Wikia

Music Wiki

Zabagabee:Barnes & Barnes

Artist: Barnes & Barnes

Date Released: 1987

Label: Rhino

Produced By: Barnes & Barnes

Tracklisting: CD/LP Version:

  1. Fish Heads
  2. Blithering
  3. Soak It Up
  4. Ah A
  5. Boogie Woogie Amputee
  6. Life Is Safer When You're Sleeping
  7. Unfinished Business
  8. Pussy Whipped
  9. What's New Pussycat
  10. Party In My Pants
  11. Don't You Wanna Go To The Moon
  12. Pizza Face
  13. Love Tap
  14. I Don't Remember Tomorrow
  15. Cemetary Girls
  16. When You Die (new version)
  17. Swallow My Love
  18. Something's In The Bag
  19. Cats
  20. Loch Ness Lady
  21. The Ballad Of Jim Joy

(Tracks 17-21 only available on CD issue.)

VHS:

ReviewEdit

The first best-of by Barnes & Barnes, and for a long time, the only place to get any of their music on CD. It's a pretty good mix, a little light on Sicks, but that album had just come out, which probably explains that. Like the much later Yeah., this would have quite a few unreleased songs. It's very out of print, and for a while, it was the only place to find songs like the outstanding "Blithering", but all of the exclusive tracks have made it out on the Amazing Adult Fantasy and Sicks reissues, so this is redundant (which works, as, hey, it's hard to find). The only thing this has that the other CDs don't is a lyric sheet. But does that make it worth it? I don't know. The VHS, on the other hand, is not redundant, as it's currently the only place to see the excellent Barnes & Barnes short films (some of which are award winning!). The videos are intercut with interviews about the Barnes & Barnes mythology, featuring the little bit of lie (Barnes & Barnes did not play an acoustic set at Woodstock) with a little bit of truth (Barnes & Barnes DID work with Rosemary Clooney). The interviews are with Dr. Demento, Wild Man Fischer, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Booji Boy, America among many others. This is actually not out-of-print, but a bit difficult to find, regardless. However, it's DEFINITELY worth picking up to see Barnes & Barnes' innovative videos. - Rev. Syung Myung Me

Ignore the title of Fish Heads: Barnes & Barnes' Greatest Hits, because that one wasn't really a good "greatest hits" compialtion at all. Five years after the release of that picture disc, Zabagabee came out, and it filled the need for a B&B best-of quite nicely. It does an excellent job of spanning their career, and includes almost as many of their more serious tracks as their comedy songs. While it doesn't have anything from Loozanteen, as that album was still four years away, it doesn't take away from the fact that this is a very nice overview of the work of Barnes & Barnes. Sicks only has two tracks to represent it here, but those two songs (Pussy Whipped and Pizza Face) are, in my opinion, the best two songs on their respective album, so everything works okay. Like the later Yeah compilation, this one serves up some previously unreleased songs, though if you look at them closely, nothing new was actually written for the album: Blithering was a re-recording of an Amazing Adult Fantasy bump (though this was unknown to the public at the time), What's New Pussycat is a cover of an old Tom Jones song, When You Die is an enhanced remake of a Voobaha cut with an extra verse (so, I guess that was written for the album...oh well...), and Loch Ness Lady and The Ballad of Jim Joy are both Amazing Adult Fantasy outtakes, though unlike the original Blithering, they were never slated for inclusion on the original album. However, this version of Blithering and What's New Pussycat mark the first and only time that B&B have ever worked with any producers other than themselves; the two tracks were produced by Gerry Beckley (one half of America) and Bob Casale (of Devo), respectively. To get very nitpicky, I actually prefer the versions of Life is Safer When You're Sleeping and Don't You Wanna Go to the Moon, because if you listen to the versions on the Amazing Adult Fantasy CD (and this is getting extremely nitpicky) there are minor dropouts in the audio, one in each song that last about a sixteenth of a second each. Really, they are there, my CD isn't scratched, and I don't have a hearing aid that needs to be turned on. Forgive me, but I was just disappointed with those little imperfections. It's like a scratch on a brand new Porsche; the flaws are magnified greatly on a thing of beauty. The Zabagabee transfers, made when the tapes were but three years old, don't have any flaws in the audio, which is why I prefer them. (I'm really anal with my B&B, I'm sorry.) But for what it's worth, this version of Life is Safer When You're Sleeping omits the Wild Man Fischer links at the beginning and end, which makes sense as they are taken out of context here. All in all, I recommend finding the CD edition of this (though it's infinitely more difficult than finding Yeah), because I feel this compilation does a better job of presenting Barnes & Barnes' catalogue, unlike on Yeah where the "greatest hits" aspect takes a backseat to the new, rare and previously unreleased songs.

About the video, it's a must for any B&B fan. Presenting all seven of their videos, intercut with footage of surprisingly famous celebrities telling bullplop stories about Barnes & Barnes. The video quality is very grainy and muddy, especially on the Fish Heads video (though this adds to its look, it still makes you wish B&B had edited it on film). The camera used during the interviews, for some reason, goes crazy with the colors in some scenes, like the pink sky seen in the Wild Man Fischer segments in the park. The audio leaves a lot to be desired as well; it's good enough on the interviews, but it's completely out of whack during the videos. Not only is it in mono, but it's not even both stereo tracks combined to a mono track, it's just one stereo channel! Watch the Party in My Pants video- during the spoken word bit, you can barely hear Joan Farber's voice over! Perhaps no other piece of their work shows off the fact that Barnes & Barnes are only a semi-professional outfit than this video. It's still a great watch, though. I wish it was released on laserdisc, at least; maybe Rhino, who still owns the rights to it (the only piece of B&B material that they still own) will release a better looking DVD of it, or maybe B&B will buy back the rights someday and do it themselves. Sub-par video and audio aside, make sure to pick it up- it's not really clear whether or not it's out of print, but it's safe to assume so based on the fact that I couldn't find it on Rhino's website, or anybody hawking it regularly on eBay. -The Swill Man

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki