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Author Topic: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown  (Read 22753 times)

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Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #75 on: December 01, 2013, 06:44:58 AM »
#10 Shaving Cream by Benny Bell
34 points on 3 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #5 by George Harrison

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Shaving Cream is a 1946 song by Benny Bell, originally song by Paul Wynn.  Each verse ends with a mind rhyme of the word "shit".  The expected rhyme is replace with a segue into the refrain of "shaving cream.  Be nice and clean, shave every day and you'll always look clean."  The song was originally released in 1946 under Bell's own record label, Cocktail Party Songs.  It received wide airplay on Dr. Demento's show in the 1970s, leading Vanguard Records to rerelease the song in 1975, where it became a hit that climbed to the #30 position on the Billboard charts.

I first heard this song on the radio on the bus to school back in 4th grade.  I didn't know who sung it or where I could listen to it again.  It was 1991, so there was no Internet to search and listen to it again.  It wasn't until 2007, when I received a copy of a Doctor Demento CD as a Christmas gift that I was able to hear it again, as often as I wanted.  It's a great song.  I love mind rhymes.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #76 on: December 01, 2013, 06:51:01 AM »
#9 Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Picket and the Cryptkickers
35 points on 4 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #14 by Johnny Unusual

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/J0R_oDEvYUY?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/J0R_oDEvYUY?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3</a>

"Monster Mash" is a 1962 novelty song and the best-known song by Bobby "Boris" Pickett. It tells the story of a Frankenstein like mad scientist, who, while working in his lab one night, sees his monster suddenly spring to life, start dancing, and invite other monsters for a party.  The song was released as a single on Gary S. Paxton's Garpax Records label in August 1962 along with a full-length LP called The Original Monster Mash, which contained several other monster-themed tunes. The "Monster Mash" single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on October 20 of that year, just in time for Halloween. It has been a perennial holiday favorite ever since.

It's a catchy song, and arguably one of the most popular novelty songs out there.  You hear it a lot around Halloween, appropriately.  Driving around just this past Halloween, I heard it on the local classic rock station.  Seems a lot of people enjoyed the song, since it made a lot of lists, but nobody was super fond of it, since it never got very high.  Whenever I hear this song, I think of the recurring joke on a Valentine's Day episode of The Simpsons in which one of the KBBL DJs mistakenly plays the song twice in the middle of February.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #77 on: December 01, 2013, 06:54:53 AM »
#8 Hardware Store by Weird Al Yankovic
37 points on 2 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #7 by Thrifty

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"Hardware Store" is a song released on Weird Al Yankovic's 2002 "Poodle Hat" album.  It is an original composition by Yankovic.  In the song, the singer excitedly tells the tale of a new hardware store opening up in town.  It has a very fast tempo, particularly in the middle part where he sings about various items that the store sells, in a speed I can't believe is possible without electronic assistance.  Sounds of saws, hammers, screws, drills, and other assorted carpentry tools are employed as background noise throughout.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #78 on: December 01, 2013, 06:59:30 AM »
#7 The Elements by Tom Lehrer
41 points on 2 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #3 by Johnny Unusual

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The Elements is a 1959 song by satirist/singer/mathematician Tom Lehrer in which he sings the names of all the elements in the periodic table (102 at the time, though there are, I believe 118 at present), to the tune of the Major-General's Song from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan.It was on his albums Tom Lehrer in Concert, More of Tom Lehrer and An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer.  Elements are arranged to fit the meter of the song, and bear little resemblance to their ordering on the actual periodic table.

I like this song.  Catchy, fun, and educational.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #79 on: December 01, 2013, 07:04:36 AM »
#6 Witch Doctor by Dave Seville
46 points on 3 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #4 by Pak-Man

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

"Witch Doctor" is a song performed by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., and released in 1958 by Liberty Records under the name David Seville, a character whom Bagdasarian portrayed.

The song tells the story of a man in love with a woman who initially does not return his affections. Longing for her companionship, the man goes to see a witch doctor for advice. The wise witch doctor replies, "Oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang" (a phrase which is repeated three times as the chorus of the song). At the middle of the song, the man tells the woman he loves about his asking the witch doctor for advice. The voice of the "witch doctor" was in fact Bagdasarian's own voice sped up to double speed, a technique later exploited by Bagdasarian to create Alvin and the Chipmunks (and which he had also used on at least one other pre-Chipmunk song, "The Bird on My Head"). Because of this, it is often referred to (even in later compilations) as the first song by the Chipmunks; this is not precisely true. For one, only one sped-up "chipmunk-style" voice is featured rather than three such voices singing in harmony. Furthermore, Bagdasarian (as Seville) insisted that it was not technically a Chipmunks song in an episode of The Alvin Show when he exclaims "I made that record once!" and Alvin responds "But not with us!" The first true song by the "group" was "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)."

First time I ever heard this song was on this awful commercial for the Doctor Mario video game in the early 90s.  I've hated it ever since.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #80 on: December 01, 2013, 07:08:02 AM »
#5 King Tut by Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons
48 points on 4 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #1 by Johnny Unusual

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"King Tut" is a novelty song performed by Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons. It was released as a single in 1978, sold over a million copies, and reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Martin previewed the song in a live performance during the April 22, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live. The song was also included on Martin's album A Wild and Crazy Guy.

"King Tut" paid homage to Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun and presents a caricature of the sensational Treasures of Tutankhamun traveling exhibit that toured seven United States cities from 1976 to 1979. The exhibit attracted approximately eight million visitors. In the Saturday Night Live performance of "King Tut," loyal subjects appease a joyful King Tut with kitchen appliances. An instrumental solo is delivered by saxophone player Lou Marini, who steps out of a sarcophagus to great laughter.

In the book Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, authors Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad write that the sketch was one of the most expensive productions the show had attempted up to that point. Steve Martin had brought the song to the show and asked if he could perform it, not expecting the production that occurred—producer Lorne Michaels put everything behind it.

Heard this song once on a Steve Martin comedy album.  Thought it was kinda weird.  I didn't hate it though.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #81 on: December 01, 2013, 07:14:20 AM »
#4 Eat It by Weird Al Yankovic
51 points on 3 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: TIED at #2 by Pak-Man and Johnny Unusual

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"Eat It" is a song on Weird Al Yankovic's 2nd album "Weird Al Yankovic in 3-D".  It was also released as a single in 1984.  The song is a parody of the popular Michael Jackson song "Beat It".  The single reached number 1 in Australia, and it was his highest-charting U.S. single on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 12 until "White & Nerdy" peaked at number 9 in October 2006. "Eat It" earned Yankovic a 1984 Grammy Award in the Best Comedy Recording category.  "Eat It" also outranked "Beat It" in overall highest position on the Australian Aria Charts, with its highest rank being number 1, while "Beat It" had a highest ranking of 3rd. On October 19, 1989, the RIAA certified "Eat It" as a gold single.

I think this was the first Weird Al song I ever heard, and maybe the first comedy/novelty song I ever heard.  Back then, hearing such a thing was a rare and special occurrence, since I was just a kid and didn't have his records and MP3s were yet to come.  I loved it then, still love it today, though I think his later work is better.


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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #82 on: December 01, 2013, 07:14:52 AM »
Top 3 coming later today!


MightyJack

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #83 on: December 01, 2013, 08:07:47 AM »
Basketball Jones is epic and has such fond memories associated with it (my Uncle Craig singing it while we were in the backyard shooting hoops). It played in theaters before showings of the Jack Nicholson film, "The Last Detail". I'm glad to see it made the list.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 08:09:28 AM by George Harrison »


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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #84 on: December 01, 2013, 08:42:37 AM »
#16 Barbie Girl by Aqua
28 points on 2 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #5 by Pak-Man

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZyhrYis509A?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US&quot;" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ZyhrYis509A?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US&quot;</a>

"Barbie Girl" is a song by the Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group Aqua. It was released in May 1997 as their third single overall, and the first United Kingdom release. The song is included on the album Aquarium and was written by Claus Norreen and Søren Nystrøm Rasted after the group saw an exhibit on kitsch culture.

The song topped the charts worldwide, particularly in European countries such as the UK, where it was a number-one hit for three weeks. It was also on top of the charts in Australia for the same length of time, and debuted and peaked at No. 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 6 September 1997 and it remains Aqua's biggest hit single in the US to date, and their only one to reach the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. It is Aqua's most popular work.

The lyrics of the song are about Barbie and Ken, the dolls made by Mattel. Both the song and its music video feature Lene Nystrøm as Barbie and René Dif as Ken. As such, the lyrics drew the ire of Barbie's corporate owners, and a lawsuit was filed by Mattel.

A footnote on the back of the Aquarium CD case precisely stated that "The song 'Barbie Girl' is a social comment and was not created or approved by the makers of the doll."

I guess some people like this song.  I feel like I'm getting my skin flayed off trying to listen to it.

Wow.  I thought I was the only one who hated that song.   :o  I remember when that came out and it make my eardrums burst and bleed.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 08:45:11 AM by BiteMe316 »


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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #85 on: December 01, 2013, 11:01:58 AM »
#10 Shaving Cream by Benny Bell
34 points on 3 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #5 by George Harrison

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/5rpq6u8hYgk?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/5rpq6u8hYgk?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3</a>

Shaving Cream is a 1946 song by Benny Bell, originally song by Paul Wynn.  Each verse ends with a mind rhyme of the word "shit".  The expected rhyme is replace with a segue into the refrain of "shaving cream.  Be nice and clean, shave every day and you'll always look clean."  The song was originally released in 1946 under Bell's own record label, Cocktail Party Songs.  It received wide airplay on Dr. Demento's show in the 1970s, leading Vanguard Records to rerelease the song in 1975, where it became a hit that climbed to the #30 position on the Billboard charts.

I first heard this song on the radio on the bus to school back in 4th grade.  I didn't know who sung it or where I could listen to it again.  It was 1991, so there was no Internet to search and listen to it again.  It wasn't until 2007, when I received a copy of a Doctor Demento CD as a Christmas gift that I was able to hear it again, as often as I wanted.  It's a great song.  I love mind rhymes.
This was a hugely popular song (with Camp specific adaptef verses) at both of the Summer Camps I helped run. :)


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #86 on: December 01, 2013, 11:14:10 AM »
#3 They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa! by Napoleon XIV
56 points on 3 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #1 by George Harrison

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"They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" is a 1966 novelty record by Jerry Samuels, recorded under the name Napoleon XIV. Released on Warner Bros. Records, the song became an instant success in the United States, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 popular music singles chart on 13 August and reaching #4 on the UK Singles Chart.  At the time the song was written, Jerry Samuels was a recording engineer at Associated Recording Studios in New York. Using a device called a variable-frequency oscillator (VFO), he was able to alter the pitch of a recording without changing the tempo - for example, making voices higher or lower. From this came the idea for a song based on the rhythm of the old Scottish tune "The Campbells Are Coming". 

The lyrics describe the effect on the mental health of an individual after a break-up. The main character is seemingly addressing an ex-girlfriend, and describes his descent into madness after she has left him. He believes he is being pursued by "men in white coats" (i.e., psychiatric attendants) who are coming to transport him to the mental hospital and welcomes them as an end to his misery. At the end of the song however, it appears that instead of talking about an ex-girlfriend, it is really about his dog ("Well you just wait, they'll find you yet, and when they do, they'll put you in the ASPCA you mangy mutt").

The recording is set primarily to a rhythm tapped on a snare drum and tambourine. The performer speaks rhythmically rather than singing the lyric, and the sparse, multi-tracked looped percussion track features a siren sounding in and out of the "chorus". According to Samuels, the vocal glissando was achieved by Samuels manipulating tape recording speeds, a variation on the technique used by Ross Bagdasarian in creating the original Chipmunks novelty songs.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #87 on: December 01, 2013, 11:20:58 AM »
#2 Fish Heads by Barnes and Barnes
70 points on 4 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #1 by Cole Stratton

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"Fish Heads" is a novelty song by comedy rock duo Barnes and Barnes, featured on their 1980 album Voobaha. It has often been played on the Dr. Demento show, and is the second-most honored song in Demento show history.

The song is about fish heads and all the things they can (or, more often, cannot) do, such as playing baseball, wearing sweaters, dancing, playing drums, or being seen drinking cappuccino in Italian restaurants with Oriental women. It is accompanied by a high-pitched chorus, achieved by speeding up the tape, which repeats the original's chorus.  The song was among the most requested and aired on Kids America, a children's radio program aired over American Public Radio in the 1980s. The song's extreme popularity on the program nearly caused it to become a signature song of the series as it regularly came in as the #1 song requested out of several each day.

Actor Bill Paxton directed and appeared in the music video for the song, which aired on NBC television on Saturday Night Live, on December 6, 1980.

I remember hearing parts of this song when I was a very young kid.  I heard it right after hearing "Eat It" for the first time on some MTV special.  Like my experiences with "Shaving Cream" I did not hear it again until adulthood, when in 2005 I downloaded a copy misattributed to They Might Be Giants.  Didn't find out the identity of the true artists until a few years later.  My dad was always a big fan of the song, calling my brother Ish "Roly-Poly Ish-head".  He doesn't do that any more though.


Offline Thrifty Version II

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #88 on: December 01, 2013, 11:34:14 AM »
#1 Pac Man Fever by Buckner and Garcia
71 points on 4 of 6 lists.  Top Vote: #1 by Pak-Man (appropriately enough)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/-_f68Ho-0dQ?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/-_f68Ho-0dQ?hl=en_US&amp;amp;version=3</a>

"Pac-Man Fever" is a hit single by Buckner & Garcia. It is also the eponymous first track of the concept album of the same name.  Each track on the album is about a different arcade game and uses sound effects from that game. Capitalizing on the video game craze of the early 1980s, the song, about the classic video game Pac-Man, peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US in March 1982. That same month, it was certified Gold by the RIAA for over 1,000,000 units shipped to retailers; the single sold 1.2 million copies by the end of 1982, and 2.5 million copies in total as of 2008. VH1 ranked it at #98 on their list of 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s. 

I was surprised to see this at #1.  I never thought of it as a novelty song.  I like the song and have it on my MP3 player, but never thought of it that way.


MightyJack

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Re: List Of Crap #76: Top 50 Novelty Songs Countdown
« Reply #89 on: December 01, 2013, 01:14:05 PM »
That was a surprise, I expected Pac to place in the top 50, but  "They're Coming to Take Me Away" is the king of the novelty songs to my mind. Thought that was a lock for #1.

Interesting list and thanks for hosting Thrifty.