Norm issued today’s directive: write another “list” posting. He didn’t care what subject matter, just write something. When Gordy pointed out (actually, whined) that we had done one of those just last week, Norm lobbed a beer can at him and slammed his office door shut. Guess we hit a nerve there.
We set about our task, choosing to focus (again) on music, since we all have a common interest there and our readers seem to respond well to it. And so you have it, the product of our collective genius, distorted as that may be. A list of some notable pop music one-offs. We chose to ignore the truly obvious (and hideous) one-hitters, like Who Let The Dogs Out, Mambo No. 5, and the Macarena. No one should be reminded of those atrocities again. Instead, we concentrated on the more oddball favorites that came to mind today.
There is a bright side to doing these lists: we get to pry our contorted faces away from PC screens for a while and actually collaborate with one another. It breaks up the tedium. And so we brainstormed.
The downside is that Norm will probably burn a mix CD of these songs, and subject us all to it. He did that with our Worst Musical Dreck of the ’70s list and nearly drove us to madness one afternoon a few months ago. Since we have to eat what we kill, we must choose wisely. Here are the results, for better or worse.
Ebn-Ozn - AEIOU And Sometimes Y. An 8-minute tale of boy-meets-hot-Swedish-girl, and takes her home. And she lets him keep his cowboy boots on. Sheer poetry, set to a danceable, ’80s synth-pop beat.
The Buoys - Timothy. Perhaps the world’s only pop hit song addressing the topic of cannibalism. This creepy song actually slithered out of Top-40 stations back in 1971. Three guys stuck in a mine, only two emerge…oh hell, we won’t spoil the story for you. Go find it on iTunes.
Bloodrock - D.O.A. First-person account of a grisly plane crash. “We were flying along…and hit something in the air.” More early-’70s preoccupation with death, released years before the genre of goth metal elevated the subject to an art form.
Boys Don’t Cry - I Wanna Be A Cowboy. From the mid-1980s, an era when way too many pompous pop artists took themselves way too seriously, came this oddball from left field. Good fun.
Gary Glitter - Rock & Roll, Part II. Granted, this one has been beaten to death at nearly every sporting event on the planet. Still, you must hear this 1972 classic in its original form, without the chorus of 50,000 drunk, stomping football fans. Every song that Glitter ever recorded has the exact same boomba-chucka-boomba-chuck-chuck drums & claps rhythm section. Which means don’t bother getting the whole CD; just downloading the one track will suffice. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment. Helpful tip: the song is much easier to stomach once you’ve had a bit to drink.
Spinal Tap - Big Bottom. OK, technically not a real band, being a made-for-movie phenomenon. We’re not really sure if it was their only hit, or even a hit at all. But everyone at AITS loves the movie (Tina can practically recite the entire dialog word-for-word), so including this tune was a must. A lusty, thundering ballad devoted to the virtues of “plus-size” girls. This one goes to eleven.
Flying Lizards - Money (That’s What I Want). Bizarre, minimalistic interpretation of the ’50s Berry Gordy-penned classic. Sung (more like chanted) by bad female “vocalist.” Percussion section sounds akin to someone beating on a metal garbage can. Or maybe it really is someone beating on a metal garbage can. A trash-rock classic.
Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs - Lil’ Red Riding Hood. The leering vocals of this ancient ’60s ditty evoke a creepy, almost stalker-like quality. “Hey there little red riding hood, you sure are lookin’ good…” Brought to you by the same people responsible for “Wooly Bully.” OK, that makes it a two-hit wonder, but who cares?
The Trashmen - Surfin’ Bird. As long as we’re stuck in the sixties, we HAVE to throw this one in. The growling vocals, the cheesy reverb, the single-chord guitar. Try to sing along with this beach favorite.
The Caesars - Jerk It Out. Tina’s favorite one-off, this song was featured in an iPod commercial a few years back. The farfisa organ adds a nice retro touch.
Staff Sgt Barry Sadler - Ballad Of The Green Berets. Sung by a real-life soldier, this Vietnam-era oddity bears all of the John Wayne badass swagger one would expect. Intended to piss off the hippies. Submitted by Gordy for purely ironic effect.
Wall Of Voodoo - Mexican Radio. A terrific ode to our south-of-the-border friends. “I wish I was in Tijuana, eating barbecued iguana.” Indeed.
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Fire. Nutty, ’60s period piece instantly recognizable by Brown’s maniacal screams throughout the song.
The Vapors - Turning Japanese. Coy little song about…well…nevermind. At least, that’s the legend. Can anyone say “hand-to-gland combat?”
Frank And Moon Zappa - Valley Girl. Parodies the jargon and speaking style of 1980s Southern California airhead girls. Now every teenage female talks like that. Thanks, Frank. It’s…like…totally tubular.