and this version.

  14. How come no one’s talking about Mr. Spock’s version: http://youtu.be/dPW-P0nQbUI

  15. misterioso

    And add misterioso to the list of people who think this is pretty uninspiring. Not terrible. Just kind of dull. And that I am not sure what people are hearing in the song that makes them want to keep covering it.

  16. misterioso

    Now you’re talking.

  17. tonyola

    I agree with misterioso here. Nothing offensive, but nothing particularly compelling either.

  18. hrrundivbakshi

    Hey, a Mystery date that I didn’t know, but guessed! The faux-reggae played with vaguely punky Big Rock Guitars gave it away for me. The tracks off this album that showed up on this band’s excellent “best of” are quite good. This track, not so much. I elect not to play the Mockcarr Option, knowing full well that this is the band I guessed. Yay me!

  19. ladymisskirroyale

    It makes me miss the Paul Young version.

  20. ladymisskirroyale

    Mr. Royale figured this one out. And we had just been saying we wanted to know more about this band.

  21. Bronzed Nordic God

    I know it! This song is from a parallel universe where the Dils stayed together for a few more years and started cranking out blander mid-eighties socially conscious rock. The song failed to chart so they were never offered a slot in Live Aid.

  22. BigSteve

    I just discovered Wayne Newton covered the song too. This is not him.

  23. bostonhistorian

    I thought I knew who it was twenty seconds in, but the last thirty seconds confirmed it.

  24. I’d never heard that version, let alone heard of it, until now:


  25. Again, I’d never heard of this version or the artist:


    Pretty cool – the best I’ve heard so far!

  26. That Donaldson version was cool, too.

  27. High five! I’m with you 100%.

  28. OK, the Nimoy and Everlys versions actually make some sense, like the reggae ones. Still, can’t believe how many covers there are of this traditional song – and the fact that I had no idea the song existed until today.

  29. EXCELLENT description!

  30. ladymisskirroyale

    I really enjoyed that album, but call it a momentary lapse of reason perhaps.

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