Top 10 Songs About Telecom

Marconi plays the Mamba, listen to the radio, don't you remember?*

Telecom and recorded music have had a shared history since their very inception. Thomas Edison made the first telephone call on August 10, 1876 and followed that by recording a rocking version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the newly invented phonograph a year later. [Ed note: Yeah, we know, the French can claim a song recorded in 1860 but -- then as now -- who listens to French pop?]

So it figures there are a multitude of songs about telecom, from payphones to BlackBerries.

Click below for ten of the best. As ever, use the message boards to commend us or berate us for our picks. Who knows? We could even do a readers' choice edition.

10. "Beepers" -- Sir Mix-a-Lot
Original release label: Nastymix Records
Original release label: Nastymix Records

— The Staff, Light Reading

*Jefferson Starship's "We Built This City (On Rock 'n' Roll)" never came into consideration for this list, by the way, because we all hate it.

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merachael 10/25/2019 | 7:01:14 AM
Re: Telephone Man And how about "Telephone Line" by Electric Light Orchestra? I suggest this song can also be included in your list. Also, I like the song about the phone connection from the musical PlayThatGoesWrongShow but I don't remember how it's called.
Gabriel Brown 10/29/2013 | 1:44:12 PM
Re: My thoughts Did someone already suggest Lou Reed - New York Telephone Conversation?

telecomtails 10/4/2013 | 7:55:36 AM
Chuck Berry - Memphis "long distance information, get me Memphis Tennessee,

help me find a party trying to get in touch with me,

she did not leave a number but I know she placed a call,

cos' my uncle took a message and he wrote it on the wall"

And yes to Lou Reed, New York Telephone Conversation...

and why miss out Talking Heads - Life during wartime refers to "tapping phone lines" though Mr Byrne does admit they know "that ain't allowed".



Sarah Thomas 9/26/2013 | 2:46:21 PM
Re: simple as NFV Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand (Primitive Radio Gods)

Yes, 90s flashback! Although the song doesn't actually involve telecom, but still such a weird (deep?) title.
msinisca 9/26/2013 | 1:40:49 PM
More Reader Choices - Let's Put this to a Vote Bauhaus - Telegram Sam

A Flock Of Seagulls - Telecommunications (How could you miss this one? It even has "laserbeams" and "a beam of light")

Sheena Easton - Telephone

Trans X - Living On Video (VoIP)


I like the 80's
Houman0 9/26/2013 | 12:13:14 PM
Re: simple as NFV But of course there are, at least in spirit...  :)

How about:

- Hey, Hey.. You, You... Get offa my cloud (the Stones)

- Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years (LL Cool J from Mama Said Knock You Out)

- Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand (Primitive Radio Gods)

Ray already said no Pink Floyd, else some of the lyrics from "Wish you were here" are ominously reminescent of  SDN-jockeying undertones between the IT and networking giants...  (e.g. "Did they get you to change your walk-on part in a war, for a lead role in a cage...")
mendyk 9/26/2013 | 12:00:23 PM
Re: My thoughts I'm not sure how we missed this one, but "Jesus on the Main Line" has to be in the mix. Call him up and tell him what you want.
Sarah Thomas 9/23/2013 | 11:03:32 AM
My thoughts I'm late to this, but some thoughts:

- Ludacris was ahead of the times on the sexting trend, since the song was released in 2010.

- What about Lady Gaga's "Telephone"?

- Or, No Doubt's Spiderwebs? Not exactly about telecom, but a lot of people made it their voicemail messages. 

- We should also do a list of rappers that don't understand telecom, like Nelly: "I'm like Sprint or Motorola, no service, out of your range."

- Or, that don't understand cable, like Usher: "My life is a movie, and you just TiVo." hmm
mendyk 9/23/2013 | 10:56:52 AM
Re: Bell made the first call, not Edison Wow -- it's simply amazing that we missed that. Let's hope the mistake was intentional and not due to loss of brain cells from even thinking about "We Built This City."
Benoit Mercier 9/23/2013 | 7:48:57 AM
Bell made the first call, not Edison good discussion on music, but how about the fact that it's Bell who made the first phone call (March 10, 1876) and not Edison? After all, inventing the telephone might have offered him that privilege ;)

The August 10, 1876 date mentioned was for the first long-distance call, also made by Bell in Canada where he resided at the time.

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