Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"I Know What Boys Like" by The Waitresses

Song#:  1017
Date:  05/08/1982
Debut:  84
Peak:  62
Weeks:  6
Genre:  New Wave

Pop Bits:  This group was really not a group when this song initially came out. Akron, Ohio, musician Chris Butler wrote and recorded this song on his own with the assistance of vocalist Patty Donahue. This was while Butler was in the avant-new wave band Tin Huey, who had released a self-titled album in 1979 for Warner Bros. Butler got a single issued in 1980 and tagged it as by The Waitresses. Nothing came of it. After Tin Huey dissolved, Butler shopped the song in New York and ended up getting signed to Polygram's Ze Records. He quickly got Donahue on board and formed a real band that issued a formal debut album called "Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful." With major label backing, the song became a cult hit and grabbed enough attention to get on the pop chart while the album climbed to #41. Unfortunately, the group couldn't capitalize on their lone hit and after a couple of failed EPs and one formal follow-up LP, the band split. 

ReduxReview:  What an annoying song. The whiny voice combined with the one-chord chorus is enough to create an instant dislike. And it is insanely catchy, which is another reason to hate it - instant earworm. Yet I can't help but like the thing. It was certainly an odd chart entry at the time and I'm surprised that it did fairly well and has had a life long after its chart days. It has even been used in an episode of "Family Guy." Quirky and weird, you are either into it or not. I kinda dig it.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) Prior to their LP getting finished, the newly formed Waitresses contributed a song to a Ze Records holiday compilation. Their tune "Christmas Wrapping" didn't make any waves in the US, but later in 1982 it became a surprise chart hit in the UK reaching #45. It has become a kind of holiday standard there and was even covered by the Spice Girls in 1998. The song was also sung on an episode of the TV show "Glee."  2) Chris Butler is a Guinness Book world record holder. He currently holds the record for the longest pop song ever recorded. His composition "The Devil Glitch" runs for 69 minutes.  3) The group was tapped to appear on and write the theme song to the 1982 cult TV show "Square Pegs."


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