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Fishbone 101 - Nuttasaurusmeg Fossil Fuelin' the Fonkay

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iTunes Review

In this two-disc retrospective of Fishbone’s career, the first part contains a fairly standard program of Fishbone’s greatest hits. Here we watch the group transform from the uproarious ska jesters of “Ugly” to the monstrously heavy funk band of “Sunless Saturday.” What remained unchanged throughout Fishbone's career was its commitment to merriment and unpredictability. This is part of why the second disc—with demos, B-sides, and other lost recordings—feels just as essential as the songs from the first. Making sure everything had a slightly cacophonous, improvisatory feel was central to Fishbone’s mission. “Pink Vapor Stew” is recognizable as a protean version of “Party at Ground Zero,” while “Alcoholic” was later rerecorded for 1996’s overlooked Chim-Chim’s Badass Revenge. New and old fans alike should delight in true oddities such as “Slick Nick, You Devil You,” “Mister Zero," and an epic cover of Parliament’s “The Goose.” Lest anyone assume this band was nothing but manic energy and silliness, listen to “What Have I Done,” a mournful reading of a timeless reggae rhythm.

Customer Reviews

Slice of History

Owning this compilation is essential to digital collecting. I own all of these tracks on vinyl, and have been painstakingly transferring my vinyl to digital for years. But the ability to get all of this music without the pop and sizzle of my turntable is completely excellent. It is a choice of Fishbone tunes that shows a true understanding of what this band was all about. They didn't have hit-after-hit type of s___ going down, so the tunes have to represent the talent of this always under-recognized band. And they do represent. Fishbone is a band that was way outside their own time. I can't simply say 'ahead of their time' because their music was bigger than that. They were as much about what came before them as they were about the future, and in that way they defined a specific era in music that, in terms of tenacity, message, and energy, will rarely be repeated. They were the band that other bands went out to see. I have never seen so much electricity and fierceness in any punk-funk-rock-jazz show as the Fishbone shows at the 9:30 Club in the early 80's. And when I saw them two decades later in Santa Cruz, the talent and intensity hadn't diminished a bit. Altogether, dozens of shows later, I cannot offer them enough respect. Without this in your collection you do not have a collection.

a touch of genius

Fishbone is one of the most cutting-edge groups from my youth, second to none. From going to early shows in '86 at Fenders Ballroom until now, they still bring the magic and genius that only a Fishbone show can provide. As a fan from back in the day, I recommend this compilation as a must-have for new fans!

this is a good funk album

but I bought it just cause I love the song "sunless saturday" that song gets the 5 stars.


Formed: 1979 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining equal parts of deep funk, high-energy punk, and frantic ska, the Los Angeles-based Fishbone was one of the most distinctive and eclectic alternative rock bands of the late '80s. With their hyperactive, self-conscious diversity, goofy sense of humor, and sharp social commentary, the group gained a sizable cult following during the late '80s, yet they were never able to earn a mainstream audience. Led by vocalist/saxophonist Angelo Moore, the band formed in 1979 while the members were still...
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