“Don’t roll the dice if you can’t pay the price!”
Here’s another politically incorrect favorite I forgot about.
This thread is the best. I haven’t seen some of these videos in over a decade. I think the last time I had a hankering for Sly Fox was back in 2006. I never saw the original Ice Ice Baby video back when that song was a hit, and thank god. It’s still a great song, but that video is so bad.
So in 1966, a song that FOR SURE just HAD to be the Beatles, called “Lies” blitzed up the charts with a bullet. Oh, sure, it was by a band called “The Knickerbockers”, but ears don’t lie, right? That was just Paul and John and George and Ringo. Had to be.
Except it wasn’t. It was four technically proficient lounge and supper club veteran musicians from New Jersey who knew if they applied themselves, they could mimic 1964 Merseybeat. And so they did. And so they had a hit…and began a new maxim in rock and roll that folks from Christopher Cross and Joe Jackson should’ve taken a hint: Don’t actually appear in your music videos…because these guys couldn’t have looked any squarer:
That reminds me of That Thing You Do.
The cool thing about “Lies” is that it inspired another guilty pleasure. Tom Hanks moved the Knickerbockers to Eerie, PA and made them garage-band kids called the Wonders (or the Oneders if you like.)
It was the basis for the movie “That Thing You Do”, and the title track.
Now imagine you’re Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne. You’re commissioned to write the title track for that movie, and you’re told that this song has to do two things:
- It has to sound like a mid-1960’s Beatle-ish radio hit, and
- It’s going to play approximately 10,000 times during the movie, and the audience CANNOT get sick of hearing it.
I mean, that’s tough to do. But Schlesinger is a songwriter’s songwriter with chops and craftsmanlike skills for days. And he put all kinds of cool little tricks into the song, like descending minors into a lead-in for the chorus in a diminished key and then bright major chords on the chorus lines themselves. And he put a bridge in. And all of those things sound interesting to human ears raised on pop music, and they work beautifully by keeping the song worth hearing over and over again.
Which also begets – in a movie that’s a lot of fun, but generally of very little consequence – one of the most perfectly realized scenes in any modern film I can think of:
I am a big fan of that song, and every time I hear it I marvel a bit at the needle Schlesinger had to thread - make a catchy ear worm of a song that still sounds like it could have been written and performed by a bunch of high schoolers. It’s simple, but not simplistic and it sounds like a group of people having a lot of fun, which they would have been. It’s a heck of a song.
I love how he wipes his feet entering the appliance store around the :50 second mark. LOL
Hey, I think that’s Robert Mueller on the right in the top photo!
Well, sure. But we were at Rubber Soul by the time “Lies” came out! Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and Freddie and the Dreamers were but distant memories!
Did anybody look more square than the early Beach Boys?
Who would guess that a few years later Brian Wilson would turn his living room into a sandbox with his piano in the middle of it?
Right now. My 4 year old loves it!
I like it too… Though the episode that introduces the song is funnier than the music video. (That show is so corny.)
When you like the beach just a little bit too much…
@krayzkrok this was apparently very popular on your continent once.
I am a big Orbison fan as of late and just came across it a few weeks ago.
This one here is because of Better Call Saul:
I’m not sure that anyone should feel guilty for listening to Orbison, although that one is certainly a product of its time!
Yes, Orbison is AAA material.
I did not know you were into polka. Good to know.