The Cowbell Project
November 7, 2002 9:24 AM   Subscribe

The Cowbell Project Inspired by the SNL/Christopher Walken sketch, a database of recordings that feature the cowbell, and a list of other songs that maybe should have considered it...
posted by lilboo (33 comments total)
I've got an itch, baby, and only cowbell gonna' scratch it!
posted by dgaicun at 9:26 AM on November 7, 2002

Isn't the cowbell a fairly standard percussion instrument in Latin music? I didn't see any on their list, though...
posted by wanderingmind at 9:34 AM on November 7, 2002

Now I have the opening of "Mississippi Queen" going through my head on a loop, thanks a lot.
posted by jonmc at 9:35 AM on November 7, 2002

ok, this is driving me crazy: there is a roller-disco song that uses a lot of cowbell and always makes me think of that sketch. The lyrics are just kind of mumbly, but the chorus seems to include the line "keep on dancing". I've looked it up online before and could only find a Marvin Gaye song, but I couldn't find an mp3 and besides, I'm pretty sure he didn't do any disco. Maybe I am wrong? In any case, I don't think it's on this list.

please hope me!
posted by whatnot at 9:40 AM on November 7, 2002

here you go whatnot:

Marvin Gaye---Got To Give It Up
Written by: Marvin Gaye

I used to go out to parties
And stand around
'Cause I was too nervous
To really get down
And my body yearned to be free
So I got up on the floor and found
Someone to choose me
No more standin' along the side walls
Now I've got myself together, baby
And I'm havin' a ball
Long as you prove it
There's always a chance
Somebody watches
I'm gonna make romance
With your body, ooo baby, you dance all night
Get down and prove it, feel all right
. . . .
(repeat and fade):
Keep on dancin'
Got to give it up
posted by lilboo at 10:02 AM on November 7, 2002

No song a little more cowbell can't make better!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:03 AM on November 7, 2002

"I've got a fever. And the only cure... is more cowbell!"
posted by Dirjy at 10:13 AM on November 7, 2002

Great post. Great concept. Great skit. There's nothing more of a sure bet than a SNL hosted by Walken. Thanks.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:22 AM on November 7, 2002

"Fellas. I put my pants on one leg at a time, but after I do, they make gold records".
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 10:24 AM on November 7, 2002

Careless Whisper with added cowbell is a masterpiece. It brought a tear to my eye. I need to go explore my studio space.
posted by Dreama at 10:56 AM on November 7, 2002

thanks lilboo. I guess I just didn't know Marvin went through a hoary disco phase. Hell, if Blondie and the Stones can, why not? Now artists just hand over the tapes to a DJ to remix for club play.

who couldn't use a little more cowbell?
posted by whatnot at 11:04 AM on November 7, 2002

"Mississippi Queen" is THE cowbell song.
posted by 2sheets at 11:10 AM on November 7, 2002

2sheets "We're an American Band" kicks "Mississippi Queen's" sorry ass.
posted by falameufilho at 11:17 AM on November 7, 2002

I think Eminem should use more cowbell. Then maybe I would listen to his songs.
posted by oissubke at 11:18 AM on November 7, 2002

thunkthunkthunkthunk-thunkthunkthunk, thunk-thunkthunk-thunk...thunk-thunk


thunkthunkthunkthunk-thunkthunkthunk, thunk-thunkthunk-thunk...thunk-thunk


thunkthunkthunkthunk-thunkthunkthunk, thunk-thunkthunk-thunk...thunk-thunk


thunkthunkthunkthunk-thunkthunkthunk, thunk-thunkthunk-thunk...thunk-thunk
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:35 AM on November 7, 2002

I notice that Rime of the Ancient Mariner has a conspicuous lack of cowbell. Surely, the Cowbell Project should take it upon themselves to do what Dickenson obviously couldn't do when recording that song.
posted by wobh at 11:40 AM on November 7, 2002

That link blew my mind. So much cowbell has been overlooked by my ears. I've listend to Appetite for Destruction literally hundreds of times in dozens of states of being (sober, sleep, driving, sexing, zombie drunk, etc.) and if you had put a gun to my head and asked me to tell you the secret ingredient to that Album's rocking success, I would have died before cowbell came to mind. But now I know and I can sleep the sleep of ten thousand angels tonight imagining a young Axl Rose picking up a cowbell at a music store, stroking his chin, and then realizing one of the greatest rock albums ever.

And the Flesh for Fantasy with Cowbell made me nearly crap my pants it was so funny.
posted by Mushkelley at 12:11 PM on November 7, 2002

Great link! After the SNL skit, it's been an ongoing activity in our family car to put cowbell wherever it's sorely missed. *dink dink dink dink*
posted by banjotwang at 12:29 PM on November 7, 2002

Come on? American Band? Mississippi Queen? You're kidding me, has no one thought of Low Rider yet? Its the whole intro solo man!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:33 PM on November 7, 2002

Give It To Me is best cowbell song*. Mississippi Queen, We're An American Band and Low Rider bow before it.

*in the database, no use getting needlessly obscure ;)
posted by jonmc at 12:38 PM on November 7, 2002

that is one of my all time favorite skits on SNL.
posted by LouieLoco at 1:14 PM on November 7, 2002

Anybody know where one can find the video for that sketch?
posted by DakotaPaul at 1:16 PM on November 7, 2002

No no no, "Honky Tonk Women" is best cowbell song. But "Got to Give It Up" is great too. I used to put it on at parties and play it until people dropped from exhaustion right there on the dance floor.
posted by languagehat at 1:21 PM on November 7, 2002

* casts vote for "Born on the Bayou" *

Diversion and possible pre-emption: the dink-dink! in "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" was not a cowbell - Paul had Ringo actually stiking a little anvil to get a more "hammery" sound. Authenticity, you know.
posted by yhbc at 1:25 PM on November 7, 2002

Dakota, the video is easily found on Kazaa, just search for Chris Walken and SNL.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:29 PM on November 7, 2002

the Partridge Family always seemed to show someone playing a cowbell, but the songs usually didn't have cowbell in them.
posted by modge at 2:03 PM on November 7, 2002

That's because it was only plausible that Tracy could play a cowbell. You sure it wasn't a triangle?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:01 PM on November 7, 2002

What's the deal with the techno, or whatever that crap is at the beginning of the Quicktime download on that site?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:12 PM on November 7, 2002

I think it's the intro music to VH1 Behind the Music, which is what the sketch is supposed to be parodying.

Also, you guys are totally missing the point. It's not about MORE cowbell, it's about findind the right amount of cowbell.
posted by Hildago at 5:31 PM on November 7, 2002

remember to tape the dingy-thing on the cowbell before cowtipping.

Cow: " what is this, 10% night or what"
posted by clavdivs at 7:38 PM on November 7, 2002

Some of the funniest parts of that sketch are of Will Ferrell and his gut sticking out from under his '60s-era clothing, which is lost in the audio-only version. I strongly suggest everyone watch the video of the sketch to get the FULL cowbell experience.
posted by Down10 at 12:24 AM on November 8, 2002

You sure it wasn't a triangle?

I think it was a triangle.
posted by dg at 6:12 AM on November 8, 2002

Thank you, languagehat. I second "Honkey Tonk Woman."
posted by Songdog at 6:43 AM on November 8, 2002

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