Prove your music nerd cred
July 24, 2014 11:40 PM   Subscribe

Slate wants to know if you can name those 70s, 80s, 90s or more recent hits from hearing just the first second of them.
posted by MartinWisse (57 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Kinda fun, but the Wheel of Fortune answering system makes it too easy- almost don't need the audio.
posted by p3t3 at 12:03 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I Hangman'd my way to 14/16 on the '90s.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 12:05 AM on July 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm so glad I didn't know so many of these.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 12:08 AM on July 25, 2014


tilts way too hard to the BIG hits. The 70s will always be best defined by the deep album cuts, the 80s by the indie stuff, and so on.
posted by philip-random at 12:49 AM on July 25, 2014


Missed the country one in the 70s and 80s. Got the rest pretty easily.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:51 AM on July 25, 2014


Wow, I didn't realize one second was such a long time.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 1:21 AM on July 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Damn, I was much better at that than I thought I was going to be.
posted by Decani at 1:35 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mind you, I got 100% on the seventies and then got steadily worse through the decades. I guess we remember the music of our teens the best. I really enjoyed the nineties too. Huh.
posted by Decani at 1:59 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


3/16 on the 70s! Woo! 6/16 on the 80s, and 2/16 on the 90s. 0/16 for the current ones.

Well, I guess you can tell when the main source of music in my life was the radio, then. *goes back to listening to a dub remix of Massive Attack*
posted by egypturnash at 2:05 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


70s: lost my place midway due to an errant click, 80s: 15 of 16, 90s: 14 of 16, recent: 11/16.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:13 AM on July 25, 2014


Hey waitaminute I made a few quizzes like this on Sporcle. Then that Songpop app game came out and I'd wished I'd thought of that instead.

I think I was inspired to do the quizzes because I had to listen to the same damn pop songs at work every day, to the point where I could identify them as soon as they started. Then I realized that applies to the good songs I owned too.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:14 AM on July 25, 2014


You get good at this by changing radio stations when you don't want to hear things.
posted by Killick at 3:49 AM on July 25, 2014 [16 favorites]


15/16 on 80's, 12/16 70's, 10/16 90's and now.

Bonus difficulty level: have your 5 year old singing LA LA LAAAAAA DOODEEDOODEEDOOOO in your ear every time you try to listen to the clip.

Bonus points: Have your 5 year old scream I KNOW THIS ONE!!! after one note of "Let It Go"
posted by Mchelly at 4:21 AM on July 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


There are definitely 16 songs from each of these decades that I could identify in one second, but these were not necessarily those songs.
posted by maggiemaggie at 4:32 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Any quiz where I can quickly get everything right makes me feel LIKEAROCKSTAR for about .0083 seconds and then I assume the test was too easy.

I am a genius/failure.

Well played, Slate.
posted by kinetic at 4:33 AM on July 25, 2014


I answered about 6 or 7 of the 70s ones correctly, got bored, and stopped (this always happens to me with things like this -- I never solved Rubik's Cube for the same reason). But I agree with GooseOnTheLoose -- one second is a surprisingly LONG time!!
posted by JanetLand at 4:46 AM on July 25, 2014


I almost typed in the Weird Al parody title of a couple of these, then I stopped myself.

Gawd, I'm a nerd.
posted by droplet at 4:47 AM on July 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Aced the 70's. Interesting mix on the quiz. Good on them for at least including the Ramones.
Not sure I want to do the 80's quiz, 'cause I'm pretty sure they won't include any of the stuff I was listening to back then.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:59 AM on July 25, 2014


Agreed with first comment...way too easy with the options.
posted by Ain at 5:06 AM on July 25, 2014


70s, 80s, 90s or more recent
The poor Naughts, the decade that dare not speak it's name.
posted by bitslayer at 5:21 AM on July 25, 2014


70s: 14/16
80s: 12/16

Then you can see my taste (and music) really start getting more segregated

90s: 9/16

Until the recent stuff where I scored 0/16. Of those 16, I hadn't even heard of half the songs or artists, and the rest I only knew of (mostly because of a related post here.)

I didn't try guessing letters or anything so that sounds about right.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:35 AM on July 25, 2014


70s: 8/16
80s: 11/16
90s: 14/16
00s: 9/16

I'm surprised I got that many in the 00s, actually. I started hangman-ing it in the 80s so my 70s number could be improved.
posted by chrominance at 5:50 AM on July 25, 2014


I played this game manually in college! If you can get Every Breath You Take in one second, you own.
posted by clavicle at 5:55 AM on July 25, 2014


Seven out of ... then it got stuck on eight. So, I went to try the 80's quiz and it crashed while playing the hint for question two.
posted by redindiaink at 5:59 AM on July 25, 2014


Who doesn't recognise the first two notes of Stairway to Heaven?
11/16 for the 70's, but memory loss is setting in these days...
posted by arzakh at 6:27 AM on July 25, 2014


If you can get Every Breath You Take in one second, you own.

If you can get Every Breath You Take in one second, you were neither an infant nor in a coma in 1983. It was the dictionary definition of "overplayed." Ironic, because to me it was possibly the least interesting song in The Police's entire catalog. Well, it might be ahead of Miss Gradenko.

70s and 80s were a snap, 90s shakier, and later meant ETAOIN SHRDLU.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:30 AM on July 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


It took me like four songs to even realize how the letter guessing thing worked. I may be a music nerd, but I'm also a dumb ass.
posted by orme at 6:38 AM on July 25, 2014


Oh, that Stevie Wonder song in the '70s quiz - I KNOW IT; I JUST DON'T KNOW THE NAME!

well, I do now...
posted by Guy Smiley at 6:58 AM on July 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Aced seventies and eighties, and the only one that gave me any trouble was Janet Jackson, which I would not have gotten without playing hangman (and I got lucky by guessing M). By the nineties I was annoyed enough with the interface* that I just listened and guessed in my head and clicked "give up" to move on. I would have done horribly, even though I know all those songs. Celine Deon is the only one I remember for sure getting from the snippet.

Clearly, it's the songs from my childhood that are ingrained deeply in my brain. I mean, I could have gotten Every Breath You Take from much less than was there. But songs I know very well from the nineties I'd only get a hazy, "oh yeah, what's that song?"

*Overall quite usable, but when I type the words it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to remember not hit the space bar between words, and each time I'd hit it I'd page down and get lost and annoyed.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:00 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


You get good at this by changing radio stations when you don't want to hear things

My wife and I have a pact: You can't change the station until you identify the song and artist. It works pretty well.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:02 AM on July 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


14/16 in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and 12/16 in the recent ones. And I'm not embarrassed to say that I only knew "Blurred Lines" and "Fancy" because of the recent Weird Al parodies. :)
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:16 AM on July 25, 2014


16/16 in the 70s. Radio filled childhood, yay!
posted by travertina at 7:21 AM on July 25, 2014


15/16, 14/16, 14/16, 10/16. Had to hangman a few of the 'recent hits', but mostly recognized them at least a little.
posted by hanov3r at 7:31 AM on July 25, 2014


I can't wait until science allows me to repurpose my brain's available memory storage, because I've got a lot of medical protocols and pharmaceutical information that would love to take up the space currently occupied by the first second of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll."
posted by itstheclamsname at 7:45 AM on July 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


70s: You scored 15 out of 16! (Hell, yes.)
80s: You scored 15 out of 16! (All right, nicely done.)
90s: You scored 10 out of 16! (Too much boy band shit. Damn.)
You scored 5 out of 16! (Lucky smashing of keys on a couple of them; all of those were common phrases. I didn't recognize a single one purely by hearing the first second.)

Guh.
posted by grubi at 7:50 AM on July 25, 2014


It was striking to me the number of 90s songs where I couldn't pull the title out of my memory, but I knew the song well enough that I could sing it until I came across the title in the lyrics.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:56 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


70's: 13/16
80's: 15/16
90's: 14/16
Recent: 5/16

Analysis: Look's like you are 42! Welcome to middle age.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:12 AM on July 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah I was wondering how these correlated with age. I was in high school in the early 90s, so I scored best on that. I didn't even try the 70s.
posted by desjardins at 8:17 AM on July 25, 2014


I don't know even know the name of the songs I listen to by bands I love on a regular basis, I have never given a shit about the names, so I guess I have no music cred.
posted by juiceCake at 8:25 AM on July 25, 2014


I do find it interesting that at concerts a large amount of people seem to take quite a few seconds to realize what song is being performed. Perhaps drugs and alcohol have a lot to do with that but at times I'm amazed that some are just realizing what song is being performed long after it was so obvious, which I think is quite often, within the first second.
posted by juiceCake at 8:29 AM on July 25, 2014


Yeah I was wondering how these correlated with age. I was in high school in the early 90s, so I scored best on that. I didn't even try the 70s.

Age and life circumstances. My dad was a DJ in the 70s, so I grew up on a lot of that music. I was in high school in the late 80s/early 90s, so that's the stuff I'm most familiar with. And I have kids who are 11 and 6, which is the only reason why I know more recent hits than I should. (And the aforementioned Weird Al parodies.)
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:05 AM on July 25, 2014


9/16/, 9/16, 12/16, 2/16.

I'm actively hostile to some of these songs and would gladly undergo the colander treatment from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to remedy that.

Also, for some reason "Miss You Much" reminds me of "Word Up." Which, wow, never saw that video before. I could hardly watch it due to vicarious embarrassment.
posted by johnofjack at 9:09 AM on July 25, 2014


My husband and I play this game all the time with our music collections. I'm awesome at it. I wish I could be paid for it. I'm also really good at Hangman, which helped immensely with these quizzes.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:14 AM on July 25, 2014


I was surprised how long one second really was. I was thinking of the show Name That Tune, where contestants would try to lowball their opponent by claiming they could "name that tune" in progressively fewer notes, down to one. (They did get a clue first, though.)
posted by Room 641-A at 9:19 AM on July 25, 2014


I was confused that "eat it" didn't fit.
posted by ckape at 10:30 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


14/16 on the seventies; somehow missed the Fleetwood Mac one and recognized the Ramones but not which song. They should have put #16 first and gotten it out of the way since you knew it was going to be there even without the photomontage illustrating the quiz. I never think of the Simon and Garfunkel one as a seventies song even though it is, and I got more of the disco ones than I should have. Now on to the others, where I won't do as well I bet.
posted by TedW at 12:00 PM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was disappointed that the recent link is just the last couple years and they skipped the 2000s entirely. 11/16, 7/16, 11/16, 7/16; which says that I pretty much just played hangman the entire way through. If you graphed my correct answers against length of the title, there'd be a very definite relation.

I also learned that the first second of like a virgin sounds exactly like the main melody to come on eileen.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:06 PM on July 25, 2014


TedW: the order is random
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:07 PM on July 25, 2014


I mostly tried to keep my eyes closed while guessing so I either knew them by sound or not.

'70s: You scored 13 out of 16!
'80s: You scored 13 out of 16!
'90s: You scored 10 out of 16!
Recent: You scored 3 out of 16!

I was a little surprised to do so poorly, especially since '70-'90s is my wheelhouse. Too much rap and pop in the '90s I guess. Recent stuff I don't feel so bad about. Considering I haven't listened to a radio station that would play anything on Top 40 radio in more than a decade, three is pretty good. Gotye I knew because I was commuting every day when it was very popular. Pharrell is frigging ubiquitous these days. The last one I got because I listened to the "Weird" Al version about a dozen times last week.

I've always been really good at "Name That Tune." My friends mostly won't play song guessing games against me. In the before-time, the long-long-ago, there was an online "Name That Tune" game run by some dude. It was short RealPlayer clips and he'd judge the e-mailed entries by hand I think. I was pretty active there for a while and I quickly climbed the ranks to the top ten. Be damned if I can find a link to anything about it now though.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:10 PM on July 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Prove your music nerd cred

While many of these songs were popular I was listening to classical, jazz, fusion, industrial, Celtic folk, Finnish folk, darkwave, and so on instead of the radio.

I played violin in school orchestras for 6 years, extracurricular youth orchestra (plus music theory and conducting classes) on Saturdays, piano in high school jazz ensemble for 2 years, keyboard in a terrible high school metal band with some friends, and a semi-professional taiko drumming group for a year and a half.

I wrote music for three videogames (it was used only in one), released several solo albums (ambient, electronic industrial, glitch and experimental) and recently have been writing experimental VST effects plugins.

If that's not musically nerdy enough, I don't what else I can do...
posted by Foosnark at 12:30 PM on July 25, 2014


This was really annoying ...... partly because the creator apparently used the first second of the songs' videos (during the 1980s set, anyway) as the first second of the song. I missed IDing both "9 to 5" and "Miss You Much" that way. I can tell you (as much as I hate to admit knowing this, but these songs were overplayed to death) that the first second of those songs was not the same in the actual radio singles.

I don't think even Ms. Dolly Parton would have been able to identify her track.

On the other hand, I count myself glad that I wasn't able to identify "Welcome to the Jungle."
posted by blucevalo at 1:49 PM on July 25, 2014


Upon a review of the songs, I think it's understandable that I thought that the first second of Eye of the Tiger was the first second of Edge of Seventeen, but I still can't help but feel like I've committed a sin. I'm sorry, Stevie!
posted by Flunkie at 3:23 PM on July 25, 2014


Uh guys spoiler warnings?
posted by Pronoiac at 5:16 PM on July 25, 2014


I have no cred whatsoever, but I liked seeing the Bangles video. Reminds me of the time my wife was walking by Macy's and they were blaring this out the door and damned if just about everyone, from slobs to suits, did walk like an Egyptian.

Our daughter, born with this miserable century, sometimes pines for the eighties.
posted by BWA at 5:18 PM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


These are not the songs I would have chosen. And these are not the years I would have chosen.

Can we do it again, with 75-78, 79-82 and 83-86, and titles from john Peel's Festive Fifty?

(You may, at your choice, play that first second at either 33 or 45 RPM)

Then, oh people of the blue, you shall see music cred.

Thank you.
posted by Devonian at 7:39 PM on July 25, 2014


15/16 on the 90s, 11/16 on 80s, got to maybe the fifth straight song I've never heard of from an artist I've on ever heard the name of on the recent stuff, gave up, and accepted my age. I shall go home, tend my lawn, make it all nice and inviting so people come over to admire it at which point I shall tell them all to get off of said lawn.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:44 AM on July 26, 2014


If you can get Every Breath You Take in one second, you were neither an infant nor in a coma in 1983.

No, the one second is the thing, listen to it. If it takes you two seconds then yes, you were conscious in 1983. The first second is non-obvious, I was surprised to realize.
posted by clavicle at 9:59 AM on July 26, 2014


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