Timeless

Album: Chip Tooth Smile (2019)
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Songfacts®:

  • Rob Thomas wrote this retro track with Chip Tooth Smile producer, Butch Walker. Thomas told iHeartRadio it's "an '80s-sounding song, about listening to '80s songs, and almost every lyric is taken from an '80s song title, or an '80s reference link in there."
  • Here's a breakdown of the '80s references in the lyrics:

    "There's a weight in the air tonight": "In The Air Tonight" is Phil Collins' hit debut single from his 1981 solo album, Face Value.

    "Sister Christian says she don't feel right": "Sister Christian" is a 1984 hit by the hard-rock band Night Ranger.

    "I keep it movin' while you're putting on the red light": This refers to The Police's 1978 hit "Roxanne" about a prostitute in the red-light district. The song opens with, "You don't have to put on the red light." Not quite an '80s tune, but Sting did record a live version for the 1982 album The Secret Policeman's Other Ball.

    "I thought if you leave": "If You Leave" is a song from the popular 1986 movie Pretty in Pink. It was a #4 hit for the British synthpop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

    "I could give you all your freedom": Wham! released the hit single "Freedom" in 1984. Rob Thomas is a big fan of George Michael.

    "Let you find your sweet dreams": The Eurythmics had a #1 hit with "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" in 1983. Air Supply also hit #5 with a song called "Sweet Dreams" in 1982.

    "Girls just wanna have fun": This is the title of Cyndi Lauper's 1983 hit.

    "Maybe we're a strange love": "Strangelove" is the lead single from Depeche Mode's 1987 album, Music For The Masses.

    "But don't you want me?": The British synthpop group The Human League hit #1 in the US and UK with "Don't You Want Me" in 1981.

    "All this talk of modern love": "Modern Love" is a hit single from David Bowie's 1983 album, Let's Dance.

    "Nothing compares to you": Before becoming a hit for Sinead O'Connor in 1990, "Nothing Compares 2 U" originated with Prince's group The Family in 1985.

    "Free falling to the ground": "Free Fallin'" is a Top 10 single from Tom Petty's debut solo album, Full Moon Fever (1989).

    "I wait for you to save me": "Save Me" is a single from Queen's 1980 album, The Game.

    "This is a new sensation": "New Sensation" by INXS peaked at #3 in 1988.

    "I'll be your father figure": Another George Michael reference, "Father Figure" is a single from the English singer's debut solo album, Faith (1987).

    "I'll be your Major Tom": Peter Schilling had a hit with "Major Tom (I'm Coming Home)," a retelling of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," in 1983.

    "Just enjoy the silence": Although Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence" was released in 1990, it was recorded in 1989, so it works in a tribute to the '80s.

    "Or I could turn you inside out": "Turn You Inside-Out" is a promo single from R.E.M.'s 1988 album, Green.

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