Walk the Dinosaur

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"Walk the Dinosaur"
Single by Was (Not Was)
from the album What Up, Dog?
Released September 1987
Genre Funk[1]
Length 4:22
Label Chrysalis Records (US)
Fontana/Phonogram (UK)
Writer(s) David Was, Don Was, Randy Jacobs
Producer(s) David Was, Don Was (1987 version)
Cool & Dre (2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs version)
Was (Not Was) singles chronology
"Spy in the House of Love"
"Walk the Dinosaur"
"The Boy's Gone Crazy"

"Walk the Dinosaur" is a hit single recorded and released by the band Was (Not Was) in 1987, later featured on their hit 1988 album, What Up, Dog?.

Song info[edit]

The song features a tight, funky sound, punctuated by horns and cowbell, along with what sounds like cavepeople chanting in the background, while the lyrics relate to nuclear Armageddon.

According to an interview with co-writer Randy Jacobs: it "was an infectious sing-along with a Flintstonesque video that probably got played on MTV way too much. But even that seemingly good-time anthem had a dark side.

The song’s about nuclear Armageddon, Jacobs says. "It became a dance because of the video. They connected it with the girls in the little Pebbles and Bam-Bam outfits. All the sudden it became, like, ‘do the mashed potato’ or ‘the twist.’”[2]

When released in the UK in 1987, the song reached no. 10 on the charts, becoming the group's first Top 10 hit there. After the music video---which featured four scantily clad cavewomen dancing to the song, a Flintstones-style TV playing clips from Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur, and then modern people dancing to the song in the "Everybody kill the dinosaur" part---received heavy rotation on MTV, the song reached no. 7 on the U.S. chart in 1989, two years after its UK success. The song is the biggest hit single for the band in their home country.

In popular culture[edit]

George Clinton recorded a cover of "Walk the Dinosaur" for the 1993 film Super Mario Bros., with slightly modified lyrics to reference the film.

This song appeared on the soundtrack of the 1994 film The Flintstones.[3]

This song appeared on the trailer of the 1995 film Theodore Rex.

This song appeared on the TV spot of the 2000 film Dinosaur.

"Walk the Dinosaur" featured in the soundtrack of 1989 film The Dream Team.

Queen Latifah recorded a version of the song for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. The lyric "slave" was replaced in her version with "friend" to make the song more family-friendly. However, It was not included on the official soundtrack. It was produced by Cool & Dre.

Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the song at No. 61 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, warning the listeners to look out for a meteor, followed up with a "Boom! Boom! Aka-lacka-lacka-boom!" and the exaltation that the song "is knocked into extinction. Our ears are saved!"[4]

In 2011, a cover of Walk the Dinosaur was included in the animatronic show at Chuck E. Cheese's[clarification needed]. The band members poked fun at the ambiguity of the name Was (Not Was).

As of February 2012, the song can be heard in the prehistoric area of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. As well, a snippet of the tune can be heard during the Electrical Water Pageant float parade at Walt Disney World Resort in the Seven Seas Lagoon.

The song was featured in the cancelled Saints Row: Enter the Dominatrix, played as the protagonist leads an army of talking alien velociraptors against an alien dominatrix. The playable segment was included as part of the first DLC episode for Saints Row IV.

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. p. 3810. [Was (Not Was)] international breakthrough came several years later with the sublime funk of the US/UK Top 10 hit 'Walk The Dinosaur'. 
  2. ^ Bowe, Brian J. (December 29, 2004). "Out come the freaks". Metro Times. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  3. ^ Demalon, Tom. "Original Soundtrack – The Flintstones [Original Soundtrack]". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (September 11, 2010). "100 Worst Songs Ever -- Part Two of Five". AOL Radio. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  7. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30 : 21 november 1987" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 50, No. 1, May 01 1989". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Retail Sales – Volume 50, No. 2, May 08 1989". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Lescharts.com – Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  11. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Walk the Dinosaur". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  13. ^ "Indice per Interprete: W" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Was (Not Was) - Walk The Dinosaur search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  16. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  17. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur". VG-lista. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  18. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (W)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Was (Not Was) – Walk The Dinosaur". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  20. ^ "Archive Chart: 1987-10-31" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  21. ^ a b c d "What Up Dog – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  22. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending APRIL 1, 1989 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 7, 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  23. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 51, No. 8, December 23 1989". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 19, 2014.