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Napoleon XIV

The weirdest novelty record going to the very best 40 — indeed, a solid candidate for the weirdest hit record of any sort, period — was Napoleon XIV’s “They’re Arriving at Take Me personally Away, Ha-Haaa!” Against a clomp-clomp tambourine defeat, Napoleon spoke-chanted his manic-depressive story of failed love, the vocals all of a sudden accelerating into an unsettlingly cheerful giddiness as sirens revved up in the backdrop. Not a solitary notice of music was performed or sung through the entire monitor, which zoomed as much as number 3 in the summertime of 1966, because the required counterpoint to Barry Sadler’s insipid, likewise off-the-wall smash that season, “The Ballad from the Green Berets.” The implications of the song where the narrator details himself heading crazy and getting carted off towards the loony bin offering a million copies acquired unsettling implications for the country that prides itself on its balance and personality. It engendered great controversy in support of stayed in the very best 20 for five weeks, partly because many r / c withdrew the record off their playlists, perhaps because of problems from worried parents as well as other righteous people. Napoleon XIV was in fact Jerry Samuels, a 28-year-old documenting engineer who acquired previously written little strike singles for pop crooners Johnny Ray and Sammy Davis, Jr., in addition to making a typical one of his very own. “They’re Arriving at Consider Me Away” was a complicated production feat because of its time, using a maddening defeat made by tambourines, drums, and thigh slaps. The main drum design was crafted by looping a ten-second little bit of tape, and Samuels mixed the speed from the vocals to simulate the off-the-rails condition of a guy heading crazy while keeping the backdrop tempo constant. Also weirder was the turn aspect, “!Aaah-ah, Yawa Em Ekat ot Gnimoc Er’yeht,” that was — you guessed it all — the A-side work backwards, a blend that yielded that which was essentially the most unlistenable little bit of vinyl ever. To capitalize in the left-field achievement of “They’re Arriving at Consider Me Away,” Samuels/Napoleon XIV quickly created an record of variations in the theme, such as for example “Bats in my own Belfry” and “I Reside in a Split-Level Mind.” A lot of the materials (unlike the one) had not been compiled by Samuels, but by humor article writer Jim Lehner (after the mind article writer for Jonathan Winters) and composer Bobby Gosh (after that composing with Sammy Cahn!), as well as the novelty quickly wore slim during the period of an LP. “They’re Arriving at Consider Me Away” isn’t the type of solitary that lends itself to formulaic follow-ups, though Samuels/Napoleon XIV do release various other singles, and documented an unreleased record in the past due ’60s. Taking into consideration its name, For God’s Sake, End the Feces!, it could have already been better away remaining within the can. Samuels continued to a profession as unstable as his strike smash, producing his living for a while offering marijuana roach videos to mind shops. For two decades he worked well the piano pubs from the Philadelphia region; on the Napoleon XIV reissue Compact disc he proudly mentioned that “I became essentially the most well-known entertainer at assisted living facilities and senior services within the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley region.” (Presumably he didn’t play his strike solitary for those viewers.) That reissue Compact disc mixed the 1966 Napoleon XIV recording with some extra materials from your ’60s plus some later tracks documented in 1995.

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