Interested in solving some musical mysteries? Try to identify these songs. [UPDATED with a solution!]

One of the great things about working at CFNY during The Spirit of Radio years (1977-1991ish) was that the announcers could choose from close to 20,000 records in the library. The variety was awesome. The downside is that many of the songs played on the air eventually disappeared and were forgotten. But every once in a while, I get an email from someone asking me to identify taped-off-the-radio song clips asking for help in identifying them.

I love these puzzles, although I will admit to being defeated many times. This is one of those times.

Reader Bleu Clement offered up these clips. Can you identify the artist and the song? Keep in mind that this was from an era when CFNY played a lot of B-sides, bonus tracks, imports, and indie recordings. Best of luck!

1. Recorded in 1991

Comments on the song can be found here.

2. Recorded in early 1986

Speculation can be found here.

FOUND: It’s “Shades of Liberty” by Silent Running.

3. Recorded either late 1991 or early 1992

Some guesses here.

4. Recorded around 1984-85

A discussion here and here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

6 thoughts on “Interested in solving some musical mysteries? Try to identify these songs. [UPDATED with a solution!]

  • September 7, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    No idea on these songs, but I really like the first two!

  • September 22, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    All three of those are the ones I posted years ago. It would be great to have them identified.

  • October 24, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    The second is identified in the comments.

    Silent Running – Shades Of Liberty

  • December 6, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    I think the first one is Blue Oyster Cult.

  • December 16, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Have you had a chance to ask Ivar about the CIA song?

  • December 3, 2022 at 12:20 am

    Someone on Reddit suggested the fourth song (the so-called CIA song) *might* be from a Vancouver band called 4th Floor, who had an indie tape with a song called “Coming Home.” Navigating through Discogs, I found their indie tape and EP listed, and was able to listen to a song of theirs called “Follow in Stride” through a YouTube link. Hearing a lot of similarities between the vocals on the two songs.

    What I found interesting is that the producer on 4th Floor’s EP is Joe Vizvary of Images in Vogue. The first time I heard the CIA song, my first impression was that the singer reminded me a little of Dale Martindale. May be a huge coincidence, but it’d be great to track down a copy of that indie tape and rule them in or out.


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