The Analog Kid’s iTunes music folder contains over 84,000 songs, so you may think that I own everything by everybody. Not so fast, my friends– even a collection that large is bound to have some true one-hit wonders and/or obscurities mixed in with the 1,200+ Elvis Costello songs. In this continuing series, I will feature an artist that has exactly one song in my entire library.
After all, one is the loneliest number…
John Kongos: “He’s Gonna Step On You Again” (Kongos/Demetriou)
From the album Kongos
Fly Records, 1971
I’ll be honest: I didn’t even know that the Happy Mondays’ “Step On” was a cover song until about ten years ago. That’s when I purchased Rhino’s Super Hits Of The ’70s: Have A Nice Day, Volume 6, and proceeded to have my mind blown when John Kongos’ amazing original version first blasted out of my speakers.
My first exposure to “He’s Gonna Step On You Again” produced a multitude of reactions:
AWE : “Holy shit, this song is unbelievable. This came out in 1971? No $#@&ing way!”
BEMUSEMENT : “How have I never heard this before? What kind of a music junkie am I, anyways?”
EMBARRASSMENT : “I gave the Happy Mondays waaaaaayyyyy too much credit back in 1990.”
I suppose the fact that I had never heard of South African John Kongos until about ten years ago can be forgiven– after all, “He’s Gonna Step On You Again” barely scraped the bottom of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. I was also only four years old when it was released, and Kongos’ inventive use of taped drums loops was just a little bit more advanced than my current jam at the time:
Still, the song was a huge hit in the UK and was clearly quite an influential track. I should have known about it, and today I have made sure that YOU know about it.
You know what else really twists my melon, man? The fact that I have yet to acquire any more original Kongos material, but yet somehow own another Happy Mondays Kongos cover (“Tokoloshe Man,” from Rubáiyát: Elektra’s 40th Anniversary). I’ve been looking for the Kongos album on vinyl for years, but the only actual copy I’ve ever found was so mangled that it was virtually unplayable. I almost bought it anyways out of pure respect for greatness.
Someday, it will be mine. Oh yes– it will be mine…
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Happy Mondays: “Step On” (Kongos/Demetriou)
From the album Pills ‘N Thrills And Bellyaches
Factory Records, 1990
Happy Mondays: “Tokoloshe Man” (Kongos)
From the album Rubáiyát: Elektra’s 40th Anniversary
Elektra Records, 1990
Phil Harris & Bruce Reitherman: “The Bare Necessities” (Gilkyson)
From the album The Jungle Book
Disneyland Records, 1967
The phrase “twistin’ my melon, man” has been spoken so many times in this house that I’d forgotten where we first heard it. Now I have to buy not only the original but also the cover.