[CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sam

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[CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sam

Postby CoffeeBean » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:13 pm

At one time in history, a certain song reached #1 on the US Billboard chart. It was replaced by another song at #1 the next week, but a few weeks later it returned to the top. This happened at the end of one year and the beginning of the next year, making this the only song in history to claim the #1 spot in two decades.

This song was almost never recorded or released. The artist had written the lyrics but didn't intend to record the song until the following things happened...

1. He took a ride in a taxi
2. He changed a lyric that originally referenced Humphrey Bogart to one that referenced an item that the artist hated
3. He sang the altered song to a friend to see if his friend would be surprised by it

Despite the song's overwhelming popularity, it sold very few records until the artist agreed to change the title (even though he hated this idea).

So...can you figure out the specific song based on these events, and why it wouldn't sell many copies soon after it was released and became extremely popular?


Even if you are relatively young there is a very good chance you've heard this song at least once. Feel free to ask any kind of questions that are related to the statements above.
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby trebor » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:47 pm

Are taxis relevant to the song? WAG (and probably too obvious), but is Harry Chapin relevant?

Is the friend mentioned in the song? Was Bogart himself actually mentioned in the original lyrics? Was his name being used as in to bogart something? Did the artist in question also sing/perform on the track? Did he write the song for someone else to record?

When the artist agreed to change the title, did he agree with: his label? A co-writer? The artist who recorded the song (if he didn’t record it himself)? Someone in his personal life? The friend?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:28 pm

Are taxis relevant to the song? No WAG (and probably too obvious), but is Harry Chapin relevant? No

Is the friend mentioned in the song? No
Was Bogart himself actually mentioned in the original lyrics? Yes Was his name being used as in to Bogart something? No
Did the artist in question also sing/perform on the track? Yes
Did he write the song for someone else to record? Unknown, but he did say that when he first wrote the song he didn't intend to record it

When the artist agreed to change the title, did he agree with: his label? Yes A co-writer? No The artist who recorded the song (if he didn’t record it himself)? No Someone in his personal life? Unknown, but possible considering the situation The friend? No
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby biograd » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:09 pm

Given the beginning/end of year bit, is the song related to the Holidays?
(For some odd reason, that "Grandma got run over by a reindeer" song popped into my head as I read the puzzle statement--it seems like the kind of thing that would have been created on a whim and been a big hit when it was first recorded, then a few weeks later it would no longer have been funny and everyone would forget about it)

Anyway, was the song satirical/comedic in some way? possibly even a parody of another song? or was it a regular, "straight faced" song?

Did the artist sing the song in small, local venues first, and then people liked it so much he decided to make an actual record? or did he originally not intend to perform the song at all?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby WiZ » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:11 pm

Did the newly-changed title mention the item that replaced Bogart?

Was this item a consumer good? A brand-named consumer good? Did the title capitalise on a trend?

Would the original title have been considered boring? Controversial? Misleading?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:21 pm

Given the beginning/end of year bit, is the song related to the Holidays? No
(For some odd reason, that "Grandma got run over by a reindeer" song popped into my head as I read the puzzle statement--it seems like the kind of thing that would have been created on a whim and been a big hit when it was first recorded, then a few weeks later it would no longer have been funny and everyone would forget about it) Good guess but not the case here

Anyway, was the song satirical/comedic in some way? It did have a somewhat comedic element to it, which is related to the taxi ride and the friend

possibly even a parody of another song? No...or was it a regular, "straight faced" song?...it was considered this.

Did the artist sing the song in small, local venues first, and then people liked it so much he decided to make an actual record? No
or did he originally not intend to perform the song at all? No, he wrote the lyrics to it but didn't plan on recording it until some other things happened

Did the newly-changed title mention the item that replaced Bogart? Yes

Was this item a consumer good? A brand-named consumer good? Not really in this category, no Did the title capitalize on a trend? No

Would the original title have been considered boring? Controversial? Not these, but... Misleading?...this.
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby WiZ » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:59 pm

Is it relevant that it was very popular but had relatively few sales? Was it initially available for sale in record stores? Played on radio?

Was it a charity single? Seasonal in nature? Related to an event? Used in advertising? Did it appear on TV/film?

With the original title, would people have known it was a song? Did it suggest a different genre? That it was some type of audio recording that wasn't song? That it was by a different artist?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:28 pm

Is it relevant that it was very popular but had relatively few sales? Yes, something about this will help identify the song, or at least relevant aspects of it
Was it initially available for sale in record stores? Played on radio? Yes to both

Was it a charity single? Seasonal in nature? Related to an event? Used in advertising? Did it appear on TV/film? None of these

With the original title, would people have known it was a song? Yes
Did it suggest a different genre? Some people may have thought this, perhaps
That it was some type of audio recording that wasn't song? No That it was by a different artist? Possibly.
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby trebor » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:27 pm

Is the artist a well-known one? Did the title have any numbers in it?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:09 pm

Is the artist a well-known one? No, but the song is
Did the title have any numbers in it? No
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby trebor » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:35 am

Is file-sharing relevant? Would it help us to figure out what the two decades are? Is it a song that became well-known through online use? Is it a novelty song?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:25 pm

Is file-sharing relevant? No
Would it help us to figure out what the two decades are? It might - the song reached #1 in December of 1979 then again in January of 1980
Is it a song that became well-known through online use? No
Is it a novelty song? No, but there is an element to the song that could be considered to have some novelty, which is why the song wasn't recorded and released until after the ride in the taxi and after the artist played the song for his friend
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby biograd » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:33 pm

The "Piña Colada song"? (I have no idea if that was actually the title). Maybe that's actually the point--could it be that it had an obscure title, and since everyone knew it as "The Piña Colada Song" they didn't actually find the record in stores?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby biograd » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:31 pm

And if that's it, maybe he took a taxi and recognized the driver as someone he knew?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:55 pm

The "Piña Colada song"? (I have no idea if that was actually the title). Maybe that's actually the point--could it be that it had an obscure title, and since everyone knew it as "The Piña Colada Song" they didn't actually find the record in stores? YES, all correct here. This was not the original title of the song, and it was added mainly because people did not know the title and/or had it confused with other songs.

And if that's it, maybe he took a taxi and recognized the driver as someone he knew? No, not the case
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby biograd » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:59 pm

Was the "item the artist hated" yoga? the taste of champagne? (I realize that neither of those are exactly "items", but those are the only things I remember from the song that he disliked/might have disliked--I don't remember whether the champagne one was a "yes" or a "no").
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:37 pm

Was the "item the artist hated" yoga? the taste of champagne? (I realize that neither of those are exactly "items", but those are the only things I remember from the song that he disliked/might have disliked--I don't remember whether the champagne one was a "yes" or a "no").
No, the item is much more easy to figure out
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Balin » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:51 pm

The item isn't piña coladas itself, is it?
(I know the original song title was "Escape.")
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:58 pm

The item isn't piña coladas itself, is it? Yes! The artist said that he hated them, he thought they tasted like Kaopectate (an antacid medicine), but they fit the song better than the words "Humphrey Bogart"
(I know the original song title was "Escape.") That's right. But people who heard the song assumed that the title had the words "Piña Colada" in it, so the complete title was changed to "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)"

The only things left to discover now are the importance of the ride in the taxi and the artist wanting his friend to listen to the song. HINT: These two things both happened within a relatively short time span
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Balin » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:06 pm

Did the friend hear the song during the taxi ride? On the radio?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:54 pm

Did the friend hear the song during the taxi ride? On the radio? No, the first time the friend heard the song was when the artist performed it for him
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Balin » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:09 am

Did he hear the song during the taxi ride? Sing it? Discuss it? Relevant the departure point or destination of the taxi?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:16 pm

Did he hear the song during the taxi ride? Sing it? No to both, at least as far as the friend is concerned, but...
Discuss it? Not during the taxi ride, no, but...
Relevant the departure point or destination of the taxi? No
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby trebor » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:59 pm

Did the artist sing it during the taxi ride? Did he write it in a taxi? Was he the driver? Is it based on a story the artist heard in a taxi? On a story the friend told him? Is the gender of the friend relevant?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:35 pm

Did the artist sing it during the taxi ride? Yes
Did he write it in a taxi? No Was he the driver? No
Is it based on a story the artist heard in a taxi? No On a story the friend told him? No Is the gender of the friend relevant? No
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Acridian9 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:54 pm

Was the artist alone when singing in the taxi (apart from the driver)? Was he trying several substitutes for "Humphrey Bogart", and asking the driver which was best? Did the driver suggest to replace it with "Piña Colada"?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:10 pm

Was the artist alone when singing in the taxi (apart from the driver)? Yes
Was he trying several substitutes for "Humphrey Bogart", No, only one, but... and asking the driver which was best? ...yes, he wanted the driver's opinion on the substitute, but... Did the driver suggest ...the driver did make a suggestion, but he wasn't specific, so... to replace it with "Piña Colada"? ...the artist had decided to use "Piña Colada" in place of "Humphrey Bogart" if people who heard the lyrics thought it should be changed, which the driver did.

All that's left is to discover why the artist wanted the friend to hear the lyrics (in which he'd already replaced "Humphrey Bogart")
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Balin » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:37 pm

Had the friend heard the original version of the song? Had he suggested "pina colada" in the first place?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:23 pm

Had the friend heard the original version of the song? No - good q
Had he suggested "pina colada" in the first place? No
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Balin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:31 pm

Did the artist try other lyric changes along with "pina coladas"?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:04 pm

Did the artist try other lyric changes along with "pina coladas"? No (but he apparently had potential lyric changes in mind when he went to play the song for his friend)
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby trebor » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:46 pm

Is/are the profession/hobbies of the friend relevant? Is the friend's name relevant? Is there any wordplay going on? Does the solution involve a joke between the artist and his friend? (Rupert Holmes is the relevant artist, correct?)
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:26 pm

Is/are the profession/hobbies of the friend relevant? Yes
Is the friend's name relevant? No
Is there any wordplay going on? No
Does the solution involve a joke between the artist and his friend? No
(Rupert Holmes is the relevant artist, correct?) That is correct
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Balin » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:17 pm

Is the friend also a musician? Is the friend a taxi driver? A bartender?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:01 pm

Is the friend also a musician? Yes!
Is the friend a taxi driver? A bartender? No to these (you've discovered the friend's relevance)
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Balin » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:09 am

Had the friend performed on the original recording of the song?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Acridian9 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:40 am

In the statement you said "he sang the altered song to a friend to see if his friend would be surprised by it"....so, by the ending of the lyrics?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:22 pm

Had the friend performed on the original recording of the song? No, because it had never been recorded (you're OTRT)

In the statement you said "he sang the altered song to a friend to see if his friend would be surprised by it"....so, by the ending of the lyrics? Yes, by the section of lyrics in the final part of the song
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Balin » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:46 pm

Did the friend perform on the song when it was recorded? Was the friend one of his bandmates?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:06 pm

Did the friend perform on the song when it was recorded? Was the friend one of his bandmates? Yes to both!

Nearly done...
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby Balin » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:22 am

Not sure exactly what's missing...
Had the friend heard the "Humphrey Bogart" version of the song at all?
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Re: [CoffeeBean] They Said What? Part IV - Play It Again, Sa

Postby CoffeeBean » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:38 pm

Not sure exactly what's missing... It's all clarified below!
Had the friend heard the "Humphrey Bogart" version of the song at all? No, nobody else had heard it. The artist told the cab driver about the change in the lyrics, then he sang the revised version of the song in its entirety to the cab driver. Then he went to talk to his friend (who was a musician and worked with him) and sing the revised song for him to see if he'd be surprised by the lyrics at the latter portion of the song.


- - - SPOILER - - -

Rupert Holmes, the artist who recorded "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" initially did not plan to record or release it because he wasn't sure people would understand the "twist" at the end of the song. The song is about two people who are a couple, not happy with each other, so they both place personal ads in the paper and end up meeting up with each other when the guy replies to the girl's ad. They find it funny when they realize that they were both unhappy but never knew that the other person liked all these things listed in the lyrics. And even though Holmes personally hated the taste of Pina Coladas, he thought it flowed better in the lyrics than "If you like Humphrey Bogart". He asked the cab driver about this change, and he agreed that it was a good idea. So when Holmes met his musician friend and played the entire song for him, his friend said that he understood the song and liked it, which led to the song being recorded and released. And once people realized the name of the song was "Escape", it sold many copies.


Great job to all who participated!
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