Monday, February 25, 2008

More Cowbell

I was at Starbucks on Saturday afternoon, and my iPod kicked out Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper." Of course, that song will forever be associated with the SNL "More Cowbell" skit, and it occurred to me that the cowbell is really not all that pronounced on that song. In fact, you really have to listen for it. That made me think about cowbell songs in general, and I decided to come up with a list of the top five cowbell songs out there. Well let me tell you, coming up with a list without the assistance of Google is a near impossibility. We've just become lazy as a list-making culture. Came up with two off the top of my head, but could just barely come up with even a third song that had pronounced cowbell in it. I had to scroll through the 'pod to even come up with a fourth, and I never found a fifth. I wrote down my Google-impaired cowbell song list and present it here.
  1. Low Rider, by War. This one was easy. In fact, I'm pretty sure they have a dedicated cowbell player in addition to their drummer. Gene Frenkel would have fit in well with War.
  2. Honky Tonk Women, by The Rolling Stones. It sounds like the cowbell on the opening to this song was actually hanging around the neck of a cow in the studio.
  3. Funky Cold Medina, by Tone Lōc. This song may feature a sample of a cowbell, rather than the real thing. I don't know. Actually now I do, as I just looked it up on Wiki:

    This song contains samples from six songs, "Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones, "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner (whose guitar riff dominates the song), "Christine Sixteen" by KISS, "All Right Now" by Free, "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and the introduction to "Get Off Your Ass and Jam" by Funkadelic (from which the drum break during the song's bridge is derived).

    Damn you, Tone, I don't know if that deserves an asterisk now. I'll keep it on, as it's from my initial list.

  4. Poor, Poor Pitiful Me, by Terri Clark. I had to scroll long through the iPod to find this nugget, and I don't know if many folks even know it, but the cowbell permeates throughout the song. There's originality points here, too, since she's covering a Warren Zevon song that features no cowbell.


Andi said...

I haven't read the books on your book list, but I can honestly say I have all of these songs on my iPod. My Honky Tonk Woman is the Travis Tritt cover, though. But it still counts, because it has the cowbell!

Jack Gordon said...

Awesome. That's right - you're a country fan, aren't you! I'm pretty sure Bocephus covers that song too.

Anonymous said...

ok im a DJ on an internet radio station ( if u want to check it out. Ive been on a cowbell Kick for a few months now (no idea why, except it may have something to do with the SNL skit) Anyway i have a few more songs to add to you list.

Missippi Queen by Mountain
Party on the Patio by ZZ Top
Stone Free by Jimi Hendrix