You say Yeah, I say Baby.
Bryan Adams says both. A lot.
Without further preamble, here’s how many times he says each from program two of Waking Up the Neighbours:
Adams’ look (t-shirt, jeans, low-maintenance haircut, real six string) in the video for There Will Never Be Another Tonight has informed my personal sense of style for much of the last 24 years. A look that’s never really in or out of style, not unlike BA himself.
Though the Yeahs won all but one song, the Babys racked up the highest single-song score (12) on this cassette side. That’s gotta count for something in a contest that means nothing!
On more serious songs like Don’t Drop That Bomb On Me, the Yeahs remain contextually appropriate; the Babys, wisely omitted.
Overindulgent stats recap/visual summary of both sides:
|Distribution by Side||Side One||Side Two|
|Total Yeahs &/or Babys Per Side||81||70|
I was impressed with the reasonably balanced distribution between the two sides. And speaking of impressive, while fitting in 48 babys (or 3.2 babys per song) is certainly noteworthy, the Yeahs hit triple-digits with a staggering 103 appearances!
Main takeaway message:
I had a lot of fun revisiting this album, as I always do when listening to BA.
Yeah & Baby.
Partly inspired by / with gratitude to:
– The super Sarca, for sharing her personal walkman journey
– The legendary LeBrain, for his recent Kisstistics
– The O.G. himself, Ice-T (one of these things is not like the other?), for reminding me of how energizing the act of putting a pen to paper can be.
How did you spend your weekend?
Did you say keeping track of the number of times Bryan Adams says “yeah” or “baby” on Waking Up The Neighbours? Me too!
While in ’91, I had to revisit this one, an essential part of my musical education.
I’ve always admired BA’s ability to fill non-lyric spaces with grunts/casual affirmations/pet names.
If one were so inclined, one could fill spreadsheets with all the c’mons, darlin’s, and woos; for simplicity with this research project, I focused exclusively on his bread & butter, the yeahs and babys.
But which, yeah or baby, was his most-frequent go-to muttering?
Here are the results & observations from program one (program two to follow).
Keeping track was surprisingly difficult (especially during the yeah/baby-laden outros) and required my undivided attention!
I had to rewind a few times when my mind started to wander. At one point, my rewind button wasn’t working, so I had to flip the tape to program 2 & fast forward. That’s Walkman Troubleshooting for all you kids out there.
I was really excited when the Baby count “won” on Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven. It was a photo finish, the song-winning Baby coming right at the end.
16(!) yeahs in Not Guilty.
I should note that during Not Guilty, I started giving out 0.5s for “babe” thinking, if he says “yes” I’d do the same. Who was I kidding, BA was never that formal, no “yes” half points were ever awarded.
Finally, as shown in the chart, he started to pace himself near the end, perhaps resting up for a big side 2.
to be concluded…
What a refreshing surprise.
Of course, the typical gangsta rap themes are all covered here (as one might expect from an album named Original Gangster).
However, amid the “dope and dead presidents” imagery, there are some refreshingly enlightened lyrics.
Including, but not limited to:
1. Ed. Unlike Axl Rose, who claimed to “drink & drive everything’s in sight,” for Ed, his story of reckless drunk driving ended abruptly with his death.
2. Straight Up N****. “He wanna be gay, well that’s your business…have it your way.” Remember, this was 1991.
3. The House. “Someone save these kids.” Ice-T urging neighbors to look out for signs of child abuse and to do something about it.
4. Escape from the Killing Fields. The violent lifestyle is horrifying as opposed to something worth glorifying.
5. M.V.P.S. Giving respect to many of his peers, male & female.
6. Body Count. “I feel sorry for anyone who listens to one form of music.” As do I.
Now, for those who fear Ice-T had become insufficiently gangster, there’s still plenty of predictable misogyny, violence & expletives but fortunately, there’s also loads of originality along the way.
Want to make some money time-traveling?
Step 1 – Go back in time to 1992.
Step 2 – Bet any takers that Ice-T (the man who sings Cop Killer) will go on to play the role of a Cop that helps track down Killers (for 15 years and counting on Law & Order SVU).
Step 3 – Wait patiently until/Travel to the year 2000, collect winnings.
You can’t lose!
O.G. was certainly a winner in my books. In my case, it was a low-risk $3 gamble that yielded a highly rewarding return on investment.
Today’s post is a tip of the triple-sided hat to:
As the aforementioned lads often do, today I’ll celebrate individual tracks, under a common theme no less!
When I was compiling a Top 5 songs of ’91, I realized many of my favourites featured lyrics about precipitation.
When digging through my collection, I was pleased to see each of the artists below generously included the lyrics with their 1991 releases.
Here are the Top 5 “Rain” references from my favourite palindromic year:
5. “Like a summer rain, it all gets washed away”
Tom Cochrane, Washed Away
4. “Think I hear thunder, ain’t no sign of rain”
Bryan Adams, Vanishing
3. “Took a drive in the dirty rain”
U2, Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
2. “Drive-in’s rained out, Weatherman wet fingers the sky”
The Tragically Hip, Long Time Running
1. “Nothin’ lasts forever, even cold November rain”
GNR, November Rain
As a part of my voyage to 1991, Ice T & Mudhoney are coming up this week, enjoy!
“I played Love Tara by Eric’s Trip* on the day that you were born.”
– The Tragically Hip, Put it Off
I quite enjoy putting this in my cassette player, it sounds like the future!
Along with the tape-opening sound effect, the rest of Daydream Nation** really did sound like the future; few would argue it did anything less than lay the groundwork for a lot of, well, the 90s.
And I love the 90s, so I should really love this, n’est-ce pas?
But I don’t.
And as a result, much like the hip lyric, I put this review off, desperately trying to figure out what I’m not getting before locking into a formal review.
Thanks to an equation proposed last week by The Album Cover Quizmaster/Bruce @ Vinyl Connection, I’m OK admitting I’m not a Daydream believer.
The equation Bruce proposed is this:
Appreciation = Understanding + Enjoyment
Normally when I don’t warm up to something, I’ll declare ignorance, I simply don’t get it.
The problem is, that’s not the case here, as I recognize/understand/unabashedly support the significance of this record. And so, it appears, I still liked it, I just don’t enjoy it as much as others do.
Which of course does not mean I don’t APPRECIATE the album as mathematically, my high score for understanding on the right side would still lead to a very respectable appreciation sum on the left.
A 2×2 Matrix to simplify, comparing Daydream Nation to other albums also selected for preservation by the National Recording Registry (listening enjoyment & significance understanding scores are mine & mine alone of course):
* Eric’s Trip is also the name of a Daydream Nation song. To complete the circle, Eric’s Trip (the band) was fronted by Julie Doiron who later appeared on a few hip/Gord Downie records, whose noisier collaborative moments (notably from Battle of the Nudes) could likely be traced back to Daydream Nation.
**There is also a film named Daydream Nation featuring a lead character named Thurston. Would you believe there’s a Sonic Youth band member that shares said name?
For my next destination, as chosen by you, the good people of the blogosphere, I’m heading back to 1988.
I’ve already completed the requisite 1988 Top 5, so this week I’m happy to just travel straight there, none of that pesky further adieu!
Fellow blogger J. recently dubbed this album an “All-timer.”
In his enjoyable Nothing’s Shocking review, J. shared his personal journey with Jane’s Addiction. So naturally, as a frequent borrower of good ideas, I’ll do the same.
My early memories of Jane’s Addiction? Surprisingly, they arrive courtesy of the movie The River Wild.
I remember very little else from the film but I have a vivid memory of this band name-drop:
For a couple of decades, I’ve been well aware of the Jane’s Addiction legacy but considerably less knowledgeable about their music beyond the big singles.
I was certainly keen to explore Nothing’s Shocking but the classic status of this album did make me a bit apprehensive.
Apprehensive in that I don’t want to approach ‘classic’ albums like the Mark Twain quote about ‘classic’ books, “something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.”
This isn’t a checklist album; I wanted to enjoy Nothing’s Shocking.
For those expecting a River Wild-esque plot twist, sorry to disappoint: it’s a classic that I want to keep reading.
I am a bit surprised however because I used to think Perry Farrell’s voice was a deterrent. I thought it would get more obnoxious over a full album but now I’m struggling to see an alternate vocalist that would be nearly as effective.
I wouldn’t say the deterrent that once repelled has become that magnet that draws me back but it’s not terribly far from the truth.
The band is a big selling point, really nice chemistry among the guitar/bass/drums. The steel drum in Jane Says will no doubt resurface on a ‘Top 5 steel drum feature’ list someday.
Bonus trivia question: this actor, who played Needles in Back to the Future II, also plays the trumpet on this album.*
One day this may be an all-timer for me, my thanks to J. for recommending Jane’s Addiction so highly.
If you read his blog, you’ll know he’s good at finding deals. I find with J, you’re dealing with a man of wealth (due to his inexpensive purchases) and taste** (due to the caliber of records he recommends).
*That would be Flea.
**In no way am I suggesting a fellow blogger is a devil deserving of sympathy, I’ve just always liked that Stones lyric! Speaking of all-timers…
Last week I asked for your help picking the next year in my time travels.
The task: choose your favourite year from each decade.
The good news: many of you participated, my undying thanks.
The good news for people who love bad news* (well not really bad, more curious in this case): 4 of the 6 polls ended up in a tie!
All ties in the 50s/60s/70s…
…and another dead heat in the 90s…
The only decisive winners? 1988 and 2001.
So I’ll venture to one of those next, thanks for joining me on this journey!
*One of my former students is currently ranking the Modest Mouse Discography here. It’s safe to say, the student surpassed the teacher long ago!