For those of you who’ve been following this blog and/or my life in general, you know I’ve been after a certain piece of music for nigh on 25 years. It was used in a local radio phone-in show called “Tom’s Talk-in”, hosted by Tom Davies. After adverts and various other breaks in the show, he would use several pieces of music, edited down to become short instrumentals, aka music ‘beds’.
About 20 clips were used at the time, including a remix of Gabrielle’s “Dreams” which you could only find on the CD single, and “Downtown” by One 2 Many. Over the course of the show, I pretty much found out what all of the songs he used were, but one particular clip remained elusive.
Going through some old tapes many years ago, I found a clip of it. I asked if anyone knew it. A 16 second clip is all I had to go by.
Many people have said they’d heard it, but all drew a blank. I even asked on Usenet back in the day, and while there were plenty of suggestions, not one proved helpful.
I rang the show and asked Tom himself. I think he cut me off. For some reason, he didn’t like people asking about his music beds, as if they were a big secret. I even asked my mate Chris to ring in and ask, to see if he could catch Tom in a better mood. Nope. His response essentially was “No you can’t buy it. It was written for the show, and it doesn’t have a name”. I began to think it really was written for the show. Maybe Richard Kell, his sound engineer, had knocked it up in his spare time?
Eventually, Tom’s Talk-in disappeared off the airwaves, and I thought the song was gone forever. At some point, I happened to catch a few seconds of the kids’ telly programme ‘Grange Hill’, and I could have sworn I heard it on a radio during a scene, with female vocals.
That, to me, meant it had to be a proper, commercially released song. Surely someone would be able to identify it? Turns out my assumption was entirely wrong, but more on that later.
It also proved that Tom may have lied about it being especially written for the show. Just hearing this meant that I’d have this obsession for nigh-on 25 years.
Many posts on here about it proved to be no help. Now, the days before Shazam was a phone app, it used to be a premium rate line. You call the number, hole the phone up to the music, and it sent you a text. Well, this was my first, of many also positives from there. Unfortunately, it’s not perfect, and would often throw up a random song that might have a similar beat. Usually, these have a small amount of identifications, (shazams) normally in single or double figures, but I’d humour it by checking. “It’s Good but it’s not the one”, as Roy Walker would say.
Every so often, I’d ask on Twitter (I refuse to call it X) or Facebook, and the same story as before. Someone will have heard it, but no idea what it was. Back to square one. Every time I played it, I’d give it a few cycles through Shazam.
I even uploaded it a couple of times to the website “WatZatSong”. A community ran website, where you upload a song, and other members help you identify it. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. With every day that passed, I’d believe more and more that it really was just written for the show, and maybe my identification on Grange Hill was incorrect.
Tom’s Talk-in returned to the airwaves a couple more times. Unfortunately, while he did revive a few music beds from back in the day, this one was lost to time. Tom Davies, the presenter, was found in possession of indecent images, and died just a few days before his sentencing
And that, the only glimmer of hope, disappeared. Tom was dead, and so was my chance of ever finding this track.
Every so often, I’d revisit it. Run a shazam, search blankly for the result, only to find out it was incorrect. I was used to this by now.
A day or two ago, I got a notification on “WatZatSong”. Somebody had started following my post. They didn’t help identify it, but seeing as I was on the page, I played the track, and ran Shazam on it one more time.
Up came another track. This one only had 15 shazams. This is never a good sign, as mentioned previously. It was nearing bedtime, so once again, I’d humour it, especially as it appeared on a Bruton library CD. These are notoriously difficult to find clips online. Eventually, I tracked it down on the Universal Music website.
I clicked play. My heart didn’t so much skip a beat, as pop out of my chest and go sliding along the keyboard. THERE IT WAS. It even had the female vocals on it. Oh my god. I’ve never felt an adrenalin rush like it. I reached for my phone and texted Chris.
I just had to tell someone, and he’d been with me since the very start.
You’ll be unsurprised to hear that he didn’t know what the hell I was on about, until I’d calmed down and explained everything in a bit more detail.
So, dear reader, you’ve made it through several paragraphs of crap that means nothing to anyone but me. I’m guessing you’re dying to hear it in its entirety? Well, here you go.
It’s entitled “Where Has It Gone 2” by Phil Nicholas.
This link works at the time of typing, but it’s bound to disappear in a year or two… So no doubt you’ll be asking yourself, “Where Has It Gone?”….
Ahem. Sorry about that.
And that’s it. I’ve taken a few things from this. Firstly, I led everyone on a bit of a wild goose chase, thinking it was commercially released. It wasn’t. Library CDs are only ever released to production companies, often in bulk.
Of course, it made perfect sense that a low-budget children’s TV programme such as Grange Hill would use library music for their “radio music” as it’s considerably cheaper than real, commercially released songs.
As for Tom’s Talk-in, it seems very out of place for a piece of library music to be used. Maybe Richard or Tom heard it, liked it and used it? I will never know.
Here ends a portion of my life that has gone on for longer than most of the people I work with have been alive. Despite what happened in his later years, I’ll always remember Tom as the grumpy, sarcastic phone in host with a great taste in music.
This was the last “unknown” song. I will never spend almost 30 years looking for a piece of music again.
EDIT: Many thanks to Glen for posting a link to the correct version on Roblox. I don’t even know what a Roblox is!
EDIT 2: Glen also provided a link to the artist’s Linkedin page that happens to have an email on there. I’ve dropped him an email , and hopefully he’ll get back to me, mainly just to say thanks.