Do The Bartman and The Simpsons Sing The Blues

If you were born in the mid 80s or earlier you probably remember Do The Bartman.  In 1991 the song hit #1 on the Australian charts, a result mirroed in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Norway.  It was a victory for both The Simpsons and eight year old me, who couldn’t get enough of it.  It even went gold in the UK, selling over 400,000 copies.  Interestingly, it only reached #24 in the US.

What wasn’t widely known at the time was that Do The Bartman was co-written by Michael Jackson.  It was hush-hushed because Jackson had a contract with Epic (a subsidiary of Sony) and could not be credited because the song was released by Geffen (a subsidiary of Universal).  A similar situation occurred in the Season 3 Simpsons episode Stark Raving Dad, where Jackson is credited as “John Jay Smith” for his role as mental patient and Jackson impersonator Leon Kompowsky.  The truth about Bartman was revealed years later by Simpsons creator Matt Groening, but remains a not particularly widely known fact.  Have a listen.  Seems rather obvious now, doesn’t it?

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Due to YouTube copyright restrictions the original Do The Bartman video is currently unavailable for viewing.  You can however, watch it in mirror image form via a great mashup version (thanks to JMixerProductionz) mixed with the Casino Night Zone music from Sonic The Hedgehog 2, a good tune in its own right.  Co-incidentally, Jackson also composed uncredited music for Sonic, albeit the third game, but that’s another story for another post.

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Do The Bartman is the opening track on the album The Simpsons Sing The Blues, one of the first albums I remember owning (the other being Puff The Magic Dragon and other Songs).  I taped it from the kid who lived across the road and listened to it incessantly for months.  I wore out the cassette and pestered my mother into buying me the CD.  I was able to recite the lyrics to the album’s second single Deep, Deep Trouble in their entirety.  If you asked me to recite them right now I’m confident I could still rap out the majority of the song.  Deep, Deep Trouble is credited as being written by Groening himself and features DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (yep, Will Smith).

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Other highlights include Homer’s moaning cover of Albert King’s Born Under a Bad Sign (featuring B.B. King on guitar) and the hilarious, surprisingly funky Mr Burns number, Look At All Those Idiots.

When I was fourteen or fifteen I eventually traded the CD to an older kid on the school bus for a copy of What’s The Story Morning Glory by Oasis.  I never regretted the trade because I loved Oasis at the time, but as soon as I handed over the CD, this guy (his name was Shannon, he was short and fat and looked like a girl) laughed and called me a fool, as apparently The Simpsons Sing The Blues was ultra rare and long out of print and he knew a guy who had paid three hundred dollars for it.  I went home and looked at a relatively new online auction site called ebay and saw about twenty copies selling for no more than ten dollars each.

Twenty years on from the home taped cassette, things have come full circle.  I just got another copy of The Simpsons Sing The Blues, this time on record (for eighteen dollars, postage paid from the UK).  And here’s a copy for everyone to download (for free) and enjoy.

(Make sure you scan the file before unzipping as I’m not hosting it.  I can confirm it’s virus free as of publishing date though.  Thanks to goldenhymn for the link.)

About Sheamus

Cluster of particles on a rock drifting in a cloud of matter.
This entry was posted in film / television, music and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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