In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.
Growing up, falling in love with a song a weird thing. A track could come out of nowhere, played by some late-night DJ once and never heard again—at least by me. Now, with the Internet and Shazam, that probably doesn’t happen all that often. If you remember a chorus, you can Google the song, and bang, there it is on YouTube to be played on repeat. Growing up in the ’80s or ’90s, though, not so much. That’s when I first heard Frankie Smith’s “Double Dutch Bus.” It was like a beacon of funk and weirdness being beamed just to me from some local station’s weekly Saturday Night Fever disco show. I made sure to write down the artist and title and would call into the station all the time for the song, but—weirdly—could never really convince anyone at the tightly programmed Clear Channel station to play it again for me. I gradually started to forget about its existence, but every so often, “Double Dutch Bus” will pop back into my peripheral vision. First, it showed up as a prominent sample on Missy Elliott’s 2003 track “Gossip Folks,” and Girl Talk used it on 2010’s All Day. BoingBoing randomly linked to the original 1981 video earlier this month, reminding me again just how great a song “Double Dutch Bus” really is.