6 Bands Who Followed Up Their One Hit With Drooling Insanity
Even in the age of digital music, reaching one-hit wonder status tends to lead to a huge boost in album sales for the artist in question. Bands across the spectrum have achieved surprising success by just having one good song. It's why you still remember musical titans like Right Said Fred, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and ... actually, I think those are the only two. Of course, most people never get around to listening to the entire album. Which is a shame, because that means you missed out on some truly bizarre pieces of work. For example ...
The "Cotton Eye Joe" Band Released A 52-Word-Titled, X-Rated Song About Railing Another Dude's Wife
If you don't instantly break out into a hokey cowpoke dance upon hearing the words "Where did you come from? / Where did you go?" then you were one of the lucky ones who weren't in school when this brain-softening piece of techno-country dance crap was popular.
I don't know what else I was expecting from Rednex, the band behind it, but the album which features "Cotton Eye Joe" contains a nutty-as-a-squirrel-turd track saddled with this short novel of a title:
"The Sad But True Story Of Ray Mingus, The Lumberjack Of Bulk Rock City, And His Never Slacking Strive To Exploit The So Far Undiscovered Areas Of The Intention To Bodily Intercourse From The Opposite Species Of His Kind, During Intake Of All The Mental Conditions That Could Be Derived From Fermentation."
Well, well, well. Proof that women really are another species!
This band is Swedish and can't possibly know what half those words mean. For those of you with limited space on the CD sleeve, the song is also known by the band's fan as "Harder Than Your Husband." Why? Because the song is explicitly about the singer sleeping with another man's wife, and doing butt stuff with his huge Swedangler. This is, in part, why this song was never quite as popular as "Cotton Eye Joe."
"It's been a pretty long time, baby, but now, I'm back in town / It's time to leave your husband, now you know that little clown. / Last time we were seeing, didn't you beg for more? / It's OK with me, as long you do it four on the floor."
"I guess I do have something similar to 'Cotton Eye Joe.' Gosh, you kids look adorable in your little suits and dresses."
It sounds like a parody of a bro country song years before anyone should have been clever enough to be that meta, and maybe that's what they were going for, but the singer -- let's call him Ansgar -- belts the chorus out with such uncomfortable earnestness that it's actually hard to tell. Keep in mind that this shit went platinum in three countries.
"This is what I'm giving you, you'll get it all tonight / You will be my lover, but not my tender wife / I'll be harder than your husband, I'll be harder than your man / I'll hit you with my 20 inch until you can not stand / "
Maybe this is mistranslated, or the result of someone playing a prank on Ansgar, but "20 inches" is not a human dick size that occurs in the natural world, outside of special-order hentai. Not to mention the fact that the receiving party would not be able to stand, sit, sleep, crap, or live if subjected to one.
Fun fact: Rednex was forced to change the cover of this album, Sex & Violins, after "Cotton Eye Joe" got inexplicably popular. Why? Because the original features all the band members' heads sitting in a coffee mug getting pissed on, that's why.
It was also updated to reflect that no one in this country gave a shit about the actual name of the album.
Norman Greenbaum's Spirit In The Sky Has Two Songs About Grocery Shopping (Which Are Probably Drug Metaphors)
The only reason you know Norman Greenbaum is from his late 60's hit "Spirit In The Sky."
Even then, there's a good chance you didn't know the name of the guy singing it. It's a vaguely religious hippie song about dying and going to heaven and hangin' out with your buddy Jesus (OK, guess it's not that vague). When the album was re-released on CD, the label threw in a couple of bonus tracks of what was once very clearly B-side, if not K-side, material. So you end up with a rock record housing a classic song dealing with existentialism, and also contains two songs in which Norman seems to be expressing his love for two very specific grocery items.
First up is "Canned Ham":
"When you gonna buy me a canned ham / I've been waiting so long / When you gonna buy it / When you gonna satisfy me? / I like a canned ham baby (baby) / Canned ham that's for me / When I think about it, sends me into ecstasy."
Those are the mad ravings of some porkophiliac. I've never heard anyone express that much love for a packaged pork product. The CEO of Hormel probably doesn't even eat Spam, let alone write folk ballads about it.
And this was before all those crazy flavors, like bacon, garlic, and The Liberation of Guam.
There are so many unanswered questions here. What is Norman planning on doing with this ham? Why does he need a ham dealer? And why the hell doesn't he just go buy it himself?
"Put it in a skillet / Fry it nice and brown / Put it in my pocket / Gonna carry it around and around and around and around."
It's that final line that throws the monkey in the wrench. Why would anyone fill their pockets with fried ham and ... this is a drug thing, isn't it?
OK, well, let's try this song, called "Chocolate Milk," which can be found on the same CD.
Fun fact: This is what CDs looked like back then.
"Chocolate Milk / I buy you when I'm dry / I buy you when I'm dry / You only cost a dime / I buy you all the time / Chocolate Milk / I got you on my mind / I got you on my mind / You only cost a dime / I buy you all the time."
Look, folk music can and has been written about everything. This is a genre that contains sub-genres that exist just to spite the already-subversive main genre, after all. But seriously, chocolate fucking milk? No wonder the only song you've heard by this guy is the one where he says "die" 10 different times.
"At the corner variety store / They don't have anymore of you today / Lots of items for a dime / I'm sure they all taste fine / But nothing can replace the taste / Of Chocolate Milk."
Back in the day, when milk was a dime and lead was an FDA-approved ingredient.
The entire next verse goes on to talk about how Count Chocula Norm plans to wait in line for the next shipment of chocolate milk, like it's an Apple product on Black Friday or a gun on Obama's third inauguration. Even if these songs are actually about drugs (probably), why choose these specific products as metaphors? It's like writing a ransom note in Chinese on the back of a Walmart receipt. It's technically valid, but at some point, it's just too subtle. Maybe Norm should have laid off the choco-ham shakes so we could have all figured out what he was talking about.
Hanson's "Man From Milwaukee" Is About A Literal Naked Martian
There may not be a song that encapsulates the '90s more perfectly than Hanson's "MmmBop."
Lyrically, it was smack dab in the middle of pop music's collective "Screw it, everybody will buy this if the melody is catchy" phase, along with other gems like Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba" and Eifel 65's "Blue Da Ba De Whateverthefuck." Image-wise, the band was a transition from the glam rock girly bands of the '80s to the clean-cut boy groups of the '00s. We didn't know or care if they were boys or girls, but knew that they made us feel good inside. But for real, a friend of mine totally thought "the middle girl from Hanson" was kind of cute for about an entire year.
Pictured: my generation's first (and most confusing) collective boner.
"Mmmbop" aside, go ahead and name one other song by Hanson. If you still have the album, listen to the whole thing, and then just accept your shame. The final track on Hanson's first album, called "Man From Milwaukee," is about meeting a creepy hairless fella at a bus stop who starts acting really suspicious, and then suddenly disappears. Today, this would require a "See Something, Say Something" 911 call, but in the whimsical '90s ...
"It started at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere / Sitting beside me was a man with no hair / From the look on his face and the size of his toes / He comes from a place that nobody knows / Maybe I'm hallucinating, hyperventilating / Letting this big-toed bald man sitting here tell me about the sky."
His toes were so incredibly big that they were of note TWICE in one verse, and this wasn't enough reason to run away immediately? While the first part is a bit dreamlike, the chorus makes it quite clear what we're dealing with:
"I've been sitting here too long by a man from Milwaukee / He's been talking too long on his yellow walkie-talkie / He's been talking to Mars but I think he's wacky / He says they'll come get him, come get him some day."
"In fact, why don't you kids come with me ... to Mars."
"He says where he's from is called Albertane / There they use more than 10 percent of their brain / But you couldn't tell it from the way they behave / They run around in underwear and they never shave."
There's a lot to unpack, but the gist is that this guy isn't actually from the far-off planet of Wisconsin, but is in fact from "Albertane," which is apparently (according to an angelfire fan page that you definitely shouldn't click on) the fictional capital of Mars. OK, so that's fine. It's science fiction. Pink Floyd has weirder songs than that. Why Hanson felt the need to make this alien naked, humanity may never understand. And that still doesn't explain why the boys immediately noticed his oversized piggy toes and not the hulking bush hanging out of his whitey-tighties implied by that line about needing to shave. We already know he's bald, so what else could they mean? Pubes. Martian pubes is what they mean. A full-on Matt Damon topiary.
At the end of the song, the man disappears right in front of Hanson, presumably back to Mars. I feel like the mother of these brothers would not have approved of them ever going back to the city after they told her this story:
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you the rest / The man sitting by me who was barely dressed / Flew off to Milwaukee or perhaps Albertane / And left me at the bus stop just barely sane"
"And then we woke up and it was Friday! Isn't that funny, Mom? Mom? Why are you crying?"
Other, better bands have made songs about aliens (there's this David Bowie fella you may want to check out some day), but none that I can think of were naked and hanging out with a couple of preteen boys at a bus stop.
The Spin Doctors' First Song On Their First Album Is About Jimmy Olsen's Obsession With Lois Lane
The Spin Doctors technically have one and a half hits off of their first album, Pocket Full Of Kryptonite, with "Two Princes" and "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong." But since they sound exactly the same, we'll just label them one-hit wonders. Who's going to complain on their behalf?
Here's the less annoying of those two songs.
If you were wondering where the title of the album came from (which you weren't), it's from the the first track, called "Jimmy Olsen's Blues." And yup, it's about Superman side character Jimmy Olsen's love for Lois Lane, and his general jealousy of Supes. It also features repeated use of the words "little miss," which was, for reasons unknown, an exceptionally popular Spin Doctor lyric.
"Well, I don't think I can handle this / A cloudy day in Metropolis / I think I'll talk to my analyst / I got it so bad for this little journalist / It drives me up the wall and through the roof / Lois and Clark in a telephone booth / I think I'm going out of my brain / I got it so bad for little miss Lois Lane / Lois Lane please put me in your planner / Yeah, Lois Lane you don't need no Superman / Come on downtown and stay with me tonight / I got a pocket full of Kryptonite."
"Or maybe, instead of breaking up with him, I could MURDER him for you?"
So basically, Olsen is saying he'll bang Lois like a champ, and then maybe fuck Superman to death while he's at it. Musical seduction at its finest.
If you're thinking this is some kind of metaphor about a real relationship, where the singer felt like the Jimmy Olsen to some girl's Superman ... well, there's is no indication of that, and the lyrics specifically feature in-jokes about Superman the character which only make sense if the singer is actually talking about Superman for real.
"He's leaping buildings in a single bound / I'm reading Shakespeare at my place downtown / Come on downtown and make love to me / I'm Jimmy Olsen not a titan, you see / He's faster than a bullet, stronger than a train / He's the one who got lucky got his cape around miss Lois Lane / I can't believe my dilemma is real / I'm competing with a man of steel."
"Why doesn't Lois ever like nice guys? All I want is for her to come over to her stalker's house and immediately fuck."
Why the Spin Doctors chose to introduce themselves with a song about the worst character in comics is anyone's guess. This is a character so shitty that Zack Snyder murdered him in Batman V. Superman, knowing full well that no one would notice or care. Wait, you didn't know that was Jimmy Olsen in the beginning of the movie getting his face blown off by a terrorist? Exactly.
Carl Douglas's Next Track After "Kung Fu Fighting" Is About Burning Witches
Everybody loves Carl Douglas and his possibly-racist hit about kung fu fighting ... is a thing you could arguably say without being grammatically incorrect.
Little did you know that the song came from his 1974 album Kung Fu Fighting And Other Love Songs (what?). On the very next track, Douglas brought back the golden age of burnin' people at the stake for witchcraft with his funk ballad about the "The Witchfinder General." Goddamn, that is a cool title, though.
"Says he's got a thing about burnin' witches / Ooh, some of these were mighty fine bitches / Nobody knows if he's doin' right / Another cord, he does 'em all / Ride right through the night."
"Too bad she was hung by her neck / I would've have tapped that ass in a sec."
Throughout the song, Douglas seems keenly unaware that, um, witches weren't a real thing that needed to be burned. He never truly questions it. (Man, too bad those booty calls turned out to be witches, huh?) His only grey area reference is the line about nobody knowing if "he's doing right," suggesting maybe he was using plastic as kindling or trying to light the ladies during a breeze, but the rest of the song is a bard's anthem about this mysterious witch hunter. Douglas basically took an old-timey western song about the sheriff coming to town to take order and set it in the 1600s, added magic, then decided that was a great followup to the theme song from Beverly Hills Ninja.
"His opening line's 'Tell me who's the one?' uh-huh / They will confess before the morning sun / You just gotta be cool when he's around, huh-huh / So listen here, better beware / When he rides into your town."
This is basically how the federal government justified torture and spying on millions of Americans without consent, but I don't wanna put too much weight behind Carl Douglas.
"Witchfinder General / Heh, he's got the finest steed / Witchfinder General / You see, got to get to fair with speed / Witchfinder General / Uh-huh, burning, burning everything in sight / Witchfinder General."
Taken as a whole with the funky back beat, there's one final possibility, and it's that Carl Douglas used burning witches as the most awkward metaphor ever for tapping ass. It may a totally wrong interpretation, but it's hard not to think when you listen to the song that this is the sexiest, funkiest immolation anyone's ever experienced.
Soulja Boy's Bad "Report Card"
Ah, Soulja Boy. Who could forget about him ...
... other than seemingly everyone, two months after that song came out?
Such poetry can only come from a man who named his album, Jesus Christ, SouljaBoyTellem.com. We can only assume he wanted to throw in a few animated GIFs and the poop emoji too, but someone talked him down.
The best part is that someday this domain will expire and be replaced with a fake Viagra pharmacy.
"You know when you just get your report card and you have all F's on it? / You just want to take it back to the teacher and say, throw some D's on that bitch? / I just got my report card, Throw some D's on that bitch!"
Now, in case you're more pale than a Targaryen at a milk festival, we looked up this phrase on Urban Dictionary. According to those fine folks, "Throwing Some D's on a Bitch" is slang for upgrading something -- as in throwing some nice rims on a car or some better music on a Soulja Boy CD. So, some would say that Soulja is making a joke here. But for the rest of the song he's actually rapping about getting bad grades in school, because holy fuck he was 17 when this came out.
"Sittin' up in the classroom, she gettin' on my nerves / The teacher hollin' out, 'Soulja Boy, do yo work' / She talkin' 'bout adjectives, pronouns, and verbs / I'm knocked out, I ain't hear nothin' the class heard / I'm daydreamin' hard 'bout that stacks on deck / I don't know how I'm gon' pass my next test / I got my report card, I'm like 'What the hell is dis?' / I took it back to the teacher then I told her / 'Throw some D's on that bitch!'"
"Soldier, please wake up. You're lucky I'm not throwing some Z's on that bitch, young man."
"I always be in school, but I be walkin' halls / A lot of teachers give me tests, but they be super hard / I get into some trouble, then my mama calls / But after I get out the office, I'mma tell 'em all dat I'mma superstar and that's best / Every time you see me up in class, my head on that desk / And when you see me on dem girls, you know that I'm super fresh / Yeah teacher, students, class, stupid (wait a min, mutha fuckas)."
Man, there is nothing more street than getting called to the principal's office and having your mom come pick you up. I like how he's simultaneously trying to come off as too cool for school, but also kinda worried about his grades. Dem girls probably think you are dumb as a rock, Soulja. For some reason, DeAndre (his real name) later gives us his exact grades, which are numbers I didn't think were even possible to get in school.
"I got a 47 up in math, a 67 in English, a 14 in science / Man, what the fuck is this? / Throw some D's on that bitch! "
Even fucking ceramics?!
I have a friend who picked up the fetal pig that we were supposed to be dissecting in biology class and made it dance around like a marionette on the table. Then he pretended it was conducting an invisible band and had it perform inappropriate masturbatory gestures with its hoofs. He passed. How in the shit could you get a 14? And technically, DeAndre, a 67 is a D, but I guess I can't expect much from a guy with those math scores.
Which Sci-Fi Trope Would You Bring To The Real World, And Why? Every summer, we're treated to the same buffet of three or four science fiction movies with the same basic conceits. There's man vs. aliens, man vs. robots, man vs. army of clones, and man vs. complicated time travel rules. With virtual reality and self-driving cars fast approaching, it's time to consider what type of sci-fi movie we want to be living in for the rest of our lives. Co-hosts Jack O'Brien and Adam Tod Brown are joined by Cracked's Tom Reimann and Josh Sargent and comedians David Huntsberger, Adam Newman, and Caitlin Gill to figure out which sci-fi trope would be the best to make a reality. Get your tickets to this live podcast here!
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