Music is one of those tools that can beautify our lives. And do not think that before people were boring, they only listened to the classics.
Humanity has learned to laugh with the help of music long ago. And with the onset of the era of show business and the release of music albums, this business generally began to flow.
Today, comedy bands are as popular as the most popular stars. Let's try to figure out how this phenomenon was formed, consider the 15 funniest albums in history.
The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band "Gorilla", 1967. The first comedy rock group was formed by a group of London art school boys. They were inspired by the Dadaists and the cartoon dog Bonzo. Over time, the name of the team was shortened to Bonzo Dog Band. In the 60s, in general, there were many humorous experiments of psychedelic rockers. However, it was this group that made humor the main thing in their work. And although the Bonzo Dog Band lasted only five years, it managed to become a cult, becoming famous also for participation in the Beatles' film "Magical Mystery Tour". And the group began its career as a vaudeville team. This was especially noticeable on their first album. It included light surreal songs, a mixture of music hall and jazz. The humor is classic English, restrained and not always obvious. The group avoided sensitive topics, making fun of the simple things that were popular in those days - overly tragic teenage experiences, and the difference between New York and San Francisco. Although humor and music were combined before these Englishmen, they can be considered pioneers. And one of the best compositions of the album "Gorilla" gave the name to the band "Death Cab for Cutie".
Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention "We're Only in It for the Money", 1968. In the 1960s and 1970s, Frank Zappa was one of the most famous experimenters in rock music and certainly the most colorful representative of it. The musician stood out for his luxurious hair, beard and mustache. Zappa was also distinguished by his love of strange jokes. And he did it together with the group "The Mothers of Invention". The band's best album was their third album, We’re Only in It for the Money. Not only is this the group's most outstanding work, it is also the most complete. The album is divided into two conceptual parts, which exactly coincide with the sides of the disc. In the first, Zappa makes fun of everyone - right and left, conservatives and hippies. On the other, the musician expresses his alternative views of the world. The most hasty compositions are collected on the first side, at least it is clear how and at whom Frank Zappa mocks. It is interesting that even contemporaries did not appreciate some of the jokes. As a result, MGM publishers cut several controversial places from the album. Zappa himself immediately retracted the recording, claiming that the wrong version of the album was being sold to listeners. Zappa's work is classified as jazz, prog-rock, and avant-rock. This is pretty serious music, so it's especially valuable that the musician, even though weird, was able to pay tribute to humor.
The Rutles "The Rutles", 1978. It is no coincidence that the name of the group resembles something. The team brought together such legendary figures as Eric Idle of Monty Python and Neil Aynes of the aforementioned Bonzo Dog Band. The group turned out to be a parody of the Beatles. At first it was a fictional team, about which a TV series was even filmed. However, the phenomenon has grown so much that The Rutles even released a music album. Soon the group was already touring with might and main. The humor in the lyrics is exclusively English, as is the case with the Bonzo Dog Band. But if you don't listen to the songs, then they can generally be mistaken for a free interpretation of the Beatles' compositions. Because of this, even ridiculous absurdities arose. For example, the song "Cheese & Onions" was recorded in general under the direction of Lennon and McCartney. When "The Rutles" was about to release "Get Up and Go", Lennon warned that it was too similar to the original "Get Back". The musician promised to sue the plagiarists. And although John actually had no rights to this song anymore, the band decided not to include it in their album. It is safe to say that The Rutles took a place in history as the first full-fledged parody music team. This opened the doors for the emergence of such fun bands in the future as Spinal Tap, Dread Zeppelin, Beatallica.
Spinal Tap "This Is Spinal Tap", 1984. Like the previous team, Spinal Tap was originally a fictional team. These were the heroes of the pseudo-documentary parody "This Is Spinal Tap", which ridiculed various clichés about heavy metal. However, the film was surprisingly successful. The actors who played the musicians had to become real participants in "Spinal Tap". In the 1980s, hard rock was a pretty awkward thing, both musically and aesthetically. So it wasn't hard to joke about, but Spinal Tap did it best. They paid attention to every detail - pompous verses, sweet choruses, long guitar solos and excessive overall muscularity. In the group, all this was also exaggeratedly exposed. Of course, the film itself will mostly remain in history. But the album, surprisingly, turned out to be successful. The group even tried to revive several times, the last attempt was carried out in the late 2000s, however, everything was unsuccessful.
The Dead Milkmen "Big Lizard in My Backyard", 1985. This group was invented by two student friends from Temple University in Philadelphia. In this case, it is really a matter of invention. Jack Talcum and Rodney Anonymous wrote several stories about The Dead Milkmen and the adventures of its vocalist. Then the group was assembled and in earnest. When the band's first album was recorded in 1985, it had four members. The Dead Milkmen epitomized the culture that emerged in America in the mid-1980s around colleges and their radio stations. Four idle friends began to compose ironic punk rock, but they turned out very witty. The themes of the songs on the album were the most unpretentious - the guys sang about what was happening in their life - the girls, the first car, going to the laundry and living in a small town. In the disc, seriousness is interspersed with laughter and fooling around, but in fact it is about how limited a person's life can be in his twenty years. But it was this team that showed what punk rock really should be.
They Might Be Giants "Lincoln", 1986. The group was created by two namesake guys. The Johns, from Lincoln, Massachusetts, named the album either after their hometown or as a tribute to the American president. Although the work of "They Might Be Giants" is not usually classified as comedy-rock, there is a lot of frivolity and satire in their work. And the name of the team appeared thanks to the film of the same name, the same one in turn directly refers to Don Quixote and his mills. The musicians themselves treated themselves without pathos, so, they generally recorded several albums for children. Like "The Dead Milkmen", TMBG is the child of the 1980s independent scene. Only now their music has become smarter. The album is ranked as indie rock, but in fact, you can find many influences in it - from sailor songs to jazz. And the jokes are appropriate here. Most of them are so specific that they are difficult to retell. The team is considered satirical, citing the song "Kiss me, son of God" as evidence. It is directed either against religious institutions, or against the government, although there is also a hidden subtext. The best word for describing the album is "frivolous." But the team proved that writing such songs is no less worthy than writing serious compositions.
"Weird Al" Yankovic "Off the Deep End", 1992. Album belongs to Weird Al Jankovic. This is one of the most famous parody American actors, who has already recorded more than a dozen albums and continues to humorously cover the main hits today. Yankovic's creative activity has been going on for more than thirty years, during which time almost all American famous musicians - from The Doors to Lady Gaga - have become his victims. And the list of the funniest albums could actually be any other album from Jankovic. After all, all of them are equally good at the showman, and he is famous mainly for individual parody compositions. In the early 90s, Jankovic was already a star, America listened to Nirvana with might and main. So it became the first song in the album "Off the Deep End" just a rehash of the cult song "Smells Like Teen Spirit". The rest of the tracks are not inferior to her. Yankovic's genius lies in the fact that he is capable of incomparably imitating the musical and sometimes vocal manner of any performer. At the same time, the texts are written ridiculously absurd. The aforementioned "Smells Like Teen Spirit" makes fun of Cobain's weirdly filled lyrics, which he also plays indistinctly. With the onset of the MTV era, one of the first to understand the power of clips was the main clown of music - Jankovic. Currently, he has already shot more than fifty videos, which has led to his popularity already on YouTube.
Bloodhound Gang "One Fierce Beer Coaster", 1996. This American group performs in the pop-punk style, it was very popular in Russia in the 90s. The team consists of people with such specific names as Jimmy Pop or DJ Billiard Ball. Although the humor of "Bloodhound Gang" can hardly be called highly intellectual, the musicians still do not fall into grudge. Album One Fierce Beer Coaster was a classic product of the mid-90s when MTV was at its peak, as were toilet humor and low-quality youth comedies. So in the musicians' creativity there was a place for songs about oral lyrics, about gays, for whom it is easier to achieve the location of girls. And one of the band's biggest hits, "Fire Water Burn", tells the story of a white guy trying to pretend to be a tough black gangster. True, the team tried to appear smart. For example, the same hit is a mix of quotes from a couple of Pixies songs, and the chorus is copied from the 80s hip-hop song "The Roof Is On Fire". In the composition itself, Jimmy Pop also mentions several heroes of pop culture - from Jimi Hendrix to Han Solo. Pop punk was pretty frivolous in the 1990s. But among the multitude of teams, it was "Bloodhound Gang" that joked more often and deeper than others. It is no coincidence that the group is still well-known today, traveling around the world.
Tenacious D "Tenacious D", 2001. It is a hard rock comedy group created by American actor Jack Black and his friend, comedian Kyle Glass. The first performances of the team took place back in 1994, but the relative popularity came to the musicians only five years later. And the history of the group turned out to be closely related to film and television. At first there was a series on HBO, however, at that moment "Tenacious D" already existed, in contrast to the same "The Rutles". A couple of years later, the cheerful duo released a full-length album. Soon they also shot the feature film Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny. The humor consisted in the fact that "Tenacious D", on the one hand, played out all the classic clichés of hard rock (loud choruses, long solos, virtuoso passages), and on the other hand, they used the images of overweight idlers. On the first album, almost all of the songs were about friendship, sex and marijuana. We can say that the work of "Tenacious D" began a new era of comedy-rock. It became clear that the time had come when such a group could well become popular, go on tour and even shoot a full-length film about themselves. The humor was similar to the revived American comedy at that time - good-natured and not particularly vulgar, working at the expense of the pretentious and semi-insane behavior of Jack Black.
Liam Lynch "Fake Songs", 2003. Liam Leichn in the early 2000s became famous as a jack of all trades. MTV has repeatedly spoken about this to the writer, director, musician and even the puppeteer. Lynch alone and together with his colleague Matt Crocco recorded a dozen albums. But fame was brought to him by the full-length film "Tenacious D", which has already been mentioned. And the best work of the musician Lynch himself was the album "Fake Songs", which he called a collection of musical cartoons. Only one song can be called really outstanding here, it became the most famous of Lynch - "United States of Whatever". This is a composition with a rather absurd improvisation text about how the performer himself meets different people and shouts “whatever!” To them. You could even say that the album borrowed a lot from the previous members of our list. The album also includes parody songs, which are honestly called "Fake David Bowie Song" and "Fake Bjork Song", and fun punk rock in the style of "Dead Milkmen". Lynch, like Frank Zappa, makes fun of the consumerist society. But the album is done in a modern 2000s style. Guitar rock is surrounded by youthful humor that matches the MTV aesthetic. While there are no really cool songs on the album, "Fake Songs" is a snapshot of the state of American comedy. While Judd Apatow and a new generation of stand-up comedians took the stage to ennoble the genre and propel it forward, 90s humor continued to reign on MTV.
Flight of the Conchords "Flight of the Conchords", 2008. In the late 1990s, New Zealanders, musician Bret Mackenzie and actor Jemaine Clement, formed the duo Flight of the Conchords. In 2004, BBC 1 began airing their radio show. And in 2007 it was transformed into an HBO series. At the same time, both productions tell about the fictional story of two New Zealand musician friends who are trying to conquer New York with their group. Flight of the Conchords brings together the same eclectic set of tracks featured on the HBO series. There was a place for both acoustic folk and hip-hop. Each song has its own story. For example, the romantic composition "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room" talks about how Clement's character falls in love with a girl at a party. Such a set running in a row may indicate the work of some kind of inflamed, or even a brilliant comedic mind. After all, genres are interspersed simply with kaleidoscopic speed. Interestingly, Clement and Mackenzie turned out to be good melodists - each song stays in memory for a long time. And the series itself remained in the history of the 2000s, as almost the funniest. The music also contributed a lot to this.
Jon Lajoie "You Want Some of This?", 2009. Canadian comedian John Lajoie has become famous thanks to his Internet channel on YouTube. But virtual life did not prevent him from recording a very real album, which began to be sold using iTunes. It is not hard to guess that the album includes the songs that sound in the commercials with the comedian. It turned out that they look good even without a visual image. Lajua himself performs songs on behalf of various characters. It can be either an ordinary guy or a man-housewife who has to take care of children. The performer uses the clichés of commercial pop music with might and main, resorting to radio ballads, or to club hip-hop. The most valuable thing about Lajhois is his intonation. The comedian manages to deliver jokes subtly, but at the same time not pretending that something funny is happening. Lajua fully gets used to the role, making fun of his character. Today, there are many artists on YouTube who perform and film funny songs. But someone has a bad video sequence, and someone suffers from a lack of good songs. Lajois was able to overcome these problems, being the best of the Internet comedians of our time.
Reggie Watts "Why $ #! + So Crazy?", 2010. Our list includes the only classic stand-up comedian - Reggie Waters. This black man with lush hair and a slightly wild look in his performances actively used music and read his comic freestyle to the beat created on the spot. The audio version of his performance was transformed into the album "Why $ #! + So Crazy?", Released by Comedy Central.Isn't it a music album? It is impossible to analyze in detail Watts' humor. He looks at his genre like Andy Kaufman from hip-hop, perceiving it as contemporary art. Watts collects entire compositions with his voice, diluting them with jokes and confused freestyle. And even if the meaning is not very clear, but it's funny. And the most valuable thing is that the album turned out to be not only funny, but also quite high-quality hip-hop product. And even if almost all the music here is in fact the voice of the performer himself, but he is a first-class beatboxer. Reggie Watts was able to bring music and stand-up together. He did it in a completely different way, like all other representatives of the list. Even Brian Eno spoke respectfully of Watts's music, and he himself performed in one of LCD Soundsystem's farewell concerts, which helped him get into the film "Shut Up and Play the Hits".
Jimmy Fallon "Blow Your Pants Off", 2012. This performer is the most famous host of evening shows in America. In his show, Fallon sang with Barack Obama and danced with his wife Michelle. These numbers are not on the album, but there was a place for duets with Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake, who also visited Fallon. Today it is clear that a good host of an evening show must be a jack of all trades, as if it were a Renaissance creator. Likewise, Fallon is a journalist, comedian, musician and actor, while retaining a benevolent "her boyfriend" image. After all, this is the only way to win over not only the audience, but also the star guests. It is no coincidence that the album "Blow Your Pants Off", although it looks like a friendly skit, in which world stars took part, who are not afraid to joke with themselves, sounds quite professional. And the host of the show alone performs well, mostly working in the parody genre. One of the songs shows how Bob Dylan would perform the title track of Charles in Charge. Now is the golden age for evening shows in America. After all, before it was generally difficult to imagine that the president of the country would appear in such a program, and even in a comedy number. Musical accompaniment plays an important role here.
The Lonely Island "The Wack Album", 2013. Three friends from Saturday Night Live got together in the same troupe in 2001. However, they were able to truly become famous only in the late 2000s. YouTube helped in this and the final legitimization of new pop music. The Lonely Island has taken all the main finds and clichés of recent mainstream music, from club anthems to hip-hip, making extremely funny songs based on this material. Some are quite smart, although there are also vulgar ones. The trio are not only distinguished by their humor, they employ the most real music producers. And thanks to the connections in the comedy world, it is possible to shoot high-quality videos. In addition, many star guests appear in these songs. So, in "The Wack Album" there was a place for Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and many others. Although the band is initially humorous, they are great in their musical form. The most stupid songs, for example, about the mayor of New York or even about group sex, for some reason even want to sing along. Only humor justifies such songs. After all, if they were serious, then listening to such sounds and such texts would be simply ashamed. How can you take the semicolon anthem seriously? Many people think that the previous album, Turtleneck & Chain, was even better. However, with the help of "The Wack Album", the group's position as the main pop comedy group of today has only been strengthened.