Before you go searching for an app, there isn’t one. This is just a DIY trivia game that requires nothing more than a streaming service, a streaming device (like your phone) and preferably a second person to make it fun. My wife and I invented the game by accident, but now we’re playing in the car all the time to pass the commute or part of long trips.
We have Apple Music, although any streaming service will do. All of them have genre playlists or radio stations, and with Apple Music, we go for the radio station option for the variety. We click on RADIO STATION / GENRES / YEARS and then we often choose 1980s POP (one of the few years where we both have a good chance). We press PLAY, and then turn the phone away.
As the song starts, we play NAME THAT TUNE and try for the title and artist. A few notes in, we almost always recognize it, but putting that recognition to use to name a title or artist is way more challenging. Sometimes it’s obvious, like the opening notes for a Madonna song. Other times, it’s a mid-80s rock ballad and they all sound the same! Fun is when in the first few notes, we have a strong guess…and then five notes later, that guess is CLEARLY not right. Once we get it, since I’m driving, my wife turns over the phone to check title and artist, then turns it back and I press the advance button on the bluetooth controller (she could press it on the phone but the next one comes up so fast, often her eyes end up reading it and spoiling it before she can look away, the same problem you have if you play by yourself, obviously not when you’re driving though).
We occasionally listen to the whole song, but most of the time we don’t, we get it and then skip to the next one. Here’s the REALLY weird part. I know diddly squat about music. It has come up often in my relationship with my wife, seriously. I might know a song, but I rarely know the title exactly, nor even the artist. U2 is a regular failure, but bands in general I never know. I have a shot at the title, not so much the band. Which actually works out well sometimes when we’re playing — I might get the title, but she’ll get the band afterwards.
As I said, we play ’80s Pop the most. For ’70s Pop, Andrea doesn’t get many of them. And one day last week I was on fire — I had titles and the artists for a whole bunch in a row! For ’90s Pop, Andrea knows almost every one, many of which I’m not sure I’ve even ever heard (I listened to radio at home in Peterborough up until ’91, but in Victoria and Ottawa in the ’90s, I was more likely to listen to Country than Pop…reminds me of the classic line, “We have BOTH kinds of music…country AND western”, but I digress).
Jacob helps too and seems to enjoy it…he takes over the phone, and since he can’t guess them, he’s happy to be the one to tell us the answers if we can’t get it, or confirm when we’re right. Other times, he controls the music choices which tend towards Weird Al, Imagine Dragons, Bob Seger or Elton John/The Who for Pinball Wizard. Don’t ask about the eclectic nature of his choices or the weird musical world that has him memorizing all the words to American Pie. As long as he’s happy, that’s all that matters, except we limit Weird Al after about two songs on long car rides and no John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot or Kim Mitchell. If Andrea hears Patio Lanterns, it’s not good for anyone in the vicinity.
We haven’t tried 2000s Pop, but we enjoy trying for ’50s and ’60s Pop. Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Petula Clark are popular…At some point, I’m hoping to play in a larger group up at the cottage, not for competition, just a broader group of people trying who know different eras.
We seem to have default guesses for some decades. Andrea guesses the Four Tops, Four Seasons and the Temptations a lot for earlier years. I can never spot Stevie Wonder. I surprisingly think more people sound like Rod Stewart than is humanly possible, something Andrea is happy to ridicule me for, as she should.
It’s fun, it’s frustrating, and then out of the blue you’ll nail One Fine Day and that it’s the version by the Chiffons. Mind. Blown. What esoteric part of my brain is holding on to THAT info?
But I think I enjoy it most when one of us gets the first part, and the other comes up with the second part. Teamwork makes the dream work. And yes, I say that when it happens. Just to be annoying. Andrea just skips to the next song. After we do a ridiculous fist bump.
Give it a go. Bet you can’t stop, not even in the name of love. Note: Ear worms are commonplace. Proceed at your own risk.