Novelty records

Discussion in 'Music' started by John Watson, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Do they still make these things, apart from Weird Al? For that matter, I haven't heard much from him lately. I liked some of Jonathan Richman's quirky 80's songs, like "Government Center" and "Takin the bus", but I can't think of much from the 90's.

    Any suggestions about why, or maybe I'm wrong, and someone can fill me in on what I've missed?

    This question inspired by seeing that ACE (a top notch UK reissue label) has issued a Novelty Records chapter in its Golden Age of American Rock and Roll series (1956-64). The Novelty disk has 30 tracks, including Haunted House (yippee!) on it. There are at least 8 more tracks I've never even heard of.



    If novelty tunes from decades ago don't appeal to you, Ace has also just issued a 3 cd WattStax set.

    http://www.acerecords.co.uk/gotrt/oct03/cdchd980.html
     
  2. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Check out the Austin Lounge Lizards.
     
  3. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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    Weird Al released a new album earlier on in the year. It's called Poodle Hat. Check it out.
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Anybody remember "I Wanna Be A Cowboy" by Boys Don't Cry? I think it was released around 1986. Quite funny & I always thought the music itself was actually pretty good. They played this on several different stations (this was before every station was categorized & pigeonholed by the corporate "format experts" [​IMG] ).

    Yippee yo yo yo...............

    LJ
     
  5. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Yep, Weird Al is still going strong.

    Do you mean "novelty" as in parodies of real songs, or as in odd little tracks that most "artists" wouldn't be caught dead releasing because of subject matter or arrangement? [​IMG]

    If it's the latter, I'd consider "Barbie Girl" by Aqua a "novelty" song that was a big hit a few years ago. Also Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5."

    There's usually quite a few "novelty" tracks in the UK over the course of a year. "Fast Food Song" by the Fast Food Rockers was just a #2 hit a few months ago....

    A Pizza Hut
    a Pizza Hut
    Kentucky Fried Chicken
    and a Pizza Hut
    A Pizza Hut
    a Pizza Hut
    Kentucky Fried Chicken
    and a Pizza Hut
    McDonald's
    McDonald's
    Kentucky Fried Chicken
    and a Pizza Hut
    McDonald's
    McDonald's
    Kentucky Fried Chicken
    and a Pizza Hut

    [sung to a 4/4 Eurobeat] [​IMG]
     
  6. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I think a song that is fun, like Mambo #5 and Little Bit of Mary, or "Endicott" (by Kid Creole and the Coconuts) or Dire Straits "Industrial Disease", are not quite novelty.

    I never did hear Barbie, tho I heard of it.

    Parody counts, so Wierd Al is carrying on the tradition.

    I'm kinda thinking now that our world is so kooky and diverse, that maybe there can't be novelty songs any more.
    I even wonder if there is enough other materiel for Dr Demento to put out a 1990's compilation?
     
  7. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    What about "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner & Garcia? Wasn't there a "Space Invaders" song too?
     
  8. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    Yes, Buckner & Garcia did a whole album of video game songs. That's hardly recent, though....

    I don't hear much popular music these days. I remember a few years ago there was the Mike Flowers Pops, who did loungey easy-listening covers of current hits ("Wonderwall"). A little further back there was Dread Zeppelin... reggae versions of Led Zeppelin songs with an Elvis impersonator as the singer.
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    I still have the Pac Man Fever album.. complete with the "Do the Donkey Kong" and "Go Frogger Go" [​IMG]
     
  10. Stephen Heath

    Stephen Heath Stunt Coordinator

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    Heck, it's not just musical comedy, what happened to comedy albums at all?

    In tape I had tons, Bill Cosby, Bowser & Blue, Sam Kinison, Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, Bob & Doug McKenzie, Monty Python.. heck, tons of them, including my all time favorite comedy album (which snapped due to overplaying and I've never been able to replace)... Father Guido Sarducci's Breakfast In Heaven. Most stores don't even HAVE a comedy section anymore, and when they do, it's only musical comedy, never standup.

    Damn I miss the 80's sometimes =p
     
  11. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    If you're at all a fan, pick up David Cross's album, Shut Up You F---ing Baby. It's absolutely hilarious. I've listened to it like 15 times. (but steer clear if you're right-wing)

    I know Dice still puts out an occasional album, and they seem to dig up more Bill Hicks performances every year. Then there's that new Triumph the Insult Comic Dog album.
     
  12. Tony-B

    Tony-B Producer

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  13. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    Didnt they do a multi CD set of George Carlin?

    Id also love some Steven Wright on CD.
     
  14. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I just got Lewis Black's "The White Album." That's a collection of his stand-up material.
     
  15. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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  16. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Probably. As with most brainless novelty songs, the credits list six different people as "writers." Most likely they took the chorus from the original song and wrote a couple new verses in-between.
     
  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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  18. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    Comedy albums are a thing of the past. With cable channels like E! or Comedy Central, it would seem that you can't have a comedy routine unless you see the person doing it in front of a brick wall. :b
     
  19. andrew markworthy

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  20. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I tried to find that album (without luck) several years ago, because I was told it contained Steed's "Kinky boots".

    I remember the Wurzels's (?) Brand New Combine Harvester, courtesy of a Newfoundland import. Was it a take-off of Melanie's "Brand New Key"?

    As to my original question, I think listening is less diverse than 3 or 4 decades ago, thanks to narrow-casting, niche-cult tastes, etc, so "novelty" songs are less of a presence.
     

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