When we find something worthy, we like to offer it to you as a starter for your week of inevitable weirdness. This time I have found something special.
Many of you are aware of the Doctor Demento staple, “They’re Coming to Take Me Away Ha Ha!” by Napoleon XIV. It’s a release that have given this, one of the greatest excerpts of a review I’ve ever seen. From Billboard:
Against a clomp-clomp tambourine beat, Napoleon spoke-chanted his manic-depressive tale of failed romance, the vocals suddenly speeding up into an unsettlingly cheerful giddiness as sirens revved up in the background. Not a single note of music was played or sung throughout the track, which zoomed up to number three in the summer of 1966, as the necessary counterpoint to Barry Sadler’s insipid, similarly off-the-wall smash that year, “The Ballad of the Green Berets.”
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It’s a classic that still rings true today, don’t you agree? And for the sake of completeness, the flip side of that particular single was exactly what you think it would be: the entire song backwards. You can grab the MP3 of the single from Amazon.
None of this was news to me. Not even the fact that there’ve been a few different covers of the song. However, the treat I have for you is this: an artist by the name of Hugo De Groot covered the song in the Netherlands the same year (1966). It was a cover all the way down to the fact that the B-side of it is also the A-side backwards.
Now I know what you’re thinking, dear reader. Was this the only mad cover of this in a different language? Apparently not. Thanks to Wikipedia, which is always right, two versions of this were released the same year: in German by The King-Beats masquerading as “Malepartus II” and in Italian by a group called I Balordi.
So there you have it. If this doesn’t get your week off on the right pseudopod, then my name isn’t Chester B. Arthur. Cheers!
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