The mysterious 80s new wave song that had eluded the collective knowledge of music fans and the internet in general for close to 20 years has finally been identified.
Originally recorded from a German radio station in 1984 or 1986, the puzzle of ‘Stay (The Second Time Around)’ – as it was known from the 80 second chorus that was captured – had stumped budding music investigators from as back as 2004.
Emerging from the golden analogue era, it seemed that nobody was able to certify the song’s origins, leading to several outlandish theories and hoaxes, including it being the work of a contemporary band using its viral hit status to promote a forthcoming release.
More recently, the enigmatic song emerged on the fertile reddit online community and now, after nearly 30 years of anonymity, the artist behind the mysterious 80s new wave number has come forward.
A new thread on reddit reveals that ‘Stay (The Second Time Around)’ is in fact titled ‘Up On The Roof’, from a Swedish musician named Johan Lindell.
“Hi everyone! My name is Sara and I work on the Swedish radio show that thanks to our listeners, and more importantly, Reddit, managed to solve the mystery behind the unknown 80s song,” reads a post on the community website from the Sveriges Radio presenter who managed to hunt down Lindell.
‘Up On The Roof’ is taken from Lindell’s 1985 album Ghost Rider, with a full stream of the track hiding in plain site all these years on the artist’s website. Being an analogue release that never made it to the digital era however, the track’s obscurity led to the years-long, internet-wide manhunt; a search that eluded the musician quite simply because he is far from tech-savvy. “…no idea at all, because I never visit the internet and I hardly use [the] computer.”
Lindell admits he had “no idea at all,” about the online search for the mystery song “because I never visit the internet and I hardly use [the] computer,” says the Swede in an English interview on Sveriges Radio. Lindell says that upon learning of the interest in his song that he was “taken aback” but also “very proud.”
Interestingly, Lindell also explains that the tune, recorded and released in 1985, also has ties to one of Sweden’s most popular rock exports, Roxette. “Clarence Öfwerman, who is the producer of Roxette plays the keyboards [and] plays on almost all my records,” says Lindell, “and the drummer Pelle Alsing and the bass player Tommy Cassemar… played on the first Roxette album (1986’s Pearls Of Passion).”
Lindell followed his career as a new wave musician as an actor before becoming a painter, “but I haven’t recorded anything in 12 years,” he tells the Swedish radio station, noting he largely writes and plays for himself.
As for what he’s to do with his newfound fame, Lindell replied, “I have no idea, I don’t know if you have to turn to the internet in some ways, I’m confused right now but I had to ask someone for advice because I don’t know anything about computers.”
They obviously gave the no-longer anonymous musician the right advice, as he offered a personal message to reddit that explains he’s going digital for the first time ever: “Thank you very much for your interest in my music. The remastered version of the 1985 album Ghost Rider including the song ‘On the Roof’ will be available on iTunes and Spotify on October 5th, 2013. Yours truly, Johan Lindell.”
Maybe now the long search is over, perhaps some of the thrill and charm of the song may have warn off, but at least those who had the decades-long nagging ‘tip of the tongue’ sensation can finally find relief. The moral of the story? The internet solves everything.