MEDIA BLACKOUT #643.287!
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put A Spell On You”
(Grand) :: Amateur.
Suicide – “Frankie Teardrop” (Red Star) :: Amateurs.
– “I Love The Dead” (Warner Bros.) :: Amateur.
Rolling Stones – “Too
Much Blood” (Rolling Stones) :: Amateurs.
David Bowie – “We Are The Dead”
(RCA) :: Amateur.
Iggy & The Stooges – “Death Trip” (Columbia) :: Amateurs.
Crawford – Mommie Dearest (William Morrow & Co.) :: Nothing like writing a withering tell-all
exposé about your Mother while she’s still alive and then waiting to publish it until after she’s dead
and unable to defend herself. She’ll get you, my pretty...
Cult – “Joan Crawford” (Columbia) :: Now listen up and listen good ’cause I’m
here to tell ya that you can forget all about your Screamin’ Jay Hawkins moaning “I Put A Spell On You”
and your Alice Cooper screaming “I Love The Dead” and your David Bowie crooning “We Are The Dead”
and your Mick Jagger camping “Too Much Blood” and your Rob Zombie and your Marilyn Manson and your Stooges and
your Suicide and every other Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour wannabe wax-recording spook show shockmeister because
this is the most humorously horrifying song ever recorded, bar none, son—and I’m talking about humor
that’s so black it seeps into an ultraviolet vein.
It all begins with an introductory gothic piano solo after which the
band steps in to support a set of premonitory apocalyptic lyrics, the likes of which would make Bruce Springsteen roll over
and tell Jim Steinman the news:
“Junkies down in Brooklyn are going crazy; they’re laughing just like hungry dogs in the
street. Policemen are hiding behind the skirts of little girls; their eyes have turned the color of frozen meat. The sky is
filled with herds of shivering angels...”
Then comes the scared stiff stutter-step chant that leads up to the caveat chorus:
“No. No, no, no.
No, no, no-no-no-no-no-no: Joan Crawford has risen from the grave...”
And as if all that wasn’t enough
to set the squalid scene, there follows a rapid-fire sound effects montage of coffin-cracking grave-escaping paranormal pandemonium
gone wild including: the shriek of screeching tires; an automobile collision; a ringing telephone; a vacuum; a crying baby;
ten pins falling in a bowling alley; a crowing rooster; a cash register being rung; a race track bugler; a starting gate bell;
howling dogs; a steamship horn; and a burglar alarm that slowly fades into silence as a swirling vortex of scabrous sound
heralds Joan Crawford’s return from the other side to confront her delinquent daughter:
Home... Christina... Come to Mother... Christina...”
The result is an uncanny audio experience that eerily evokes a mental
image somewhere between the shambling misshapen creatures that “Ghastly” Graham Ingles used to draw for EC Comics
and the equally unsettling thing waiting on the other side of the door in The Monkey’s Paw.
– Mommie Dearest (Paramount) :: ...and your little lapdog too!
Be spooking you!