Songs/Records that transport you to back to a specific place or time

I find it really easy to remember people/places/times if I have a song or record attached to them.

I’m sat here listening to Murmur by REM for the first time in a little while. The first song Radio Free Europe immediately reminds me of 16 year old me. I had just gotten the REM IRS Best of and would spend a few evenings sat by my parents stereo in the front room listening to it on headphones. The memory is vivid thanks, I think, in part to this song being the first on the record.

Other examples of the top of my head:

  • Doves first album Lost Souls To me is the aural equivalent to me walking alone in Manchester during my degree, after a late night on a project.
  • Beatles white album. My first girlfriend. Is she Sexy Sadie? She hated it but it reminds of then. She had shite taste in music, no wonder it didn’t last.

What are yours? I want to know which songs are part of your brain history.

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Mr self destruct at a nye party when I was 18.


At the Drive-in not a song, the whole Relationship of Command - xmas 2000. Good times


Seize the Night by Will Varley takes me back to my freshman year of college

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Way too many to list.

Strongest one these days is walking round Boston (between the Common/Hynes convention center) on a work trip blasting Home Like Noplace is There by The Hotelier on headphones in the fall after it came out.

Edit - great thread idea!

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Far too many. He’s a few:

Dinosaur Jr - Feel The Pain
First week at university back in 1994. The NME gave away a free tape and that song was on it. Brilliant song.

Portishead - Dummy
Smoking joints in my room at halls of residence during the first year.

The Lemonheads - Frank Mills
Driving test in 1993. For some reason I had it on repeat on the CD player for about half an hour before the driving test. I passed first time and more or less haven’t driven since.

I’ll have a think and post more of these fascinating stories.

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When I was at uni revising for exams in my room I’d listen to album, have a break, listen to another, break etc… So I had these 45 min ish study periods. Sometimes a song would remind me of the thing I was studying when I was listening. I wonder if that association helped me in exams?

I’m sure I read somewhere you should think of images when trying to remember something, I think music can do that too

I definitely did this revising for exams too - no doubt that there’s some link to help recall there

Oh gosh, so so many. I’ll skip the ones that might paint me as having good taste and give you the following:

  • OMC - How Bizarre - cycling from my house to Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth to do an A Level field study

  • Shakespear’s Sister - I Don’t Care - travelling back from seeing Crystal Palace play, with my mate’s copy of Now 46 (or whatever) on his dad’s stereo. I think we invented some kind of shitty handjive dance to go with it

  • M People - One Night In Heaven - ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff

  • Right Said Fred - Deeply Dippy - poolside bar on holiday in Cyprus where the evening entertainer sang it

  • Charles and Eddie - Would I Lie To You? - music lessons at school where I convinced myself that if I could persuade my best mate to sing it with me, the girl I fancied would fall in love with me

There’s literally hundreds of these. Name a song and I’ll probably be able to pinpoint a time in my life when I heard it


Paul Simon - Graceland
Family camping holidays. My dad loved that record and we all grew to love it on long car journeys. One of a few albums we could all agree on. We knew all the lyrics and could hear the intro to the next song in our heads as the current one finished.

It still makes me smile now, but also reminds me how much I miss my dad.


Yes, that’s where I’d go with Dummy, I think!

Loads - any early Beach Boys song - driving around as a kid in my dad’s Van.
The Strokes 1st album - drunk nights with friends etc
‘Girl from the North Country’ - last week at Hyde Park.

This has done me a bit


Sufjan Stevens - Come of feel the Illinoise

Walking to pick my car up from its MOT, and loving that album.

Infact it became a tradition to listen to it on car MOT day, and guess what day it is today.


I can feel a Steve Lamacq phone-in idea… “what are your MOT day soundtracks?”


Pearl Jam’s ‘Daughter’ perpetually reminds me of sitting at home playing Chuck Rock on my Game Gear. I had a cassette single of it, and my hifi could switch the tape sides automatically. So it was on repeat for hours and hours while I played my game. Or until my Game Gear’s batteries ran out, which tbf was about every half an hour.

That’s the most 90s thing i’ve written in quite some time.


Didn’t it use something like 6 AA’s? So expensive to run portable

As long as the MOT took place in the 90’s!

Yup, think it was something like that. Unfortunately my power cable was on the fritz, so you had to not jerk it too much when it was plugged in, or it would just immediately switch the whole thing off. It made playing games just that tiny bit more stressful.

Oh so much this^ but with Jackson/McCartney beef fest ‘The Girl is Mine’ :grimacing: My mate was going to do half the lines pretending he fancied the girl too, only for me to ‘win’ in the song. Dance moves and everything.