Friday, May 6, 2016

"The Monkey Time" by The Tubes

Song#:  1637
Date:  10/01/1983
Debut:  80
Peak:  68
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After hitting an all-time high with the #10 "She's a Beauty," The Tubes followed it up with the less-than-stellar "Tip of My Tongue" (#52). They tried to get back into the upper reaches of the chart with this third single from their album Outside Inside, but unfortunately it didn't generate an audience at Pop and it disappeared after a short month on the chart. However, it did have some success at Rock where it reached #16.

ReduxReview:  This is a solid remake from The Tubes with Fee Waybill and Martha Davis trading vocals. I'm not sure why this didn't catch on more. It's a fun old tune given a nice modern update. The only real drawback to it was the female vocal controversy (see below). Davis' name and voice recognition certainly brought more attention to the song and many folks knew she was on the album version, so hearing a different vocalist on the single may have confused listeners. It's too bad because Davis does rock it out as usual. Grey did a fine job as replacement, but it could have been anybody. With Davis' voice, you knew it was her and it really helped to sell the song. Regardless, The Tubes did a nice job with this slick, David Foster-ized version of the oldie.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) For this song, The Tubes and producer David Foster tapped The Motels' lead singer, Martha Davis, for the female vocals. This version appeared on the album. However, when it came time to release the single, Davis thought having her vocals out there on another song might conflict with new singles from The Motels (their "Suddenly Last Summer" was making its way to the Top 10 at the time). So she refused permission to release the single with her voice. Foster and The Tubes reconvened in the studio and got one of their stage dancers, Michele Grey, to sing the female part. This version was the one that got released as a single. It also appeared on the first CD incarnation of Outside Inside while the Davis version appeared on the band's Best of album. (Side note: Grey went on to marry musician/producer Todd Rundgren.)  2)  This is a remake of an original recording done by R&B singer Major Lance. The song, written by Curtis Mayfield, became Lance's first hit reaching #2 R&B/#8 Pop in 1963.


No comments:

Post a Comment