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Angie Baby, you're a special lady
August 3, 2010 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Of all the story songs of the 1970s, none was as unexpectedly creepy as Helen Reddy's 1974 hit "Angie Baby."

Written by Alan O'Day (who had his own #1 hit in 1977 with "Undercover Angel"), the lyrics tell the story of a radio-obsessed, isolated young girl who exacts revenge on the the neighbor boy who tries to take advantage of her. Although many have described the song's ending as cryptic, O'Day maintains that the boy's fate is clear.
posted by jrossi4r (98 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Speak for yourself - Grand Funk's "We're an American Band" has haunted me for years.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:55 AM on August 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Back in the day, I found Helen Reddy unexpectedly creepy

although I do like hearing women roar in numbers too big to ignore
posted by lukemeister at 9:00 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, we can do anything... if we have to.
posted by Madamina at 9:07 AM on August 3, 2010


I like his intended interpretation (it's pretty literal), but I preferred the mystery.

So does the tiny boy sing to her? Why would he do that?
posted by painquale at 9:09 AM on August 3, 2010


I thought it was pretty clear. Although perhaps it's because I've talked to too many guys with the "shrinking man" fetish.

phone sex is so weird.
posted by RedEmma at 9:13 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


So does the tiny boy sing to her? Why would he do that?

Because Elton John has the tiny dancing action covered already.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:13 AM on August 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I looked at the Wikipedia page for him because I was sure Alan O'Day was a pseudonym, but it's not. Also, it was his therapist who convinced him to make the character of Angie crazy rather than "slow," and when O'Day was five years old his favorite musician was the wacky Spike Jones, which amuses me (having listened to my dad's Spike Jones records myself when I was little).
posted by aught at 9:16 AM on August 3, 2010


Have the first few opening bars of that been sampled for a hip hop song yet? With the right beat, that could be great.
posted by The World Famous at 9:18 AM on August 3, 2010


Speak for yourself - Grand Funk's "We're an American Band" has haunted me for years.

I've been waiting for them to show up and help me party down since 1973.

Also, I find it rather disturbing that they made a movie and sitcom out of Harper Valley PTA.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:18 AM on August 3, 2010


I love the part where she makes terribly authentic horse noises and then pulls scary baby dolls out from under her dress.
posted by hermitosis at 9:19 AM on August 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


I was terrified of that song, the idea of shrinking and being sucked into the radio, which was my interpretation of it, was just too much for my eight year old head. Heard it the other day and tried to explain how scary it was to a friend who didn't get it. I am validated at last!
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 9:20 AM on August 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ha! As soon as the video started playing the sound triggered my son's voice activated Thomas the Train and Thomas chugged out of room away from Ms Reddy.

I don't share Thomas' opinion. I think Helen Reddy is awesome. She was a loud, confident voice for women back in the 1970s.
posted by three blind mice at 9:21 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


To me "Angie Baby" always sounded like it could have come off of a Bobbie Gentry album.

I think that the Buoys' cannibalism toe-tapper "Timothy" was one of the creepier things on the radio in the early 70s.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:21 AM on August 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'd never heard of this song, thanks. That video makes it ever so slightly creepier, with Reddy winking and mugging at the camera like, "Serves you right, slimy boy," or something.

Was she drawn to songs about women who weren't...quite...right? When I saw this post I thought of another song she did, Delta Dawn.
posted by Gator at 9:24 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ya know, I did nothing but absorb commercial radio hits my entire young life in the 70s, and I do not recognize this song at all. Weird, because I can sure remember all the other hits from '74.

I cannot explain this.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:25 AM on August 3, 2010


I've been waiting for them to show up and help me party down since 1973.

That, precisely, is what creeped me out about the song as kid - the thought of six filthy hippies showing up at my house and forcibly "helping" us to "party down." Something in Don Brewer's voice suggested it would be a lot like a home invasion.

I could almost smell Mel Schacher's bongwater-stained buckskin vest ... oh, wait - you though I was kidding?
posted by ryanshepard at 9:27 AM on August 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


A "shrinking man" fetish is common? Wow.

This is the first time I've ever heard this song and I figured she had killed him and was having sex with his corpse. Little did I know that the actual O'Day explanation is far weirder.
posted by josher71 at 9:27 AM on August 3, 2010


Bloodrock's DOA is right up there on the "creepy 70s song" scale, about the survivor of a grisly airplane crash describing his own smashed body as he dies from his injuries.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:28 AM on August 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always wondered if the "rainman" in Lizzie and the Rainman could actually make rain, or if he was just one of those hucksters who happened to get lucky.

I was hoping Alan O'Day could answer that but then it turns out I was mistaken and it was written by Kenny O'Dell.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:30 AM on August 3, 2010


Also, Richard Marx's Hazard is another one that contains a bit of a mystery.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:32 AM on August 3, 2010


lukemeister: Back in the day, I found Helen Reddy unexpectedly creepy

I'll always love and support the singing and message of "I Am Woman" and find her pretty awesome, but I think the only thing unexpectedly creepy about Helen Reddy is that more people didn't also find her creepy. (One can be both awesome and still creep you a bit.)

The 10th Regiment of Foot: Also, I find it rather disturbing that they made a movie and sitcom out of Harper Valley PTA.

Given how popular this type of thing used to be(see also: "Ode to Billie Joe" song and movie, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia), the TV movie of Angie Baby seems like a missed opportunity.

This would, of course, have also led to lots of AskMetafilter questions... "I remember this creepy movie when I was a kid about a crazy girl who just dances by herself and then this guy comes into her room... It gave me all kinds of nightmares."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:33 AM on August 3, 2010


Astro Zombie - Good call on DOA. I always thought that "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii remember" sounded a bit like "Atlantis" by Donovan.

For years DOA was one of my go-to songs when making mix tapes/discs for other people. The standard response was almost always along the lines of "what the fuck is up with that song with the ambulance sirens?". Hmmm......I still haven't finished my MeFi mix yet.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:35 AM on August 3, 2010


thanks, astro zombie; i was just going to google for that. i have no idea why i had that 45 (doa), but i did & i played the crap out of it. ironically, i can never remember the name of the band, and when i mention it to anyone else, they all look at me like i made it up. infinitely creepier than angie baby, although i never really hear song lyrics like other people seem to. as evidenced by the fact that no matter how many times i listened to doa, i thought it was about a car crash, not an airplane crash.
posted by msconduct at 9:36 AM on August 3, 2010


We were flying along, and hit something in the air! Yeah, fucking DOA! The creepy bits of the seventies are the parts I liked. Pentagram! Wicked Lady!
posted by adipocere at 9:40 AM on August 3, 2010


Whoa. Timothy wins in my book.

I love Helen Reddy. Her Web site is a Flash mess, but there's a wicked cool demo of I am Woman cued up on the player. (Here's a YT timeline. Kinda sad how it gets cheesier and cheesier...)

"I'm still an embryo, with a long, long way to go" is one of my favorite rhymes ever.

Candle on the Water (Reprise)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:45 AM on August 3, 2010


I think the only thing unexpectedly creepy about Helen Reddy is that more people didn't also find her creepy.

Was it the short hair?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:46 AM on August 3, 2010


The song was released in 12/1974. The story of how it came to be says "it was 1974" when he was working in without indicating a month.

Meanwhile, in April 1974, this was released:
...a shy high-school girl, who uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who tease her.
That girl? Carrie. Coincidence?
posted by DU at 9:49 AM on August 3, 2010


Wow, Timothy AND DOA? I am impressed... great post, these things really bring back a certain weird late 60s-early 70s mood. Damn, I'd forgotten just how creepy they were.
posted by kinnakeet at 9:50 AM on August 3, 2010


My favorite '70s story song is Della and the Dealer, by Hoyt "I played the father in Gremlins" Axton. It's later (79?) and not all that mysterious, but I think it's terrific.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:50 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You mean Hoyt "My Mamma Wrote 'Heartbreak Hotel'" Axton.
posted by Floydd at 9:55 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of all the story songs of the 1970s, none was as unexpectedly creepy as Helen Reddy's 1974 hit "Angie Baby."

Seriously? Run Joey, Run!
posted by The Bellman at 9:55 AM on August 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


You think that all is creepy? Check out the cover of his latest "comeback" album and the text which it accompanies:
The writer/singer of Undercover Angel is back; this new set of succulent songs finds his vocals moving easily from Contemporary Uplifting to Funky Retrosexual, while he keeps things interesting with tasty electric piano & blues harp licks.
Is "Funky Retrosexual" the new genre to play along on your car stereo whilst stalking all your past crushes?
posted by nimmpau at 9:56 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ya know, I did nothing but absorb commercial radio hits my entire young life in the 70s, and I do not recognize this song at all.

When the super-ego is threatened, denial, repression and displacement are initiated and carefully maintained as defense mechanisms.
posted by xod at 9:57 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Helen Reddy is burned permanently into my brain because, at the music summer camp I used to attend (where everyone was required to be in chorus), one of the favorite pieces for the choir to do was an SATB arrangement of Candle On The Water.

Gaaa. I can still sing the tenor and bass parts to that arrangement in my mind, now 25-30 years later.
posted by hippybear at 9:58 AM on August 3, 2010


Kinda sad how it gets cheesier and cheesier...

We're you refering to I Am Woman or the music industry in general?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:58 AM on August 3, 2010


Whoops! Actually, I meant Hoyt "I also wrote 'Joy to the World' and 'the No-No song'" Axton.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:59 AM on August 3, 2010


mrgrimm I was just about to mention her turn in Pete's Dragon. Maybe in the director's cut, Paul wasn't actually lost at sea and then finally got back to Nora, but Nora was both magical and crazy, and had shrunk him and had the lighthouse candle hold him captive for her.

Creepy.

(The facts were these: ABC SUCKS for canceling Pushing Daisies.)
posted by tzikeh at 10:04 AM on August 3, 2010


Not to disagree about the creepiness, but would this even crack the Top 10 of creepy songs from the 60s? I'm not sure it would even make Bobby Goldsboro's personal top 5.
posted by yerfatma at 10:04 AM on August 3, 2010


one you realize that charlene is accosting what may be a total stranger and telling her all these confessional regrets about her rootless, somewhat privileged life, i've never been to me, she comes off as pretty damn creepy

not to mention really icky
posted by pyramid termite at 10:10 AM on August 3, 2010


Fleetwood Mac's Hypnotized has a nice air of mystery to it.

I always thought it was sad when the cops shot R. Dean Taylor at the end of Indiana Wants Me.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 10:12 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


All I have to say is: I have the misfortune to share a first name with the subject of this song, and I really really hate this song.

The other famous pop song about an Angie is the Rolling Stones' heartbreak song.

Someone needs to write an "Angie, you're the most amazing girl in the world" kind of song. Maybe I'll commission one on Etsy or something, on behalf of the other beleaguered Angies of the world.
posted by Sublimity at 10:28 AM on August 3, 2010


Someone needs to write an "Angie, you're the most amazing girl in the world" kind of song.

All right, here you go. But you may not like it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:33 AM on August 3, 2010


Fleetwood Mac's Hypnotized has a nice air of mystery to it.

More creepy Fleetwood Mac.
posted by Tube at 10:37 AM on August 3, 2010


"Bloodrock's DOA is right up there on the creepy 70s song' scale, about the survivor of a grisly airplane crash describing his own smashed body as he dies from his injuries."

I always assumed that "We were flying along and hit something in the air" was allegorical and the song was meant to be an anti-drug-abuse message.

But Lord knows I've been wrong before. It took my teen-aged daughter to completely turn me around on Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop" from thinking it was a song about having fun dancing to discovering it is actually about masturbation.

I know longer bellow it out with the car windows down on the way out of the church parking lot on Sunday mornings.
posted by Mike D at 10:42 AM on August 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


My God, hippybear. I had completely blocked "Candle on the Water" out of my brain for the past 20 years after slogging through it in every choral production during the 80s.
posted by keli at 10:42 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another song that used to creep me out was "Nights in White Satin." All that business about "cold-hearted orbs" removing our sight sounded threatening and the presence of knights in satin didn't make it more comforting, just creepy.

(Well into my adolescence, I thought the Knights in White Satin were Templars.)
posted by octobersurprise at 10:43 AM on August 3, 2010


Kenny Rogers and the First Edition scored high on the creep factor with Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town), a nice little tune about a paralyzed Vietnam vet who muses about his trampy wife: if I could move I'd get my gun and put her in the ground.

And Red Sovine's Teddy Bear deserves a place in the pantheon.
posted by grounded at 10:45 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to write an "Angie, you're the most amazing girl in the world" kind of song.

You mean like this one?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:56 AM on August 3, 2010


I love Helen Reddy's voice but a good number of her hits are creepy.

She became Parks Commissioner or somesuch for California in the end, IIRC.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:57 AM on August 3, 2010


The Stones song IS the "Angie, your the greatest in the world" song!

There ain't a woman who comes close to you.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:59 AM on August 3, 2010


Alan O'Day is great.
posted by dhammond at 11:00 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Zevon's 'Excitable Boy' was pretty creepy.
posted by merelyglib at 11:03 AM on August 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Fleetwood Mac's Hypnotized has a nice air of mystery to it.

I liked this song but only because of Bob Welch. I didn't like Fleetwood Mac after he left.

And the thing about "Nights in White Satin," was that is was part of Days of Future Passed. It helped to be stoned when listening to it because it didn't make sense any other way.
posted by chocolatetiara at 11:12 AM on August 3, 2010


I love that there's an entire Wikipedia page detailing the murder mystery at the heart of a Richard Marx song.

But this is the part of the article on "Hazard" that really blew my mind:

"The haunting melody of "Hazard" is often heard on public radio stations across the United States as interlude between announcements and programming."
posted by anthom at 11:17 AM on August 3, 2010


The following songs were on an exercise mix tape I was forced to stretch along to daily in Grade 3 (c. 1981), and should be shot into the sun:

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Joy To The World
Love Will Keep Us Together
Popcorn
Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head
Tie A Yellow Ribbon

And a few others that are heard occasionally at the grocery store and make me weep angrily. Thanks a lot, Mrs. Elson; your favourite bands sucked.

(On further research, this was a Ontario thing called the Health Hustle. Thanks a lot, Premier Bill Davis; your favourite bands sucked.)
posted by Paid In Full at 11:21 AM on August 3, 2010


When I first came to town, they called me "the roving jewel." Now they've changed their tune, they call me "Katie Cruel."
posted by adipocere at 11:28 AM on August 3, 2010


I thought Helen Reddy was cool. And hot. I still do. Gilbert O'Sullivan was creepy.
posted by stonepharisee at 11:33 AM on August 3, 2010


I always thought Lesly Gore's 'You Don't Own Me' was weirdly creepy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWCMhL5qxlE

Also, I maintain Nick Drake was a creepy, creepy songwriter. Pink Moon is widely thought to be one of the most beautiful songs ever, but it's about THE MOON RUNNING WITH BLOOD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXnfhnCoOyo

Also, the Swans back me up on him being a creepy songwriter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI6rAazuQVU
posted by lumpenprole at 11:38 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. Timothy AND DOA.....dang, I remember listening to those with my little transistor radio under the covers. Wanted to buy the latter but my nosey mom would have given me heck about the morbidity.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:43 AM on August 3, 2010


Another song that used to creep me out was "Nights in White Satin." All that business about "cold-hearted orbs" removing our sight sounded threatening and the presence of knights in satin didn't make it more comforting, just creepy.

Its use in Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN 2 is downright terrifying.
posted by polexxia at 11:49 AM on August 3, 2010


"Take a letter Maria" R.B. Greaves.
posted by pianomover at 12:20 PM on August 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Holy shit, Paid In Full! I thought that was just my Grade 3 class!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:48 PM on August 3, 2010


At age five I was completely in love with Ms. Reddy. Also, I think "I am Woman" informed my view of female roles. And for that matter, my own: it's an empowering song.

And, yes, she has a spot on my iPod.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:49 PM on August 3, 2010


I thought "Angie Baby" was creepy cool. "I Am Woman", on the other hand, almost turned me from a proud seventies feminist male into a raging misogynist serial killer.

Fortunately I had a very strong girlfriend at the time and she was able to beat the sense back into me, although she had to medicate me severely first and to be honest I've never walked right since.
posted by Decani at 12:50 PM on August 3, 2010


There were many, many creepy songs in the 1970s.

"Hypnotized" is not creepy. It's just awesome.
posted by blucevalo at 1:01 PM on August 3, 2010


You haven't lived until you've heard a drunk male realtor sing "I am Woman" kareoke style.

I'm scarred for life. ;-)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:04 PM on August 3, 2010


You haven't lived until you've heard a drunk male realtor sing "I am Woman" kareoke style.

We've all got issues.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:14 PM on August 3, 2010


Wait, this thread has gone on this long without CSN's Guinnevere. What the fuck are the pentagrams on the wall?
posted by khaibit at 1:32 PM on August 3, 2010


Two Suns in the Sunset Pink Floyd, The Final Cut. Not so much creepy as scary as shit.
posted by Splunge at 1:41 PM on August 3, 2010


Oh god, hippybear. I remember sight-singing that once for a choir director who wisely decided we weren't going to learn it.

Why has no-one mentioned Honey (I Miss You)? I guess because it's from the 60's, but it was in a popular music book Dad kept on the piano and just as I was getting into real ghost stories and scary fiction, I discovered it. At age 6 or 7, I totally missed why it's so creepy.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:54 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Honey is the absolute worst song of all time. I think I would literally smash a radio before listening to it ever again. HatehatehatehateHATEhatehatehate!

Hate!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:57 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the 70s I was also creeped out by Michael Martin Murphey's Wildfire and Gordon Lightfoot's Wreck Of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The latter still kinda creeps me out, at 42.
posted by kimota at 2:00 PM on August 3, 2010


That girl? Carrie. Coincidence?

You want creepy coincidence, DU... Small World is a novel about a disturbed, and disturbing, woman with access to a shrink ray, the first novel from... wait for it... Tabitha King, Stephen's wife.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:01 PM on August 3, 2010


Jonathan Katz just interviewed Helen Reddy on his podcast (Hey We're Back!). They talked about many interesting things, but not this song.
posted by ewagoner at 2:02 PM on August 3, 2010


In 1983 the Morning Zoo format arrived in NYC with Z-100, which 10 year-old me listened to around the stupid clock, save for school. They had a "mystery oldie" contest every day where they'd play 5 seconds of a song and whomever identified it won some cash. I swear, the freaking mystery oldie was "Undercover Angel" at least once every two weeks. I have always wondered if my main zookeeper Scott Shannon was into Alan O'Day for some money.

I think that the Buoys' cannibalism toe-tapper "Timothy" was one of the creepier things on the radio in the early 70s.

Yes. Rupert Holmes is SO AWESOME.
posted by mintcake! at 2:37 PM on August 3, 2010


Has someone mashed-up Timothy with Yummy Yummy Yummy yet?
posted by Wolfdog at 3:02 PM on August 3, 2010


Paid in Full, I have only one thing to say: Go, you chicken fat, go!

I thought I had successfully repressed this gym class song, but noooo, some MeFite or other dug it up again, IIRC...
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:18 PM on August 3, 2010


J'accuse, Astro Zombie...
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:23 PM on August 3, 2010


Fleetwood Mac's Hypnotized has a nice air of mystery to it.

I always thought it was sad when the cops shot R. Dean Taylor at the end of Indiana Wants Me.


Hypnotized (along with same-era Albatross) are two of my favourite songs, ever and forever.

And Indiana Wants Me! My dad brought home our very first combination cassette recorder and radio sometime around 1970, and I made tapes of songs I liked. This involved listening to the radio for hours (73 CKLG!) and moving fast to hit the 'record' button in time. I got chills listening to the sirens at the end.... Oh, and then there's the Green Green Grass of Home-- has that been mentioned yet? So moving!

Gilbert O'Sullivan's Clare is so past the creepy scale that even as a kid my reaction was WTF. *shudder*
posted by jokeefe at 3:47 PM on August 3, 2010


Clair?! It's about a little baby.
Clair, I've told you before
Don't you dare
Get back into bed
Can't you see that it's late
No, you can't have a drink
Oh! all right then but wait just a bit
While I, in an effort to baby sit,
Catch of my breath what there is left of it
You can be murder at this hour of the day
But in the morning this hour
Will seem a lifetime away
I always assumed it was a silly lullaby. The "drink" would be her bottle and "murder at this hour of the day" well, that's obvious.

Gilbert O'Sullivan is a genius. Watch that Matrimony video above again, then Get Down.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:08 PM on August 3, 2010


I just listened to the Angie link-- I'd forgotten completely about that song.

I loved it. I identified with Angie. It was a song, to me, about being an artist; about being different, being powerful, living in a creative world, being too unusual for school and defended by ones own imagination. Oh god. That song probably had a very strange effect on me; on the other hand it could explain a lot. Heh.
posted by jokeefe at 4:08 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sure, mrgrimm. Sure.

Try as hard as I might I don't know why
You get to me in a way I can't describe
Words me so little when you look up and smile
I don't care what people say
To me you're more than a child

If ever a moment so rare
was captured for all to compare
That moment is you in all that you do
But why, in spite of our age difference do I cry
Each time I leave you I feel I could die
Nothing means more to me than hearing you say
I'm going to marry you
Will you marry me, Uncle Ray?


Ugh.
posted by jokeefe at 4:25 PM on August 3, 2010


I was creeped out by Helen Reddy, not just by this song.
I always wished someone else, not her, had made a hit of I Am Woman.
posted by governale at 4:43 PM on August 3, 2010


Afternoon Delight, when sung byfamily members. Vis. A.D.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:09 PM on August 3, 2010


Bloodrock's DOA is right up there on the "creepy 70s song" scale, about the survivor of a grisly airplane crash describing his own smashed body as he dies from his injuries.

I suppose that "we were flying low and hit something in the air" is the line that leads you to think the song is about an airplane crash, but... I don't think so. My understanding of "flying low" is that it's a euphemism for speeding, so I think the song's protagonist was singing about the results of his car crash. The "hit something in the air" is just continuing the allegory.

I always assumed that "We were flying along and hit something in the air" was allegorical and the song was meant to be an anti-drug-abuse message.

See above: "flying low is the lyric! Even though the YouTube poster (and some lyric sites) maintain that it's "along". But, there ain't no ng in there. He sings "a-low". It's true! Rilly rilly!

Well, at any rate, that organ intro is priceless. Gotta be one of the dumbest fucking things ever written. The whole song just out-Spinal Taps Spinal Tap itself. And the melting ending is sheer brilliance. Of that certain kind.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:04 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


heh, flapjax, but what i want to know is, who the hell is melvin, and why did he lay an egg?
posted by pyramid termite at 11:05 PM on August 3, 2010


I always liked "Memphis, Tennessee" for the nice little turn on the listener's expectations at the end. (I know Johnny Rivers's version is more popular, but dig the guitar work and duck walking from Chuck Berry!)
posted by dhens at 12:09 AM on August 4, 2010


I have a DJ friend who also adores the macabre. A few years ago he gave us a "70s DOOM" mix that he'd compiled, which was my first introduction to Angie Baby. Not that I'd ever sing karaoke, but I've declared that if I ever do, it will be Angie Baby.

Other songs on the mix that haunt me - Seasons in the Sun, Rocky by Austin Roberts, the above mentioned Honey & The Night the Lights went out in Georgia, Wildfire, Emma by Hot Chocolate, Shannon, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Don't Fear the Reaper, Cold Ethel by Alice Cooper, Hello this is Joanie, Run Joey Run, Billy Don't be a Hero, & Ode to Billy Joe (and a few others, those are just off the top of my head). The moral of that story - man there were a lot of catchy tunes in the 70s about death.
posted by librarianamy at 5:54 AM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why has no-one mentioned Honey (I Miss You)?

Oh but I did. I just didn't want to limit it to just "Honey". I thought Goldsboro had some other creepy songs. However, it turns out at least one of the ones I was thinking of was actually Mike Douglas (!), with "The Men in My Little Girl's Life". I'm happy to pretend I miss the 8-Track Era, but the fact you couldn't skip a song like TMiMLGL without missing the next three songs as well meant you suffered through a lot of horrible times riding in the back of the car on the way to the beach.
posted by yerfatma at 6:14 AM on August 4, 2010


Although Angie Baby was creepy, I never 'got' it. My brain-that-requires-a-logical-explanation-for-everything could not understand how the boy ended up in the radio. I loved Helen Reddy though.

And yeah Seasons in the Sun was very creepy.

One of the most annoying songs of the 70s must include You're Moving Out Today.

Best ever Hoyt Axton song? Bony Fingers.
posted by essexjan at 9:30 AM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


HOW COULD I FORGET THIS ONE??!!

You might think the worst thing about this is the hair, clothes and dancing, but in order to appreciate the full skeeviness of this song, you have to listen to it right to the very end.
posted by essexjan at 9:35 AM on August 4, 2010


Might be alone here, but Paul Anka's Havin' My Baby always creeped me out.
posted by xod at 10:37 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Might be alone here, but Paul Anka's Havin' My Baby always creeped me out.

You mean (You're) Having My Baby? No, you're not the only one.

The Night Chicago Died isn't creepy, but it scared me a little as a kid. Capone!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:46 AM on August 4, 2010


essexjan - what the heck are they standing in front of? Is that a giant meat grinder and they're standing among ground meat? (And wow, we were both like, aw, what a cute catchy little....ewwwww....)
posted by librarianamy at 5:02 PM on August 4, 2010


dirtdirt, I agree with your comment about Hoyt Axton. I remember hearing Della & The Dealer when he guest starred on WKRP in Cincinnati as a child, and drove my parents crazy trying to change out dog's name to Jake.
posted by librarianamy at 5:12 PM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Conway Twitty, "You've Never Been This Far Before"
posted by krinklyfig at 11:20 PM on August 7, 2010


I heard "Timothy" tonight on KALX. Coincidence?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:42 PM on August 8, 2010


It's Hoyt "Mah-mah-mah-mah Mitchell" Axton, btw.

Creepy 70s (okay, 1980) memory: rollerskating in the garage while singing a charming song about gang rape and murder. I didn't know what it meant; I was eight.
posted by cereselle at 2:18 PM on August 9, 2010


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