Friday, February 08, 2019

Weekend Listomania: Special Wide World of Weird Edition

Okay, it's Friday, and you know what means.

It's Listomania Time!!!

And a potentially fun project for all of us is --


No arbitrary rules here, obviously, but I must confess that some of my nominees may be more accurately described as innovative, rather than avant-garde. It's all subjective, obviously, so have fun.

In any case, my totally top of my head Top Eight are:

8. Buchanan and Goodman -- The Flying Saucer

The first mash-up record, and they did it the hard way -- without sampling.

7. A tie --

Nervous Norvus -- Transfusion

Jody Reynolds -- Endless Sleep

Two of the weirdest records ever made. Echo and suicide -- when was that something that got you a hit?

6. Donna Summer -- I Feel Love

You know, I didn't particularly like this one at the time, and I still don't really, but jeebus -- the first time you heard this, you had to go "??????"

5. The Beatles -- All You Need is Love

The moment when they sing "She Loves You" at the end? The precise moment when Post-Modernism begins.

4. Tone Loc -- Funky Cold Medina

The first great rock 'n' roll record where the backing track is totally sampled. And I have to admit -- it was months after this became a hit that I realized the guitar stuff was from Foreigner.

3. The Beach Boys -- Good Vibrations.

Cellos and a theremin. Right.

2. The Byrds -- Eight Miles High

Excuse me, forget the alleged drug-influenced lyrics -- name me another record that sneaked John Coltrane licks onto AM radio.

And the number one avant-garde Top Twenty hit single of all time, it's not even a contest, obviously is...

1. The Yardbirds -- I'm a Man

Wait a minute -- this is a cover of a Bo Diddley blues song; so why is Jeff Beck making strange noises up the neck of his guitar at the finale?

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

And have a great weekend, everybody?


Blue Ash Fan said...

Bloodrock's D.O.A.

According to the Wikipedia, it made it to #36. I'd say that counts.

Gummo said...

"!aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC er'yehT" - the flip side of They're Coming to Take Me Away - has another backwards track ever been released as a side of a single?

Billy B said...

Another Yardbirds gem, Heart Full of Soul.

Reached number 9 on Billboard.

The original version was done with a sitar, but the band didn't like it and recorded the hit version.

I have the sitar version on vinyl. It's a bit uneven.

Anonymous said...

"Strawberry Fields Forever ". Only The Beatles could create a huge hit with this (or "I am The Walrus").

For a few months after this climbed the charts I foolishly thought songs like "Strawberry Fields" was the future of Rock and Roll. Boy was I wrong! Instead we ended up with Prog Rock.

Captain Al

cthulhu said...

Does it get any weirder than “MacArthur Park”? Went all the way to #2; what the hell was everybody smoking? (Starting with Jimmy Webb...)

Shriner said...

From Wikipedia: "Funky Cold Medina" contains samples from the following songs: "Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones, "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner, "Christine Sixteen" by Kiss, '"You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and the introduction to "Get Off Your Ass and Jam" by Funkadelic.

I always liked it because of that.

What I always thought was amazing: "Popcorn" by Hot Butter? Hit #5 in the charts.

I miss the randomness of the 1970's Top 40. Those were the days...

Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

I’m going further afield than the normal purview of the blog, but wtf...

Take Five by The Dave Brubeck Quartet made it to #25 on the Billboard 100 in 1961! A song in 5/4 time and that contains a pretty non-pop drum solo (it ain’t Wipeout).

Lyrically, you could nominate Bob’s Like a Rolling Stone, number 2 on Billboard in 1965. Had vitriol ever charted before?


edward said...

Gummo: Yes, there was, per Wikipedia (not the same song, but definitely backwards):
"Indian Giver" is a song written by Bobby Bloom, Ritchie Cordell, and Bo Gentry. It was first recorded by 1910 Fruitgum Company for their 1969 album, Indian Giver.[1] The song went to #5 on The Billboard Hot 100 in 1969 and was on the charts for 13 weeks.[2] Its B-Side, "Pow Wow", was actually a song called "Bring Back Howdy Doody" deliberately pressed backwards as a way of deterring radio stations from playing the B-Side,[3]

edward said...

I have a feeling Les Paul belongs in this list somewhere.

Gummo said...

edward, thanks, that's pretty funny!

And yes, RichD, Like a Rolling Stone, the song that broke the 3:30 AM radio barrier. That was game-changing.

pete said...

Didn't someone else do "Endless Sleep"? I vaguely recall an R&B version. Percy Mayfield?

pete said...

Jimmy Witherspoon!