Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekend Listomania (Special Batshit Nuts Audio/Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental groinal claims adjuster Fah Lo Suee and I will be off to...well, it's a damn secret, but let's just say that it involves us dressing up in burqas and ringing Pam "Atlas Juggs" Geller's doorbell and running.

That being the case, here's a fun little project to help us wile away the hours:

Best or Worst Post-Elvis Pop/Rock Song or Album That References Derangement of Some Sort in Either the Title or Lyrics!!!

No arbitrary rules whatsoever, you're welcome very much. And yes, it seems likely to me that we've done this dance before, although a stroll through the world famous PowerPop search engine proved fruitless when I tried to find a previous Listomania with the same theme. In any case, I figure if I can't remember it, you probably can't either. So let's simply proceed.

Incidentally, if I did put a list like this up at some earlier point, I'm pretty sure I would have nominated Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming to Take Me..." and The Vapors' "Turning Japanese." Which is why I'm not doing so now.

Of course, if YOU feel like doing so, go ahead; it's not like the blog police will come and arrest you.

And my top of my head Top Six is (are):

6. Alice Cooper -- The Ballad of Dwight Fry

His Nibs ode to the most consistently nutty B-actor in screen history.

5. Screaming Lord Sutch -- Jack the Ripper

Alice Cooper taught this guy everything he knew. Not.

4. Quicksilver Messenger Service -- Edward (The Mad Shirt Grinder)

It's an instrumental, so we have to take the song's title on faith, as far as our theme goes. Nevertheless, this is pretty much the best example of greatest rock piano man of them all Nicky Hopkins' prowess as a leader and composer; the track is his all the way, and I think its terrific even if it does get a tad too close to prog for comfort every now and then.

3. The Sonics -- Psycho

That opening scream says it all. Of course, just about everything frontman Jerry Roslie sang with these guys sounded demented.

2. Sonic Youth -- I'm Insane

You know what's insane? The idea that these guys are still avant-garde after thirty years. But I kid famed Woman in Rock Kim Gordon!!!

And the Numero Uno You So Crazy! ditty of then all, it would be bonkers of you to disagree, simply has to be...

1. H.P. Lovecraft -- At the Mountains of Madness

Not a terribly good song, although these guys were supposedly a pretty good live act if you'd imbibed the right chemicals. Bassist Jerry McGeorge was a founding member of garage rock gods The Shadows of Knight, however, so I'm willing to cut them some slack.

Alrighty then -- what would your choices be?


steve simels said...

Yeah, yeah, I know -- nothing recorded in this century.

Anonymous said...

Well let's start with:

Boris the Spider & Whiskey Man - The Who (John Entwhistle)

Procol Harum - In the Autumn of My Madness

Richard Thompson - Psycho & Galway to Graceland

The HP Lovecraft track really SUCKS!!! Forgot how good the Quicksilver track is!


dave™© said...

Elvis the C. did a pretty good cover of a song called "Psycho" during his country/western period. The original, IIRC, came out around the time of the movie.

I think I'll also throw in "Just Another Onionhead/Da-Da-Dali" from side one of Todd's "A Wizard/A True Star". Seems to at least be in the spirit of the topic.

No "See Emily Play"? Or "Bike"? Or even "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"?

So did anyone volunteer to put that Joe Franklin video up yet? If not, call me!

dave™© said...

And there isn't a more haunting depiction of the depths of depression than Brian Wilson's "'Til I Die"...

Dave said...

A good deal of Lindsay Buckhingham's solo work is about derangement (and not only when the lyrics are about this subject). But I'll go for the obvious: "Go Insane"

Gummo said...

A couple of songs I actually know & love this week!

The Ballad of Dwight Frye was a college favorite.

Michael said...

The most obvious omission: Warren Zevon's Excitable Boy

Faze said...

I'm lost here. I think all R&R is about madness. The H.P. Lovecraft isn't THAT bad. I like the braided vocal lines, obviously inspired by "You and me and Pooniel".

steve simels said...

Lovecraft were very Jefferson Airplane-ish -- at their best. This one doesn't quite achieve bestness, IMHO.

Edward said...

Let's See....
Madness: Madness
Crackin Up: Nick Lowe
Nervous Breakdown: Eddie Cochran
Crazy: Patsy Cline
Lather: Jefferson Airplane
Too Bad About Sandy: Carlene Carter
Psychotic Reaction: Count 5

I'm sure we can shoehorn in Fire: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

and just about everything on Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World;>

Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary said...

How 'bout Cypress Hill's "Insane in the Membrane"?

Anonymous said...

I've loved Edward (The Mad Shirt Grinder) since I first heard it many years ago. I've never had the slightest idea what the title meant but that truly is some insane piano playing.

As for a song that fits this weeks Listomania theme I believe I'll nominate the Small Faces song Mad John.

dave™© said...

Let's not forget Rupert Holmes' magnum opus "Timothy," as performed by the Buoys. Not a lot of songs out there about cannibalism...

Brooklyn Girl said...

Paul Simon: "Still Crazy After All These Years"

Feral said...

I'll throw out a few:

Little Feat - Teenage Nervous Breakdown.
Cheap Trick - Dream Police
The Police - Mother
Matthew Sweet - Lost My Mind

Noam Sane said...

Crazy Like a Fox, NRBQ.

Go Big Al!

jackd said...

Police - Shadows in the Rain
(I'm very fond of the Sting version, with someone, maybe Branford Marsalis, asking "What key is it in?" over the brief drum intro.)

Steely Dan - Bad Sneakers

Elvis Costello - Veronica

Anonymous said...

The Sonics are beyond awesome. Any excuse to include them in a list is a good one.

There's a song about the Twinkie defense by the Dead Kennedys, sorry can't place the name.

Out of My Head - Fleetwood Mac

Maxwell's Silver Hammer - Beatles

Maybe it's on the list already but Eddie Cochran's Nervous Breakdown.

Every Step You Take - Police (but I hate the Police so honorable mention only)

Happy Family - Ramones

I'm glad someone nominated Crazy by Patsy Cline, such a beautiful song.

... and probably many many songs by Brian Wilson, if we go back and look.


Dominic Cordisco said...

Here's a few:

CSN&Y: Sea of Madness
Flaming Lips: The Gold in the Mountain of our Madness
Iron Maiden: Can I play with madness?
Tears for Fears: Mad World

LP Steve said...

Top of the head: "Personality Crisis" by the New York Dolls.

Michael said...

Talking Heads: Psycho Killer

Kid Charlemagne said...

Jeez, Simels, I can't believe you didn't cite even one Move tune! They have tons of songs about mental illness:

Night of Fear
Cherry Blossom Clinic
The Disturbance
Flowers in the Rain

Anonymous said...

how 'bout "I Must Be Mad" by the Craig?

It's on a Pebbles comp and I couldn't believe my luck when I found the 45 (on Fontana) at a garage sale in the backwoods of IL.

What about "Psycho" by Bobby Hendricks? It's a great record in which his shrink has him recall past girlfriends and he starts babbling like an idiot.

Peter said...

Although Feral cited "Dream Police", my vote goes to Cheap Trick's sublime "Voices". It's a song with lyrics that I had never paid much attention to until I read an interview with Rick Nielsen in which he mentioned that the song was about schizophrenia. Once I knew that, the song gained a much greater depth. I now think that "Voices" is probably one of the saddest songs I've ever heard. (Along with Syd Barrett's "Bike" – the sound of a disintegrating mind.)

MBowen said...

While you guys were watching Soupy Sales and Wonderama, I was watching this guy:

Committed to Parkview

The Rubber Room

Anonymous said...

Roky Erickson -- Reverberation ("Your start to fight against the night, that screams inside your mind.")

Sonic Youth -- Schizophrenia

Ramones -- Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment

Pet Shop Boys -- Losing My Mind

befuggled said...

Richard Thompson's Grey Walls and Psycho Street on Rumor and Sigh.

Libby Spencer said...

I'm late to the game but if we're doing Patsy Cline, the I Fall to Pieces should be mentioned.

Rolling Stones - Shattered and I suppose Mother's Little Helper would sort of fit too.

Ramones - Anxiety

And forget who did it, but Love Potion No. 9 sorts of works for this theme.

And dishonorable mention to the classic novelty song - They're Coming to Take Me Away.