Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah (Means I Love You)

Song: Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah (Means I Love You)
Artist: Violent Femmes
Album: Saturday Morning: Cartoon's Greatest Hits

Back in the 90's, when Alternative rock was becoming a viable marketing gimmick, tribute albums became very popular using "quirky" rock bands doing their take on classic tracks by established artists, or a specific genre.  My favorite by far is probably "If I Were a Carpenter" the tribute to the Carpenters.  That had a great balance of wink-wink isn't-it-funny that this alt rock band is singing this goofy song, with honestly emotional takes on the Carpenters sunny-sounding, but heartbreaking lyrically songs.  Amazing.  I also really loved, at the time, the Jimi Hendrix tribute "Stone Free," as well as the Grateful Dead Tribute "Deadicated."

My ex-stepfather introduced me to "Deadicated," which was put together by record producer Ralph Sall.    Sall has had quite the career doing music for films as well as writing and recording his own music.  I didn't realize he was the one that wrote the songs for "Hamlet 2," (Sexy Jesus!) as well as being music supervisor on a slew of top Hollywood films.  But after "Deadicated," he expanded the idea of the tribute and came up with another favorite compilation of mine; "Saturday Morning: Cartoon's Greatest Hits."  He got some of the days biggest acts (Collective Soul, Butthole Surfers, Sublime, Matthew Sweet, to name a few) to cover the opening songs from classic cartoons of the 70's.

It's a bit of nostalgia, a bit of irony, but a whole lot of fun.  From Sponge ripping through "Go Speed Racer Go," the Ramones Ramone-a-fying "Spider-Man," to Frente! doing an impossibly cute rendition of "Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sun Shine In" from The Flintstones.  Along the lines of that song, where the song was featured in an episode of the show but wasn't the theme, is the Violent Femmes absolutely gonzo take on the Jetson's classic song "Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah (Means I Love You)."  It's crazy... as the song itself is, and the Femmes jump into it with manic energy and yet an obvious love for the song.

Re-listening to this compilation that I all but wore out in college gave me a different nostalgia trip, though admittedly... the concept seems to wear out it's welcome a bit toward the end.  But may of these songs on their own are super fun and great to slip into a playlist for the off-kilter recognition factor.

Another similar compilation that I was sure Ralph Sall was involved with, but can't find his credit at least on the Internet, is "Schoolhouse Rock Rocks!," which takes all the classic Schoolhouse Rock songs sung by popular rock acts of the time.  (Blind Melon's "Three is a Magic Number" is amazing.)

Do you have a favorite tribute album?


Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah (Means I Love You) - Violent Femmes

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? - Matthew Sweet

Josie and the Pussycats - Juliana Hatfield & Tanya Donelly

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