Author Topic: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown  (Read 23845 times)

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Offline Compound

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2013, 03:28:52 PM »
I so want to post another novelty song in reference to Rock Lobster right now, but will refrain until after the list is over.


But I am bristling at it being labelled a novelty song. It's not any quirkier than "Mesopotamia" or "Legal Tender." The B52s just wrote on different subjects than other bands did. Bristle, bristle.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2013, 03:34:38 PM »
#35 Marvin, I Love Your by Stephen Moore
21 points on 1 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #5 by Compound

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/5ImiqaXBMkM?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/5ImiqaXBMkM?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3</a>

"Marvin, I Love You" is a song about the character Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of books.  Released in 1981, the song tells the story of Marvin going through his data banks cleaning up when he accidentally finds a mysterious recording of someone singing "Marvin, I Love You".  Marvin is confused by the presence of this recording, and tries to figure out how to make it play again.  When he does figure this out, the normally depressed robot finds the tune to be the one thing that cheers him up in his otherwise gloomy life.

I'd never heard this song before, though I had read the Hitchhiker's Guide series of books, seen the movie, and the miniseries.  It's kinda cute and heartwarming.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2013, 03:34:59 PM »
#34 Surfin' Bird by The Trashmen
21 points on 2 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #7 by Pak-Man

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZThquH5t0ow?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ZThquH5t0ow?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

"Surfin' Bird" is a song performed by the American surf rock band The Trashmen, and it is also the name of the album that featured this hit single. It was released in 1963 and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It is a combination of two R&B hits by The Rivingtons: "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word", which was influenced by Red Prysock's "What's the word? Thunderbird!"

It is widely rumored but highly unlikely that Surfin' Bird's derives from a radio ad jingle advertising Thunderbird as a brand of cheap wine: "What’s the word? Thunderbird. How’s it sold? Good and cold. What’s the jive? Bird’s alive. What’s the price? Thirty twice."[4] The jazz release that reflects common misconception of the wine jingle and is titled, "What's The Word? Thunderbird!" and was issued in record form as Mercury 71214 in October 1957.[5] This release was written by Wilbur Prysock, and performed by Red Prysock.

The Rivingtons followed up their 1962 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" with the similar "The Bird's the Word" in 1963. The Trashmen had not heard this version but saw a band called The Sorensen Brothers playing it. They decided to play the song that night at their own gig. During this first performance, drummer and vocalist Steve Wahrer stopped playing and ad-libbed the "Surfin' Bird" middle section.  Despite not knowing "The Bird's the Word" was a Rivingtons song, the similarity to "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" was obvious and The Trashmen added the chorus to the end of their new track.

A local disc jockey, Bill Diehl, was at the gig and convinced the band to record the track. It was recorded at Kay Bank Studios in Minneapolis. Diehl entered it into a local battle of the bands competition and it won. It was then sent to a battle of the bands competition in Chicago where it also won. This led to the group being signed to Garrett Records with the single being quickly released. It reportedly sold 30,000 copies in its first weekend before going on to national success, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Wahrer was originally credited as the song's writer, but that was changed to the Rivingtons (Al Frazier, Carl White, Sonny Harris, and Turner Wilson Jr.) after the group successfully sued The Trashmen for plagiarism.

I'd heard this song before.  A lot of people find it really grating and terrible, and a lot of people find it catchy.  I'm probably in the latter camp, but I doubt I could handle much of it.  An especially terrible episode of Family Guy revolved around Peter's obsession with the song and with Stewie and Brian trying to destroy it.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2013, 03:35:30 PM »
I so want to post another novelty song in reference to Rock Lobster right now, but will refrain until after the list is over.


But I am bristling at it being labelled a novelty song. It's not any quirkier than "Mesopotamia" or "Legal Tender." The B52s just wrote on different subjects than other bands did. Bristle, bristle.

Yeah, that's why it slipped my list. It's just kinda the B52s being the B52s. I can maybe see it getting a pass because of the section with the fish noises. :^)


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2013, 03:36:10 PM »
That's all for tonight folks!


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2013, 03:43:09 PM »
An especially terrible episode of Family Guy revolved around Peter's obsession with the song and with Stewie and Brian trying to destroy it.

I have a special fondness for "Let's torture our audience!" humor (Hence my long-standing love of Adult Swim programming). That, coupled with my genuine, unironic love of the song, makes that particular Family Guy one of my favorites.


Johnny Unusual

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2013, 08:00:52 PM »
I put Rock Lobster in there, but I wasn't really sure I counted it myself.  After all, I wouldn't call songs by quirky bands inherently "novelty".  I just saw it on a list and was like "alright, why not"?  Sorry if I offended anyone.  I certainly wouldn't want Whip It to be considered a novelty song (though it's not one of my favourite Devo songs).  Trapped in the Drive Through and 29/31 are really more straight comedy songs and Yoda is sort of on the line where Al was crossing over into being a mainstay and not just a "novelty". 

I like Detachable Penis, but I much prefer Jesus Was Way Cool, which I don't think counts since it is even less of a song and wasn't popular to be a novelty and was more of a comedy piece.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/WVJ-Wlacc-E" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/WVJ-Wlacc-E</a>

Surfin' Bird was on my list, but it wasn't so much for its Family Guy resurgence as it mixes two other novelty songs that might have made my list.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2013, 08:08:22 PM »
Trapped in the Drive Through and 29/31 are really more straight comedy songs and Yoda is sort of on the line where Al was crossing over into being a mainstay and not just a "novelty". 

Not this again.  "Novelty song" is not a code word for "obnoxious song".  Doctor Demento made his career spinning what he labelled novelty songs, and a good 80% of them are comedic in nature.  If you're gonna keep nitpicking, should I just delete the thread and forget about the rest of the list?


Johnny Unusual

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2013, 10:35:53 PM »
I'm not asking you to and I never said novelty song is a code word for obnoxious.  I'm saying that I don't see them as novelty songs.  Besides, it's not like there isn't a precedent for people debating whether stuff belongs on a list of crap, such as when people debated whether the muppets counted as a fictional race or if Henry Rollins counts as a stand-up comedian or who counts as a second banana.

I'm not saying "WE ARE NOT MOVING THIS THING UNTIL WE THROW THIS STUFF OUT." (Except as an example of things I don't say).  After all, I'm not bothered by people suggesting I'm wrong about my pick Rock Lobster, and I think they make a valid argument.  But even if I felt they didn't, I wouldn't be too upset about it.  I'm playing armchair quarterback, I'm not telling people what to do.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2013, 10:00:47 AM »
Johnny I apologize for my outburst yesterday.  That was uncalled for.

Didn't have time to do any more entries yesterday.  Here's today's batch.

#33 Party From Outer Space by Albert Brooks
22 points on 1 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #4 by Cole Stratton

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ShLzz9ZvpmU?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ShLzz9ZvpmU?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

Party from Outer Space is a.... bizarre track by comedian Albert Brooks.  In it, a reporter reports on the first ever party held in outer space.  The reporter reports that everyone is here... celebrities, animals, and inanimate objects.  He speaks with Lassie, Abraham Lincoln, Al Jolson, the Statue of Liberty, an anonymous non-famous man, and Richard Chamberlain.  Their responses are clips from songs bearing no vocal resemblance to any of the people he speaks to.  It's a short track, and odd.  Cole seems to love it though.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2013, 10:06:41 AM »
#32 A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash
22 points on 1 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #4 by Johnny Unusual

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/-1BJfDvSITY?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/-1BJfDvSITY?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

"A Boy Named Sue" is a poem by Shel Silverstein that has been made popular by Johnny Cash. Cash was at the height of his popularity when he recorded the song live at California's San Quentin State Prison at a concert on February 24, 1969. The concert was filmed by Granada Television for later television broadcast. The audio of the concert was later released on Cash's At San Quentin album. Cash also performed the song (with comical variations on the original performance) in December 1969 at Madison Square Garden. The song became Cash's biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and his only top ten single there, spending three weeks at #2 in 1969, held out of the top spot by Honky Tonk Women by The Rolling Stones. The track also topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts that same year and was certified Gold on August 14, 1969 by the RIAA.

The song tells the tale of a young man's quest for revenge on a father who abandoned him at 3 years of age and whose only contribution to his entire life was naming him Sue, commonly a feminine name, which results in the young man suffering from ridicule and harassment by everyone he meets in his travels. Because of this, Sue grows up tough, mean and smartens up very quickly, though he frequently relocates due to the shame his name gives him. Angered by the embarrassment and abuse that he endures in his life, he swears that he will find and kill his father for giving him "that awful name."

Sue later locates his father at a Gatlinburg, Tennessee, tavern during the middle of a summer season and confronts him by saying, "My name is Sue! How do you do? Now you're gonna die!" This results in a vicious brawl that spills outdoors into a muddy street. After the two have beaten each other almost senseless, Sue's father admits that he is "the son of a bitch" that named him Sue and explains that the name was given as an act of love. Because Sue's father knew that he would not be there for his son, he gave him the name to make sure that he grew up strong. Learning this, Sue forgives his father and they reconcile. With his lesson learned, Sue closes the song with a promise to name his son "Bill or George, any damn thing but Sue! I still hate that name!"


Quantum Vagina

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2013, 10:09:11 AM »
That song always reminds me of my dad. I don't know WHY it does, because he never did that to me, but every time I hear it, I think of him.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2013, 10:14:55 AM »
#31 Polkadot Undies by Bowser and Blue
22 points on 1 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #4 by Thrifty

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/LN6qRyKJbA0?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/LN6qRyKJbA0?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3</a>

Bowser and Blue is a musical duo from Montreal, consisting of George Bowser and Rick Blue.  Long time members of the Montreal music scene, they began working together in 1978.  Their song "Polkadot Undies" is a ballad sung in the style of Bob Dylan.  The song is full of mind rhyme; the first line of each couplet with an obvious rhyme of a dirty word, and the second line further pushes the listener to infer this dirty word before averting it completely and moving into a new and loosely related couplet.  At the end of a verse, the rhyme is replaced with the song title.  The song concludes with an accusation against the listener, implying, but not actually saying, that "obscenity is all in your mind".

I love this song.  I love mind rhymes.  I can't help laughing that they keep setting these up and not paying off.  Instead of using obscene words, they force you to use them.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2013, 10:20:47 AM »
#30 Poisoning Pigeons in the Park by Tom Lehrer
22 points on 2 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #13 by Thrifty

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/yhuMLpdnOjY?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/yhuMLpdnOjY?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3</a>

Tom Lehrer is a satirist, singer-songwriter, and mathematician.  Most of his recording career took place in the 1950s and 1960s.  In the early 1970s, he retired from singing and writing to teaching mathematics and musical theater at UC Santa Cruz.  "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" is a parody of "springtime" songs, in which Lehrer sings of his enjoyment of torturing, murdering, and vivisecting wild animals.



Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #44 on: November 28, 2013, 10:25:50 AM »
#29 Deteriorata by National Lampoon
22 points on 2 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #9 by Thrifty

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ey6ugTmCYMk?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Ey6ugTmCYMk?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3</a>

Deteriorata is a parody of Les Crane's 1971 spoken word recording of Desiderata, the early 20th century poem by Max Ehrmann. (Desiderata is Latin for "things to be desired"; the word deteriorata is a portmanteau of "desiderata" and the verb to deteriorate.) The parody was written by Tony Hendra for National Lampoon, and was recorded as part of the National Lampoon Radio Dinner album, released in 1972. Voiceover talent Norman Rose read the "poem" and Melissa Manchester was a background singer on the chorus section of the song. Christopher Guest wrote the music.

Deteriorata was also released as a single, which stayed on the lower reaches of the Billboard magazine charts for a month in late 1972. In addition, a printed version of the parody became one of National Lampoon's best-selling posters. The parody gained some significance and popularity as a frequent presentation on the Dr. Demento radio show. Les Crane himself admitted to preferring the parody version over his Grammy-winning recording of the original poem.

I first heard this song on the Doctor Demento 30th Anniversary box set in late 2003.  I liked it, but it wasn't until 7 years later that I found out it was actually a parody.  When I heard the original, I started to like it more.