Bobby Brown (song)

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"Bobby Brown"
FZBobbyBrownCover.jpg
Single by Frank Zappa
from the album Sheik Yerbouti
ReleasedMarch 3, 1979
Recorded1978
GenreComedy rock
Length2:49
LabelCBS Records
Songwriter(s)Frank Zappa
Producer(s)Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa singles chronology
"Dancin' Fool"
(1979)
"Bobby Brown"
(1979)
"Joe's Garage"
(1979)

"Bobby Brown (Goes Down)" (Sound-icon.png (song sample, 600Kb)) is a song by Frank Zappa released on his album Sheik Yerbouti in 1979. One of his best known songs, it was hugely successful in Europe. It was a number-one-hit in Norway and Sweden and placed at number 4 in the German charts, where it sold more than 250,000 units. This song was more successful in Europe than America (the song's pervasive sexual content made it unfit for broadcast on U.S. radio) and this is why it is only featured on the vinyl and European CD version of Zappa's best of compilation, Strictly Commercial.[1][2]

Synopsis[edit]

The song describes a wealthy, misogynistic student named Bobby Brown, "the cutest boy in town," whose life is the archetypal American Dream until a traumatic sexual encounter with "Freddie," a dyke involved in the women's liberation movement, leaves him questioning his sexuality. Bobby transforms into a leisure suit-wearing closeted homosexual working in radio promotions; by the end of the song, he and "a friend" (later implied to be his boss, as he will "do anything to get ahead," which also has a double meaning, i.e. getting head) have become self-described "sexual spastic(s)" involved in golden showers and S&M, for which he thanks Freddie.

Track listing[edit]

Version 1:

A."Bobby Brown" – 2:43[3]
B."Baby Snakes" – 1:50

Version 2:

A."Bobby Brown" – 2:43[4]
B."Stick It Out" – 4:33

Chart positions[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1979–1991) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[6] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[7] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[8] 5
West Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 4

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Position
West Germany (Official German Charts)[10] 6
Chart (1991) Position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[11] 7

Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (1990–1999) Position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[12] 34

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Austria (IFPI Austria)[13] Gold 50,000*
Germany (BVMI)[14] Gold 250,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[15] Gold 50 000*
Sweden (GLF)[16] Gold 50 000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[17] Gold 50,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sheik Yerbouti". globalia.net. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Zappa interviews". home.swipnet.se. Archived from the original on 2013-05-09. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  3. ^ Bobby Brown (song) at Discogs (list of releases)
  4. ^ Frank-Zappa-Bobby-Brown at Discogs (list of releases)
  5. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  6. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown". VG-lista. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown". Singles Top 100. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  8. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  9. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "Top 100 Single–Jahrescharts". Offizielle Deutsche Charts (in German). Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  11. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 1991". Hung Medien Austrian Charts Portal (in German). Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  12. ^ "Bestenlisten – Singles 1990er". Hung Medien Austrian Charts Portal (in German). Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  13. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown Goes Down (Si)" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  14. ^ "German single certifications – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  15. ^ "Norwegian single certifications – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown Goes Down" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  16. ^ "Swedish single certifications – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown" (in Swedish). Swedish Recording Industry Association. Search for "Frank Zappa", then press "Sök" to see the search results. Select "Bobby Brown Download" and press "Visa" to see the charting positions and certification awards. Archived from the original on December 26, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "Swiss single certifications – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown" (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.