Bobby Brown (song)

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"Bobby Brown"
Single by Frank Zappa
from the album Sheik Yerbouti
Released March 3, 1979
Recorded 1978
Genre Pop rock, comedy rock, progressive rock
Length 2:49
Label CBS Records
Writer(s) Frank Zappa
Producer(s) Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa singles chronology
"Dancin' Fool"
"Bobby Brown (Goes Down)"
"Joe's Garage"

"Bobby Brown" (Sound-icon.png (song sample, 600Kb)) or "Bobby Brown (Goes Down)" 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.

The song describes a wealthy, misogynist student named Bobby Brown, "the cutest boy in town", whose life is the archetypical American Dream until a traumatic sexual encounter with "Freddie", a lesbian 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") have become self-described "sexual spastic(s)" involved in golden showers and S&M, for which he thanks his "friend", Freddie. 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]

Track list[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
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 2
Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 4
Norway (VG-lista)[7] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[8] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[9] 5


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[10] Gold 50,000x
Germany (BVMI)[11] Gold 250,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[12] Gold 50,000*
Sweden (GLF)[13] Gold 50,000x
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[14] Gold 50,000x

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


  1. ^ "Sheik Yerbouti". Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Zappa interviews". Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Bobby Brown (song) at Discogs (list of releases)
  4. ^ Frank-Zappa-Bobby-Brown at Discogs (list of releases)
  5. ^ " – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  6. ^ " – Frank Zappa Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  7. ^ " – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown". VG-lista. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  8. ^ " – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown". Singles Top 60. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  9. ^ " – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  10. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown Goes Down (Si)" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved November 7, 2015.  Enter Frank Zappa in the field Interpret. Enter Bobby Brown Goes Down (Si) in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  11. ^ "German single certifications – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Norwegian single certifications – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown Goes Down" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  13. ^ "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. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Swiss single certifications – Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown" (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved November 7, 2015.