Thursday, September 15, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
was not was - spy in the house of love
was not was is most famous for, "walk the dinosaur." The song features a tight, funky sound, punctuated by horns and cowbell, along with what sounds like cavepeople chanting in the background, while the lyrics relate to life in prehistoric times.
in fact, almost all of their singles can be considered taco bell jams, and have definitely earned their place among the t.b. canon.
Was (Not Was) is an American eclectic pop group founded by David Weiss (a.k.a. David Was) and Don Fagenson (a.k.a. Don Was). They gained popularity in the 1980s and early 1990s. Weiss and Fagenson were childhood friends who grew up together in suburban Detroit. Partly due to Fagenson's poverty they decided to form Was (Not Was) in 1979. The name of the band was derived from Fagenson's son Tony, who enjoyed contradicting words such as "Blue" with "Not Blue". Their first recording was "Wheel Me Out", a 12-inch dance record for the avant-garde ZE Records. It was also included on the 2000 compilation album Disco Not Disco.
Their first album Was (Not Was) (1981) was an amalgam of rock, disco, Weiss's beat poetry, Reagan-era political-social commentary, and jazz. On vocals they recruited Harry Bowens and "Sweet Pea" Atkinson, who proved to be distinctive, soulful front men, who frequently found themselves singing absurdist and satirical songs, alongside tender ballads. The MC5's Wayne Kramer, The Knack's Doug Fieger and Mingus trumpeter Marcus Belgrave were among the guest players.
In 1982, the group played on Don't Walk Away, a solo album for lead singer "Sweet Pea" Atkinson.
The eclectic Born to Laugh at Tornadoes (1983) had even more guest musicians, including Ozzy Osbourne rapping over electro, Mitch Ryder belting out a techno-rockabilly number, Mel Tormé crooning an odd ballad about asphyxiation, and an abstract funk piece called "Man vs. the Empire Brain Building". Singer Donald Ray Mitchell joined the group as third lead vocalist.
In 1988, they found their biggest hit with the album What Up, Dog?, which featured the singles "Walk the Dinosaur" and "Spy in the House of Love". Special guests included Stevie Salas, John Patitucci, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and a writing credit for Elvis Costello. Artist/animator Christoph Simon created videos to accompany some of their songs, such as "What Up Dog?", "Dad I'm in Jail", and the Tom Waits-style "Earth to Doris". These appeared on MTV's Liquid Television and in various film festivals, including the Spike & Mike festival. About this time, the Was Brothers developed separate careers as producers, film scorers, and music supervisors.
The group followed up with Are You Okay? in 1990, spearheaded by a cover of "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone". Guest musicians included Iggy Pop, Leonard Cohen, The Roches, and Syd Straw. After a tour with Dire Straits in 1992 and a UK Top 5 single with "Shake Your Head" (vocals from Ozzy Osbourne and Kim Basinger), Weiss and Fagenson drifted apart and nothing was heard from the band but a compilation albumHello Dad... I'm in Jail. Some members, however, did appear on Don's Orquestra Was project Forever Is a Long Long Time (1997), which re-interpreted Hank Williams in a jazz/R&B vein.
In 1997, Steve Winwood released a tune which borrowed not just the title of Was (Not Was)'s single "Spy in the House of Love" but also the bass line and other elements. However, no lawsuits ensued (or were settled out of court).Detroit's Metro Times described the band as "an endearing mess... ...a sausage factory of funk, rock, jazz and electronic dance music, all providing a boogie-down backdrop for a radical (and witty) political message of unbridled personal freedom and skepticism of authority."
Friday, September 2, 2011
this is the first attempt in what hopefully will be regular - unscheduled - yet frequently occurring archiving of the musical ambience furnished by taco bell.
Mr. Mister - Take These Broken Wings
Mr. Mister is an American pop rock band most popular in the 1980s. The band's name came from an inside joke about a Weather Report album called Mr. Gone where they referred to each other as "Mister This" or "Mister That", and eventually selected "Mr. Mister." Mr. Mister may be considered as representative of the melodic sound of 1980s pop rock. The band consisted of Richard Page on vocals and bass guitar, Steve George on keyboards, Pat Mastelotto on acoustic and electronic drums and Steve Farris on guitars.
Welcome to the Real World was the second album by American pop band Mr. Mister. Released in 1985, it climbed to #1 on the Billboard album charts during early 1986.
Two singles from the album, "Broken Wings" and "Kyrie" both went to #1 on the US singles chart.
This is truly a heavy weight in the annals of taco bell jamdom. The song was co-written with lyricist John Lang, who was inspired by a book called "Broken Wings" written by Kahlil Gibran. The lyrics "Take these broken wings and learn to fly again" may be a reference to The Beatles' song "Blackbird." The song is a mix of synth, digitally delayed guitar, bass and drums. The song's hissing intro was an effect created by the sound of crash cymbal played in reverse. There is a distinct guitar sound in this track thanks to Steve Farris' innovation of the electric guitar, managing to extract a delay effect at an odd timing to create a contrast to the steadiness of the bass and beat. The outro to the song features Page singing very high and lengthy falsetto notes. this song is peppered and spiced with amazing usage of the dx7 synthesizer.
In 2001, this song was sampled for a Tupac Shakur song on his posthumous album Until the End of Time, for the title song.
a better use of this sample can be heard on, "the boss," by rick ross from the album, "trilla."
i can't begin to fathom how many times i played, and then replayed, "the boss!" it also samples "Blue" by Diana Ross, and "Paul Revere" by Beastie Boys, in addition to breaking t-pain to the mainstream! although, there is no documentation of, "the boss," gracing the t.b. dine-in, rest assured our children's, children's, children's, children will be tapping their space boots to it on mars in some total recallish hell hole of taco bell, in between spurts of fire sauce and mr. mister.