EARWORM: The 30-year hunt for a mystery song

An obsessive music fan can finally rest after discovering the name of a song which was stuck in his head — for 27 YEARS.

Johan Lindell

Johan Lindell

René Molthan, 42, spent countless hours seeking the origins of a mysterious pop tune which had stuck in his mind when he first heard it aged just 15 years old.

He said: “I first heard the tune on the radio in 1986. I was listening to it after school.

“It was broadcast on a show called Pop Fit, where I first heard such music as A-ha’s Take On Me.

“I wanted to record it, but pressed the button too late, so I only got the final minute. The DJ announced the name, but I missed it.”

The after-school broadcast began René’s 27-year-long quest for the name of the song.

In the late 1990s René sent CDs with his 80-second-long clip on it to music journalists all over Germany, but nobody could name the song.

Desperate for answers, he uploaded the clip to a specially-built website 11 years ago, in the hope that someone would recognise the tune, but fellow music fans and journalists were stumped.

Even with the support of online communities on Reddit and Youtube, no one could shed any light on who the mysterious and catchy song was by.

Finally, the clip was played on Swedish radio and identified as On the Roof, from the 1985 album Ghost Rider by little-known Swedish singer Johan Lindell, now 62.

Producers at radio station PP3 stumbled across the mystery on Reddit and aired the clip, which was identified by two listeners on September 17.

He said: “From my website, the song went all over the world.

“I’m happy that the mystery was solved. I’m overwhelmed by the success. I just put that song on my site and let the world do the rest.

“I had not given up hope.”

For years conspiracy theories surrounded the internet search.

Some assumed the mysterious recording was a hoax and the song was actually by a modern band who had deliberately tried to imitate the 80’s new-wave sound.

René, from Germany, said: “The mystery increased, some assumed it was a hoax, others were convinced it had to be a German singer with a German accent.

He said: “I am so happy my 27 year wait to hear the whole song again is over.”

On the Roof has been listened to over 100,000 times online since it was discovered.

The popularity of the song has since re-launched the music career of cult pop star Johan Lindell.

Johan has been working as an artist and an actor since the 1990’s and hasn’t recorded any music since 2002.

After the internet obsession with his enigmatic track, he is now re-mastering his album Ghost Rider, from which On the Roof is taken.

Johan said: “I never thought the song was so catchy it would be stuck in someone’s head for 27 years.

“The whole thing is very strange but also very exciting.”

Johan said he had no idea his song was driving people the world over crazy as they went online to upload interpretations of the songs lyrics and covers of the original snippet.

“I am like a stone age person with technology. I never use the computer.” Johan said.

“I certainly never go on the internet. I don’t know how to use it. I had no idea this big hunt for my song had been going on for the past 11 years.”

The album Ghost Rider by Johan Lindell will be re-released on iTunes and Spotify on October 5.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s