Since the ’80s I can remember the same classic songs being placed on iterations of the same stations: NEW FM, which was (is?) the Newcastle equivalent of Triple M, and KO-FM which was our WS-FM. Various “classics” have been added to the canon since, to the extent that I recently heard ‘Sex On Fire’ back-announced as a throwback track, or whatever the catchy slogan was, and immediately felt old and done (how Sinatra must have felt when he first heard ‘Sex On Fire’ back announced as a throwback track ) — but by and large, the song remains the same.

Now, it makes sense these stations play the same forty or so classic artists playing songs that are familiar to you: commercial radio’s entire remit is to shock you so little that you stay listening to the station as long as possible. But what if they started rolling out an alternative version of their playlist: a Sliding Doors type what-if list where they play the same artists, but different tracks from them?

Cold Chisel have benefitted greatly from the way FM radio is structured, with their diverse music falling into numerous categories: rock, reggae, pop, blues, AOR, Barnesy, Mossy, etc. That’s why they have a dozen songs in regular rotation on classics and rock radio. But how about playlisting the likes of ‘Four Walls’ or ‘My Turn To Cry’ from East, or ‘Houndog’ or the sparkling pop of ‘No Good For You’ from Circus Animals. These were key tracks on wildly popular albums, so it’s not going to be a shock to hear them on radio – but it may feel like a blast of icy cold air.

Up next, this.


The Living End’s debut album sold over 250,000 copies. ‘Second Solution’ and ‘Prisoner Of Society’ still both get spun to this day; not surprising considering as a double-A side it was the best-selling Aussie single of the entire ’90s. Track two on that debut album, sandwiched between these two songs is perhaps the record’s highlight: ‘Growing Up (Falling Down)’. Considering its placement, its likely this song is familiar to many. Yet, I guarantee it has never been played on commercial radio.