| April 1980|
The Good Earth
| 1979 at Vanguard Studios, New York, United States|
Bill Million, Glenn Mercer, Mark Abel
Rock music, Post-punk, New wave, Jangle pop
The Feelies albums, Post-punk albums
Crazy Rhythms is the debut studio album by American rock band The Feelies. It was released in April 1980, through record label Stiff. Its fusion of post-punk and jangle pop was influential on the forthcoming alternative rock genre, with R.E.M. among others citing the album as an influence. Although it was not commercially successful initially, it has remained critically lauded in the decades since its release.
On the album, band member Glenn Mercer has said "The sound we were after was a reaction against the punk scene [...] Being a little older, we felt it had all been done before. We wanted the guitars to be cleaner, and we started experimenting with a lot of percussion."
Although not commercially popular upon release, Crazy Rhythms was a critical success, coming in a number 17 in the Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll, beating out such notable critics' favorites as David Bowie's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), Joy Division's Closer, The Rolling Stones's Emotional Rescue and The Specials' debut album. David Hepworth, in Smash Hits, wrote that the band "have the power to really draw you into their strange little suburban world."
In their retrospective review, The Guardian called Crazy Rhythms "one of those albums during whose course you hear the most exciting sound in music: things changing." Rolling Stone branded it "a landmark of jangly, guitar-driven avant-pop, and its shimmersing sound can still be heard in bands like R.E.M.." PopMatters wrote that the album "stands as a wildly inventive and influential record that stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the best music of the American post-punk era. With their very first album, The Feelies managed to speak directly to the zeitgeist of the American independent underground without becoming overexposed or repetitive." Tiny Mix Tapes wrote, "Crazy Rhythms, released in April 1980 amongst a veritable shitstorm of like-minded groups, stands grinning madly at the top of the pile – a shining monument to new wave at its quirky best."
Crazy Rhythms was ranked number 49 in Rolling Stone's list of the 100 best albums of the 1980s, and number 69 on Pitchfork Media's list.
In September 2009 the album was performed live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series.
All tracks written by Bill Million and Glenn Mercer, except as indicated.
The first release on CD was in Germany and the United States in 1986. A&M Records released the album on CD in 1990 with a bonus track, a cover of The Rolling Stones' "Paint It, Black". The track was recorded in 1990 without Fier or DeNunzio.
Bar/None Records reissued Crazy Rhythms on 8 September 2009, while Domino Records reissued the album outside of the U.S. and Canada.Anton Fier – drums, tom-toms, pipe, cowbell (except on "Paint It Black")
Stanley Demeski – drums on "Paint It Black"
Glenn Mercer – lead, rhythm, 12-string and bowed guitars; vocals; keyboards; temple block; shaker; claves; maracas; bell; castanets; reverbed sticks; shoes; drums; coat rack
Bill Million – lead, rhythm, and acoustic guitars; vocals; timbales; sandpaper; claves; can; tom-tom; snare; cowbell; shaker; shoes, temple blocks; tambourine; boxes; and bells
Keith De Nunzio – bass guitar, snare drum, tom-toms, wood block, pipe, bell, and background vocals (except on "Paint It Black")
Brenda Sauter – bass guitar, background vocals on "Paint It Black"
Dave Weckerman – percussion on "Paint It Black"
1The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness5:10Crazy Rhythms Wikipedia