Thursday, May 06, 2010

Ohmigod, It's the Most Hideously Awful Early Clue to the New Direction Ever!!!

From 1966, please enjoy Napoleon the XIV and the B-side of his classic novelty hit "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!", the legendarily annoying "!aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC er'yehT."


Napoleon XIV - !Aaah-Ah, Yawa Em Ekat Ot Gnimoc Er'yeht .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine
I don't know if I've told this story before, but Napoleon the XIV was the nom du disque of aspiring producer Jerry Samuels, who recorded the now infamous song as a demo while working as a staff engineer at Associated Studios, the very same recording complex where my high school garage band used to do all our demos (that history, in case you missed it, can be found here).

In any case, I wasn't there at the time, but some of the guys from the aforementioned garage band were in fact working in another room at Associated while Samuels was cobbling his hit together, and at one point he asked them to come in and do some random screaming around a microphone. Presumably, said screams were mixed down onto the final version of "They're Coming" that we all know and love, if that's the word.

As for the B-side, no less an authority than Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh has called it the "most obnoxious song ever to appear in a jukebox", adding that it once "cleared out a diner of forty patrons in three minutes flat."

I have no doubt that's true, but a coveted PowerPop No-Prize will be awarded the first reader who gleans the clip's relevance to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania nonetheless.

19 comments:

FD13NYC said...

Hey Steve, had this 45 of course, played the B-side over and over, drove my parents nuts. Can't seem to download it. Not the usual divshare.

As for the clue, hmmm, producers who made novelty songs with a funny moniker. Or songs about backwards maniacs?

Edward said...

Bad B Sides?

You'll note on the picture of the album cover it lists the backwards version even though it doesn't appear on the album (at least my copy). Replaced instead by "I'm Happy They Took You Away, Ha-Haaa1 by Josephine XV.

Soo....

Songs removed from or never made it to the album?

Bad music by French people?

Songs about mental illness, breakdown?

steve simels said...

Frank -- click on the bee mp3 search engine link at the bottom of the clip bar.

Then just log in...you should be able to download it with Real Player from there.

Nigel Tufnel said...

Best/worst songs with backwards instruments, solos or sounds? I nominate "I'm Only Sleeping."

Gummo said...

Best/worst throwaway songs?

Gummo said...

Ah-ha, I bet the clue is in your narrative --

Room-clearing songs?

Peter said...

Songs in Russian?

Dave said...

Best/Worst alternative take B-sides?

steve simels said...

Nah nah nah and nah,

And I'm definitely going to do room-clearing songs at some point.

But nah.
:-)

Walking Oliver Productions, Ltd said...

Let's see––Post Elvis single B-sides that never made it onto the album?

FD13NYC said...

Sorry Steve, having a problem. Could you kindly shoot me an mp3? Please stick to divshare.

steve simels said...

Frank, okay, but the reason I use beemp3 for this shit is because they're usually songs I don't want to go through the trouble of actually downloading myself and cluttering my hard drive.
:-)

It being mostly a player, and all...

Anyway, remind me and I'll do it when I'm home next...

Anonymous said...

Songs with the French language in them?

ROTP(lumber)

Brooklyn Girl said...

I have no idea what fresh hell you are about to "unleash" on us, but you will be shocked, shocked I say, when I tell you that the Invisible Dog art space on Bergen Street is the refurbished location of the factory that made the dogless leash Monsieur Napoleon is holding.

dSmith said...

Box Office- it's different. I don't see your column. It's gone very minimal. What happened?

MBowen said...

B-sides "better" than the a-sides?

Anonymous said...

Songs about historical figures.

ROTP(lumber)

steve simels said...

Short version about Box Office:

Old link gone.

New link:
http://www.boxofficemagazine.com

It's ugly, and they're working out the bugs, but my column is still there every day.

Anonymous said...

http://powerpoprocks.blogspot.com