ARTIST: Was (Not Was)
TITLE: Born to Laugh at Tornadoes
YEAR RELEASED: 1983
CHART ACTION: #134
SINGLES: Smile, Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like a Rubber Ball), (Return to the Valley of) Out Come the Freaks (#41 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Maybe on Dr. Demento
LINEUP: Don Was, David Was and a LOT of guests: Marshall Crenshaw, Ozzy Osbourne, Mitch Ryder, Vinnie Vincent, Mel Torme, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Sir Harry Bowens, Wayne Kramer, Doug Feiger, Bob Kulick and others
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A bunch of well-produced genre goofs with some clever concepts and lyrics.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: When you’ve got tracks called “Man vs. the Empire Brain Building” and “Zaz Turned Blue” on the same record, you know this isn’t going to be a serious political statement. What it is, is hilarious.
Not only are the lyrics and concepts of the songs a hoot, the production (as you’d expect from the Was Brothers) makes each song an excellent representation of the genre they are parodying. Plus, the guest stars that they got to sing the songs (Ozzy, the Knack’s Doug Feiger, Mitch Ryder and Mel Torme on “Zaz Turned Blue”) are solid and add to the wonderment.
The song “The Party Broke Up” is probably the standout – mainly because “Needless to say, the party broke up” is a ready-made catch phrase AND the situations are gut-busting.
Put this on, and you can’t help to smile.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Madonna (!) auditioned for the vocals on this album, but didn’t make the grade. Her vocals were done by one Carol Hall.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, single mixes and some remixes
GRADE: A-: Some albums going for humor sound dated after a while. This doesn’t.