July 22, 2014

"With the BLACK ALBUM, we get to hear the boys write on adult life: marriage, fatherhood..."

"... sobriety, spiritual yearning, the emptiness of material success — 'Starting Over,' 'Maybe I’m Amazed,' 'Beautiful Boy,' 'The No No Song,' 'God' — and still they are keenly aware of this fact: Love does not last."

From the liner notes, by Ethan Hawke for the post-Beatles Beatles album constructed out of the solo effort of the post-boy boys. Scroll way down to see the 50 songs and the order in which they will be played.

Is "The No No Song" about "the emptiness of material success"? Just say "no" to... everything?



Nah, it's a sobriety song. And it was years before the "Just Say No" ad campaign that linked the word "no" to Nancy Reagan.
The phrase "Just Say No" first emerged when Nancy Reagan was visiting Longfellow Elementary School in Oakland, California, in 1982 and was asked by a schoolgirl what to do if she was offered drugs. The first lady responded by saying, "Just say no." Just Say No club organizations within schools and school-run anti-drug programs soon became common, in which young people make pacts not to experiment with drugs.
"No" was once a Ringo word, especially when repeated. But maybe you, like me, associate the repeated "no" with The Human Beinz. What were they "no"ing?



That "no" is about rejecting the capacity of others to turn in a superior performance of the shingaling and the boogaloo.

And, no no no, don't accuse me of failing to notice The Isley Brothers. Their original "Nobody But Me" did not include the repeated "no." The absurd non-negative "no"ing was the contribution of The Human Beinz:



"The recording's two 31-fold repetitions of the word 'no; fulfill Casey Kasem's 'Book of Records' category of most repetitive word or phrase in a Hot 100 top 10 hit, besting the 26-fold repetition of 'I know' in Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine.'"



"Know"/"No"... a telling homophone... as The Beatles knew:

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

No songs from Klaatu? Must've bought into the denial.

surfed said...

My off asked query - why do the coolest songs always have Rics in them?

Roger Sweeny said...

One of my favorite Sesame Street songs: "No no no no no no no, and the word is no."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyupP2LxbZI

surfed said...

"No, no, no, it ain't me babe..."

surfed said...


"It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, son
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, one
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no, no, no
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate son, no, no, no"

SJ said...

"... sobriety, spiritual yearning, the emptiness of material success — 'Starting Over,' 'Maybe I’m Amazed,' 'Beautiful Boy,' 'The No No Song,' 'God' — and still they are keenly aware of this fact: Love does not last."

[Sarcasm]
Does that mean they quit Rock-n-Roll and started writing Country?
[/Sarcasm]

surfed said...

Somebody stop me. Please.

rhhardin said...

I remember the cartoon as a b/w Steinberg creation.

The Crack Emcee said...

1) I don't need to to hear anything by "The Boys" again. Still like Ringo, though.

2) I didn't look but, since this is a racist white country, I'm pretty sure this didn't make the list, because - as we all know - Rap ain't music.

3) Prince already did The Black Album - the single was "Bob George".

And BTW - for someone who can't stand TV dinners, you sure eat enough of them motherfuckers,...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Spinal Tap did "The Black Album" long before Prince, Crack.

Stephen said...

Actually there is a passage in The Isleys' Nobody But Me with a repeated No, No, no at 1:30-1:40 of the song.

Stephen said...

I very inexact count suggest The Isley's repeated no at least 40 times in a row, probably more

St. George said...

No "Instant Karma"?

jr565 said...

Crack Emcee wrote:

3) Prince already did The Black Album - the single was "Bob George".

So did Metallica. So did Spinal Tap.

jr565 said...

Crack Emcee wrote:

3) Prince already did The Black Album - the single was "Bob George".

So did Metallica. So did Spinal Tap.

Ann Althouse said...

"Actually there is a passage in The Isleys' Nobody But Me with a repeated No, No, no at 1:30-1:40 of the song."

Hey, you're right. I didn't listen all the way through. As for Casey Kassem, I guess the Isleys didn't make the top 10 with this.

jr565 said...

Ethan didn't include the song Woman by Lennon? maybe the most gorgeous song he wrote as a solo artist (in terms of lushness).
Also, where's Cold Turkey?

jr565 said...

WHoops, in re reading Disk 1 it looks like Woman did make the cut. Sorry, Ethan.

The Crack Emcee said...

Spinal Tap?

Really?

Whites must be getting desperate for recognition,...

Nichevo said...

Desperate for recognition? Crack, tu me fais chire. If you can do anything as good as that piece by Bill Withers, post us a link and I'll recognize that.

Sadly this is an old thread so you'll probably never read this and I'll probably never see the reply, but if you do, just put that link up on the latest read and maybe I'll catch it.