88 Lines About 44 Women

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"88 Lines About 44 Women"
88 The Nails.jpeg
Single by The Nails
from the EP Hotel for Women
  • "Reel World (Beat Boys & B Girls)"[1]
  • "Dark Brown"[2]
  • "Things You Left Behind"[3]
Released 1982
Format 7-inch record
Genre New wave
Length 4:47
Label Jimboco
Composer(s) David Kaufman
Lyricist(s) Marc Campbell
Producer(s) The Nails
The Nails singles chronology
"Young and Wild/Transcontinental Ska"
"88 Lines About 44 Women"
"Let It All Hang Out/Phantom Heart"

"88 Lines About 44 Women" is a song by the new wave band the Nails. Recorded for their 1981 EP Hotel for Women. They re-recorded the song and released it on the band's 1984 album Mood Swing. Along with the track "Let It All Hang Out", "88 Lines About 44 Women" peaked at number 46 on the US dance chart in March 1985.[4]

Background and recording[edit]

Marc Campbell and David Kaufman of The Nails wrote "88 Lines About 44 Women" in a Manhattan loft.[5] The rhythm track on the song was a preprogrammed track on Kaufman's Casio keyboard.[5]

The lyrics, written by Campbell, describe 44 different women, their habits, and their personalities. Campbell wrote the lyrics to the song [6]and has explained that "[s]ome of the women [referenced in the song] are real, some are made up."[5] Much of the song was inspired by women the group had encountered while moving from Boulder, Colorado to New York City.[6] He wrote the full lyrics in two hours on a manual typewriter, and the band recorded it the next day. The Nails never produced a music video for "88 Lines About 44 Women."[5]

Release history[edit]

The song was initially released in 1981 as side 1 of the EP, Hotel for Women; it was later re-recorded for the group's 1984 debut album "Mood Swing". The earlier version contained minimal production, a drum machine, and a single droning synthesizer; the later version contained more instrumentation and processing.[6] Some copies of the 7" original version included an "X-rated" version in addition to the radio edit.[7] Both "88 Lines" and its B-side were digitally remastered and appear on the extended Hotel for Women CD, released in November 2009.

Critical reception[edit]

The song has received positive critical reaction. Heather Phares, writing for AllMusic, praised the song's "deadpan" delivery, and calling the song "a portrait of the counterculture in the late '70s and early '80s."[6] The song was included on a list 10,001 Songs You Must Download Before You Die in the book 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die.[8]

Media usage and litigation[edit]

The song has been included on many compilations, including "Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's",[9] "Richard Blade's Flashback Favorites", and "Living in Oblivion: The '80's Greatest Hits".[6] The song was also used in a 1998 TV commercial for Mazda.[10] The ad won a Clio award.[5][11]

The Nails filed several lawsuits over use of "88 Lines About 44 Women", including a successful lawsuit over use of the song to promote the television show Dexter; the group also unsuccessfully attempted to sue the state of Massachusetts for their use of a similar song in an anti-drinking campaign.[5] Lead singer Marc Campbell stated that the only money the group ever made with the song was from commercials and lawsuits.


In 1997, parody musician The great Luke Ski recorded a parody entitled "88 Lines About 44 Simpsons," a song about The Simpsons, each line about a different Simpsons character.[12]

In 1999, David Nielsen of The Brunching Shuttlecocks recorded a parody entitled "88 Lines About 42 Presidents" about the Presidents of the United States through Bill Clinton.

Track listing[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
US Hot Dance Club Play (Billboard)[4] 46


  1. ^ a b ""Eightyeight Lines about Fortyfour Women" 7" Track Listing". Discogs. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b ""88 Lines about 44 Girls" 7" track listing". Discogs. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b ""88 Lines about 44 Girls" 7" track listing". Discogs. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 185. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Marc Campbell - '88 Lines About 44 Women'". Song Facts. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Phares, Heather. "Record Review: "88 Lines about 44 Women"". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  7. ^ a b ""88 Lines about 44 Girls" X-Rated Version track listing". Discogs. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Dimery, Robert (2010). 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die: And 10,001 You Must Download (1 ed.). Universe. p. 937. ISBN 978-0789320896. 
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Just Can't Get Enough, vol. 3 track listing". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "88 Lines "Cool World" (Mazda Commercial)". YouTube. Mazda. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "The Nails' "88 Lines About 44 Girls" Overview". The Nails. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Who Sampled "88 Lines About 44 Women"". WhoSampled. Complex Music. Retrieved 8 March 2017. 

External links[edit]