Ebeneezer Goode

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"Ebeneezer Goode"
Single by The Shamen
from the album Boss Drum
Released September 1992
Format Multiple
Genre Rave, techno
Length 3:53 (beat edit)
Label One Little Indian
The Shamen singles chronology
"LSI (Love Sex Intelligence)"
(1992)
"Ebeneezer Goode"
(1992)
"Boss Drum"
(1992)

"Ebeneezer Goode" is a song by British electronic music group The Shamen, which, after being heavily remixed by The Beatmasters, became their biggest hit when released as a single in September 1992. The band's original version also featured on the vinyl edition of their album Boss Drum. "Ebeneezer Goode" was one of the most controversial UK number-one hits of the 1990s, due to its perceived oblique endorsement of recreational drug use. The song was initially banned by the BBC. It has been claimed that the single was eventually withdrawn after the band were hounded by the British tabloid press,[1] though according to The Shamen themselves, it was deleted while at Number 1 due to its long chart run 'messing up our release schedule'.[2]

Lyrics[edit]

The song is best known for its chorus, "'Eezer Goode, 'Eezer Goode / He's Ebeneezer Goode", the first part of which is audibly identical to, "Es are good" – 'E' being common slang for the drug ecstasy.[1] However, 'E' is also sung many other times during the song, ostensibly as 'e (i.e. he), such as in "E's sublime, E makes you feel fine".[2] The lyrics allude to the advantages of the drug, though with an admonition against excessive use:

The song also contains references to rolling a joint with the lines, "Has anybody got any Veras?" ("Vera Lynns" being rhyming slang for "skins" or rolling papers) and "Got any salmon?" ("salmon and trout" being rhyming slang for "snout" or tobacco).

The "A great philosopher once wrote.." sample at the start of the song is Malcolm McDowell from Lindsay Anderson's 1973 film O Lucky Man!

Music video[edit]

The video consisted of club scenes intermixed with a caped man (played by Jerry Sadowitz) running round a wasteland. Because of flashing images in the video, some music channels include epilepsy warnings over the video. Some channels, including VH1, edit the video to reduce the frame rate of these scenes which deletes each bright frame.

The music video was played in episode 3, season 4 of Beavis and Butt-head, "Kidnapped".

Performance on Top of the Pops[edit]

When the Shamen appeared on Top of the Pops, it was expected that Mr C should tone down the song due to its being broadcast. The group replaced the final lyric "Got any Salmon?" with "Has anyone got any underlay?" He was later asked about this in a radio interview, to which he replied that it was not a drug reference but a rug reference.[2][3]

Chart performance[edit]

The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number six in September 1992, before climbing to number one two weeks later (ironically during the BBC's drug awareness week), staying there for four weeks.[4] It was the 13th biggest selling single of 1992, selling 278,000 copies. It is the group's biggest seller.

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Rhythm is a Dancer" by Snap!
UK number-one single
20 September 1992 - 10 October 1992 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Sleeping Satellite" by Tasmin Archer
Irish IRMA number-one single
2 October 1992 - 8 October 1992 (1 week)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Top of the Pops 2 - Top 5 Drug Songs". BBC. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  2. ^ a b c Interviews by Dave Simpson. "How we made ... Ebeneezer Goode by the Shamen". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  3. ^ Bussmann, Jane: Once In A Lifetime: The Crazy Days of Acid House (ISBN 0-7535-0260-7)
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 544–5. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g ""Ebeneezer Goode" in various singles charts". lescharts. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 45, 1987". Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  7. ^ "The Shamen singles, German Singles Chart" (in German). musicline. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Irish Single Chart, database". irishcharts. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  9. ^ ""Ebeneezer Goode", UK Singles Chart". chartstats. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "UK certifications, database". Bpi. Retrieved 11 April 2010.