Parodies’ Paradise: 1991 “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Seattle’s grunge inventors Nirvana dropped this opening track and lead single from their second album… it propelled Nevermind to the top of the charts… marked as the point where alternative rock entered the mainstream… their biggest hit… reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100… high on music industry charts all around the world in 1991 and 1992… topped the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics’ poll… won two MTV Video Music Awards for its music video… dubbed an “anthem for apathetic kids” of Generation X… one of the greatest songs in the history of rock music.

Chris Townsend does his annual bit with “Christmas Parody of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.'” Spirited.

Selahattin Yilmaz has posted a fragment of a nice parody, “Smells Like Christmas Spirit.” More would be better.

Jars of Clay makes the TD with “Smells Like Rudolph.” I’m here to introduce previously unmentioned pariodies, yet i’ve mentioned this one before. It’s so good i have to break rules and mention it again. Bangin’ cool.

Parodies’ Paradise: 1991 “Baby Got Back”

Sir Mix-a-Lot caused controversy with his outspoken and blatantly sexual lyrics about women… debuted at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100… hit number one twelve weeks later… spent five weeks at the top of the chart… the video was briefly banned by MTV… the second best-selling song in the US in 1992… sales of 2,392,000 physical copies that year… 2008, it was ranked number 17 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

Christopher ‘The Notorious’ Barnes (Southern California’s Greatest Kids’ Magician) has a little “Santa Got Back” to get you in the giving mood.

Duncan G w/Brian get funky with “Santa Got Gifts.” Look at that package!

Parodies’ Paradise: 1990 “Ice Ice Baby”

Vanilla Ices’ best know song was the B-side to his cover of “Play That Funky Music” (not initially successful). Disc jockey David Morales played it to success: the first hip hop single to top the Billboard Hot 100… topped the charts in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom… came in fifth in VH1 and Blenders 2004 list of the ’50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever.’

ApologetiX goes secular with a under-weatherized stranded car during a shopping spree (prayers resulting) in “Nice Iced Pavement.” Where’s the Christ, y’all?

Parodies’ Paradise: 1990 “U Can’t Touch This”

MC Hammer’s signature song was the winner of the Best R&B Song and a Best Rap Solo Performance and the first rap song to be nominated for Record of the Year at the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards in 1991… and won the Best Rap Video and Best Dance Video at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards… peaked at number one in the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks and on the charts in several countries… hit no. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100… In 1999, MTV’s 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made ranked it at No. 71… October 2000, VH1’s “100 Greatest Dance Songs” rated it at No. 88… May 2001, VH1’s 100 Greatest Videos included it at No. 59… certified gold by 2008.

The Mistletones cover this comically with “Can’t Wrap This.” Pretty. Perhaps too pretty.

Leight Press has gotten most of the mileage from a masterful parody video by someone else. “Can’t Wrap This!” This one’s a keeper.


Parodies’ Paradise: 1989 “Rockin’ in a Free World”

Neil Young dropped this off his 1989 album Freedom… the lyrics criticized the George H. W. Bush administration… became the de facto anthem of the collapse of communism…  rated number 216 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Chris Townsend’s annual Xmas exacta knife humor revisits this tough time with “Keep on Shopping’ in a Free World.” Yeah, it’s mad about materialism.

Parodies’ Paradise: 1989 “Love Shack”

B-52s had their biggest hit and first million-copy seller with this song…  their first song to reach the Billboard Top 40 charts…  peaking at number 3… also reaching number 2 on the UK Singles Chart… and number 1 for eight weeks in Australia… number 1 for 4 weeks in New Zealand… number 1 in the Republic of Ireland… number 1 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart… named as one of the 365 Songs of the Century in 2001… named the Best Single of 1989 by Rolling Stone… ranked #246 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Bob Rivers gets on board with “Toy Sack.”

As do The Mistletones with–ahem–“Toy Sack.” They’re lyrically diffie, i swear (mostly).

Parodies’ Paradise: 1989 “We Didn’t Start the Fire”

Billy Joel’s instanthem hit #1 US Billboard Hot 100… #2 Australia, Canada… #3 Ireland… #4 Germany… #7 Austria, UK… as a fun cultural puzzle, its lyrics included brief, rapid-fire allusions to more than 100 headline events between 1949, the year of Joel’s birth, and 1989… its album Storm Front was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

Not an easy parody, but when you are as devoted as ApologetiX “We Didn’t Start Messiah” writes itself.

Parodies’ Paradise: 1988 “Wild Thing”

Tone Lōc’s song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in… spawned at least two parodies (by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, called ‘Isle Thing,’ about Gilligan’s Island and was Yankovic’s first rap parody, and by Christian band ApologetiX, called ‘Child King’)… eventually sold over two million copies… peaked at number 21 on the UK Singles Chart.

Not too many of these parodies get the Wikipedia nod. Go ApologetiX. Go “Child King.”

Parodies’ Paradise: 1988 “Desire”

U2’s first number-one single in the UK and Australia… reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S… topped both the Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts (the first song to reach the top of both of these charts simultaneously)… reached number two on the Dutch Top 40… won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

“Messiah” by ApologetiX almost loses its meaningfulness in the balls out R+B.

Parodies’ Paradise: 1988 “The Man in the Mirror”

Michael Jackson peaked at number 1 in the United States with the fourth single from his seventh solo album, Bad (1987)…  nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards… topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks… peaked at number 21 in the UK Singles Charts (in 2009, following the news of Jackson’s death, the song peaked at number 2)… became the number 1 single in iTunes downloads in the US and the UK (over 1.3 million digital copies).

The Mistletones worry about your celebrational culinary decisions around this time of the year with “Fat in the Mirror.” Quit eating out of the bottom of the barrel.