Top Five April Fools’ Day Songs

Posted: March 30, 2012 in Bob Dylan, HIghway 61, Steve Miller Band, The Bee Gees, The Guess Who, The Who

April Fools’ Day is on Sunday and in its honour is my first Top Five list, which I hope you will find eclectic if nothing else. Share a tune or two with your friends and impress them with the depth of your musical literacy.

1. The Joker, The Steve Miller Band

Any song about a midnight smoking and toking joker that incorporates the made up but lofty sounding word “pompatus” gets the nod for number one. Released in 1973 on the album by the same name (which became The Steve Miller Bands’ first real commercial success), the image of peaches shaking in trees no doubt still titillates young boys some 40 years later.

2. Laughing, The Guess Who

The Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings writing partnership had hit its groove by the time “Canned Wheat” was first in the record store racks in 1969. I love this song: great pop lyrics, wonderful dynamics and the trademark escalating Burton Cummings’ vocal treatment. This band will always be on any list of Canada’s finest.

3. Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Who

If there was a “proto punk” genre this power chorded, insanely rhythmic masterpiece would be the signature song. By the way, how can it still be “The Who” without Moon and Entwistle ?

4. I Started a Joke, The Bee Gees

I know I will take flack for this. But no April Fools’ day list is complete without it. It came out in 1968 a good nine years before “Saturday Night Fever”. At that point the Bee Gees were only moderately,as opposed to really, annoying so I think I should get a pass.

5. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, Bob Dylan

A far easier going version of this song appeared on Highway 61, Dylan’s first all electric album released in 1965. This version, also backed by the Butterfield Blues Band, has a much harder edge. It was performed at the Newport Folk Festival in July, 1965 to heckling from the crowd who had not come to hear an electric Dylan. “I fool you” said Bob, for neither the first nor the last time.

  1. Cranky Cowgirl says:

    WHAT??? The BG’s I Started A Joke trumps Mick & the boys’ Fool to Cry? Please xplain!

  2. earthboy011 says:

    The pre-disco BeeGees were great! Their first hit, New York Mining Disaster 1941, created an enormous buzz. They followed up with a string of hit: Holiday, Massachusetts, To Love Somebody, I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You, and more.

  3. topfivevinyl says:

    More Bee Gees for Earth Boy then. Not so much for Cranky Cowgirl.

  4. KeithKing says:

    Liked this top 5, now how about one called, Top 5 songs thought to be written by The Stones that weren’t? Actually maybe it would be better if you opened that category up to ANY band.

  5. topfivevinyl says:

    Or…. Top Five Rolling Stones Songs That Sound Like Gram Parsons Songs?

  6. Steve says:

    Some classic songs that take me back to infamous high school dances. Me in my rugby pants and feathered brown hair (yes I had brown hair), playing air guitar, face contorted in an overbite.

    Well done MT, this sure beats saran wrap on the toilet seat.

  7. topfivevinyl says:

    At least they weren’t feathered rugby pants.

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