62: Gordon (Barenaked Ladies)

Album: Gordon
Artist: Barenaked Ladies
Year: 1992

1. Hello City
2. Enid
3. Grade 9
4. Brian Wilson
5. Be My Yoko Ono
6. Wrap Your Arms Around Me
7. What a Good Boy
8. The King of Bedside Manor
9. Box Set
10. I Love You
11. New Kid (On the Block)
12. Blame It on Me
13. The Flag
14. If I had $1000000
15. Crazy

An extremely talented group that never really could gain any steam in America despite having a #1 hit, the Barenaked Ladies are a great mixture of creative (but mostly not kitschy) lyrics and harmonies. Their debut album Gordon shows of their talents very well, if also their weaknesses.

The album starts out with a bang, with Hello City, upbeat and you can sing along to it before it’s even over. Enid has some amazing harmonies, perhaps the best BNL has ever had. Grade 9 is a pitch perfect explanation of what it’s like to be fifteen years old, and then we get to their magnum opus, Brian Wilson. It’s catchy, it’s sad (mostly about Brian’s life going in the shitter), and it’s a great tribute to the Beach Boys front man. While some worried that Brian Wilson would react negatively to the song, he loved it and even covered the song and sang it with BNL. It’s one of their songs that is even better live.

Be My Yoko Ono is catchy but the not-so-subtle insult to John Lennon gets old after a while. Other highlights are What a Good Boy (about parents living vicariously through their children), Box Set (about a band that sells out and releases a you know what), and The Flag (about spousal abuse).

Their most recognizable song, If I had $1000000 is also here. I thought it was hilarious when I first heard it, but it gets old really fast, and if I never listen to again I’ll be okay with that.

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10 thoughts on “62: Gordon (Barenaked Ladies)

  1. Just a fantabulous BNL album. Have it, love it, listen to it regularly. It causes a lot of mood swings with the variety of song topics. It’s a distant cry from the crappy albums they’ve been putting out recently.

    • Okay, done. Some interesting versions, but for the most part I just kept wishing I was listening to the studio versions. I think you’ve always liked acoustic more than me, though.

      • Ya. Love me good acoustic. I’m sure some of them took a few takes (outtakes suggest that), but always impressed when people sound just as good live.

        I figured you would like the $1,000,000 considering your thoughts of it now. They also took the other one I’m sick of (One Week) and made that funny again. “Some Fantastic” was done very well.

  2. huh, I only have Bare Naked Ladies Greatest Hits, which I listen to now and then, and it includes If I had $1000000 . . . I’m still not tired of hearing that song, maybe because I only listen to BNL occasionally?

  3. If you called our local radio station back where I grew up and requested anything that was “hard rock” or even too “alternative” they would almost always reply with “Great band, don’t have ’em.”

    BNL is in that file for me. I enjoyed a lot of what they put out when it was getting radio play, but never made the leap to owning an album. So maybe it’s partly my fault they never caught on in the states?

    sorry.

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