[imagesource: YouTube / Aaron Evans]
There is a three-minute song online that has many good people in an absolute tizzy.
Referred to as “the most mysterious song on the Internet”, this ’80s sounding synth-pop hit goes by many other names.
That’s because nobody knows what the official name of the song is, or who wrote it, or who sang it, or even when it came out.
The most likely song names come from lines in fan-interpreted lyrics, such as ‘Like the Wind’, ‘Blind the Wind’, ‘Check It In’, ‘Check It Out’, or ‘Take It In, Take It Out’.
But really, it is all just one giant music mystery:
Music lovers and those just swept up in the mystery of it all have dedicated dozens of years to find out more information about the song, which debuted on the Internet in 2011 after supposedly being taped off a European radio station about 35 years ago.
Rolling Stone has more:
If we are to believe the somewhat furtive people involved, we may know where the story starts. Between 1982 and 1984, Darius S. (who asked to use an abbreviation for this article for the sake of privacy) says he was a teenage music fan in the town of Wilhelmshaven on the north coast of Germany; like many in the pre-streaming era, he would record songs he heard on the radio onto a cassette deck.
One of his go-to programs was Musik für junge Leute (“Music for Young People”) on the German public-radio station NDR 1.
Darius had somehow recorded this song among others on a cassette, but without any identifying information.
Fed up with the unsolved nature of the case, his sister Lydia H. (who has also requested anonymity) posted a digitised snippet of the song on spiritofradio.ca, “a German site devoted to Eighties synth-pop as well as a Canadian music site, which enables fans to upload obscure songs for identification purposes.”
Similar perhaps to Shazam, except a crowdsourced version.
From there, the sound seeped into many corners of the web, including YouTube and Reddit:
Darius has been searching for more information regarding the song for 35 years, while “Mkll,” who prefers to be identified only by his internet handle, says he devotes “three to four hours a day” to the case.
Gabriel da Silva Vieira, a fan of the song from Brazil, says he has spent “many sleepless nights” on research, but now limits his time to “a few hours” every day.
Paul Baskerville, otherwise known as the DJ who may have played it on the show Darius says he taped, is baffled and has no memory of the track.
Baskerville still works at NDR, and has been contacted by the “Mysterious Song” crowd who keep track of all the leads so that they can collaborate on the hunt.
Song detectives have reached out to stores where someone said they were sure the song played. Phonebook-thick guides to ’80s New Wave records have been scrutinised. Others have scoured GEMA, a German music database, and have come up empty.
Of course, as things on the internet go, false leads have been rife, with trolls and excitable fans latching on to the mystery for dear life.
But there is hope.
NDR is searching 21 recorded shows in its archive, while many others are searching archival footage and tapes, too.
It will still take a few more years to get through all of that, and who knows if the mysterious case will ever be solved.
DJ Baskerville can’t believe that the search has become such a big deal, and while the majority claim they are just determined to find the artist worthy of credit, the sheer mystery of it all is really the reason such a large net has been cast in the first place.
Perhaps fans and those involved will lament the day the mystery is solved.