Album Of The Week – March 14, 2022

1999 was an interesting time. The turn of the decade, century and millennium was one of great transition. One facet of culture at this time was the “edgebro” – stuff like nu-metal, WWF, Spike TV and The Man Show were running hot around this time. We were welcomed to Jackass, Eminem was beginning his shock-rap run that would smash boundaries, and we read about it all in Maxim magazine.

Music was perhaps not in the most creative place as nu-metal and boy bands fought for chart supremacy. But one act would catch lightning in a bottle and find themselves with a multi-platinum record and a massive hit single. Perhaps beneficiaries of the trend toward potty humor, this group would refine it a bit, provide foul shock aplenty, and laugh all the way to the bank.

The Bloodhound Gang – Hooray For Boobies

Released October 4, 1999 in the UK via Geffen Records (February 29, 2000 US)

My Favorite Tracks – Magna Cum Nada, I Hope You Die, Hell Yeah

Hooray For Boobies sold like hotcakes in the Y2K era. The Bloodhound Gang had made some waves previously with songs like Fire Water Burn and You’re Pretty When I’m Drunk, but The Bad Touch and this album would go to a whole other level.

Arguments could be made about the level of humor on the record – in fact that is an argument that peels more layers than the world’s biggest onion. But this album is absolutely a product of its time and fits well within the culture of the “Woodstock 99” period. It won’t be my cause to frame the album’s contents through a present day lens – rather I will simply discuss the album I spun many a time in the early 2000’s in its own context.

There are a ton of tracks on the album. I won’t be getting into the several skits that appear and add more fuel to the comedic fire, I’ll stick with the abundance of proper songs. I will be discussing the “full” version of the album – there were initially several versions that omitted some tracks due to sampling rights. Subsequent reissues have presented the album in full.

I Hope You Die

The “rap-rock but not that kind of rap-rock” kicks off with a decidedly rock tune. The title says it all – these lyrics really, really wish pain and suffering on someone. The depths of creativity to paint the woeful narrative that befalls the song’s target go on far past where many people would have given up. It is shocking, explicit and hilarious. The short chorus hits the nail on the head and simply expresses what singer Jimmy Pop hopes happens to his adversary.

The Inevitable Return Of The Great White Dope

A rap-dance hybrid song that serves as a hype piece for mainman Jimmy Pop. It helps establish a bit that the band isn’t just using toilet humor to pave their way, there is a bit of actual talent in the ranks.

Three Point One Four

On this track Jimmy Pop takes on one of the English language’s greatest challenges – what rhymes with vagina? The largely unsuccessful results couple with Jimmy’s need for a new girlfriend which takes humorous and objectifying turns. A bit of falsetto at the end wraps up the fact that Carolina is about the only word that rhymes with vagina.

Mope

A bit of an intro sets up this tribute to Austrian pop act Falco. The song borrows from Falco’s huge hit Rock Me Amadeus, as well as the Frankie Goes To Hollywood hit Relax. For good measure we find the Metallica standard For Whom The Bell Tolls included as a sample as well. Video game icon Pac Man also joins the fun – at this point in 1999 the star has fallen on hard times and crack addiction. The song is a very creative mashup that works better than it should.

Yummy Down On This

A heavier riff stands out through this ode to blow jobs. Really, that’s it – this song is about blow jobs. Not much more to say.

The Ballad Of Chasey Lain

One of the album’s singles, this song sees Jimmy Pop obsess over porn star Chasey Lain. It’s a bit like Eminem’s hit Stan, except without any cultural significance or anything, well, good. The song is pretty funny and even features Chasey at the end respond to her stalker’s advances. The band reported that they were less than impressed with Chasey’s intellect upon meeting her, but such is life.

Magna Cum Nada

This ode to a lack of success if one of the album’s stronger highlights and my personal favorite. A metal riff runs through a list of creative ways in which Jimmy Pop is bad at life. It is a well-crafted ode to the loser.

The Bad Touch

The album’s first single (in most territories) and the song that catapulted The Bloodhound Gang to the forefront of 1999’s music scene. Even a person unfamiliar with the group would probably recognize the refrain “You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals/Let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.”

This dance number turned potty-mouthed recount of sexual relations became a smash hit through Europe, topping the charts in multiple countries. It was a more modest success in the US but would be a highlight on dive bar dance floors and also get a shoutout from Eminem in his immortal hit The Real Slim Shady.

The Bad Touch is an entertaining romp that highlights the nuts and bolts of The Bloodhound Gang – using a thesaurus to describe sex acts in every way possible and making a mint off of the results. Can’t argue with success.

This is the “explicit” version, not sure what that means exactly

Take The Long Way Home

This song is another turn through futility and the crushing weight of existence, much like Magna Cum Nada before it. While not one of the album’s standouts the song does offer its own weight and is one of the quietly enjoyable numbers found here.

Hell Yeah

Here we find Jimmy Pop telling a Sunday School story, of course in explicit and pun-filled fashion. Jimmy embraces his messiah complex here and contemplates what would happen if he were God. While heavy metal has long been the standard home for blasphemy, The Bloodhound Gang worked some into their brand of potty-pop or whatever we’re calling this.

The song makes humorous turns through the decrees Jimmy Pop-God would make then spends a moment contemplating his crucifixion. It makes for a funny tune that probably won’t get any airtime at the local church.

Right Turn Clyde

This more chill track takes on Pink Floyd’s seminal Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2. It’s another of the album’s secondary tracks but is a pretty fun listen still. This song was the reason for the delay in the US release of the album as there was some arguing with Roger Waters over rights before the latter apparently relented.

A Lap Dance Is So Much Better When The Stripper Is Crying

For all of The Bloodhound Gang’s toilet humor and cheap use of sex for laughs, nothing comes close to the shock and awe of this one. The title alone screams “What did you just say?” and the song itself offers no reprieve.

The song is set as a country story-song that narrates rather than sings its contents. The story is, well, as fucked up as the title suggests. The song would probably be considered the high point for taking offense, but it is so absurd that it can only be dismissed as a farce.

Along Comes Mary

The album’s proper closing song is a cover version of a 1966 pop hit by The Association. The Bloodhound Gang turned the song into a punk number that was featured in the soundtrack to Dave Chapelle’s hit movie Half Baked. This was the album’s true first single released in parts of Europe long before Hooray For Boobies was released.

Hooray For Boobies was a hit for The Bloodhound Gang. It was certified platinum in several countries and spawned several singles that did well on the charts in Europe. The Bad Touch is, of course, the group’s signature track and biggest hit that stills gets referenced over 20 years later.

The album would mark the high-water point for the band. A few modest hits would come in later years as band members from the …Boobies time period left the group. A series of controversial incidents in 2013 in the Ukraine and Russia involving flag desecration would seemingly spell the end for the band.

But for all the churn and turn of 1999 and the coming millennium, The Bloodhound Gang perfectly captured the low-brow humor of the era and the shifting music landscape to score a major hit. An album such as Hooray For Boobies might not make it in today’s war-like cultural climate but it hit all the right notes in its time and place. The album still holds up well in today’s marketplace – limited vinyl reissues are gone before they appear and many people still recall the dumb and hilarious record fondly.

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