Saturday, January 27, 2018

"Oo-Ee-Diddley-Bop" by Peter Wolf

Song#:  2298
Date:  04/27/1985
Debut:  81
Peak:  61
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Wolf's solo debut album Lights Out would do pretty well thanks to a pair of Top 40 hits including the #12 Pop/#6 Rock title track. The results seemed to indicate that a third single might generate interest and this track was chosen for release. The quirky tune didn't really get off the ground and it only managed a few short weeks on the Pop chart. Rock radio basically ignored the tune. However, another song from the album, "Crazy," garnered some airplay at Rock and made it to #26. Despite some action on that chart, the track was not issued as a single.

ReduxReview:  This is definitely a fun song from the album, but in no way should it have been a single. It's just too quirky and has lengthy jam sections that just don't play well on pop radio. I think the Motown-ish "Baby Please Don't Let Me Go" would have been a better contender. Even the Rock chart entry "Crazy" might have done a bit better. I'm just guessing that the catchy title, playful groove, and the little spoken/rap section made the label think the kooky song might catch on. It didn't.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  For the album, Wolf decided to do a cover version of an old standard called "Gloomy Sunday." The song was composed by Hungarian pianist Rezs┼Ĺ Seress in 1933. The original lyrics had to do with facing the misery following war, but a poet named Laszlo Javor wrote lyrics to the tune that were about a person wanting to commit suicide after the death of their lover. Those lyrics made the song more popular and eventually the tune became known as the "Hungarian Suicide Song." In 1936, English lyrics were written by Sam Lewis, which stayed with the suicide theme. The song was first recorded by Hal Kemp, but was later made famous by the legendary Billie Holiday. The song got a lot of attention in the late 30s due to reports that people had committed suicide while listening to the tune and that radio stations banned the song due to the incidents. None of the claims panned out as fact and the song's history is now the stuff of urban legends. However, there is one true fact about the song. It's original writer, Seress, did commit suicide in 1968. Initially he survived jumping from a window, but then finished the job by strangling himself with a wire while recuperating in the hospital from the fall.


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