Crazy Rhythms

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Crazy Rhythms
Pastel pictures of The Feelies' faces on a blue background with "THE FEELIES" written in black above them
Studio album by The Feelies
Released April 1980
Recorded 1979
Studio Vanguard Studios, New York, United States
Genre Post-punk, jangle pop, avant-pop
Length 43:04
Language English
Label Stiff
Producer Bill Million, Glenn Mercer, Mark Abel
The Feelies chronology
Crazy Rhythms
The Good Earth

Crazy Rhythms is the debut studio album by American rock band The Feelies. It was released in April 1980, through record label Stiff. Its fusion of post-punk and jangle pop was influential on the forthcoming alternative rock genre, with R.E.M. among others citing the album as an influence. Although it was not commercially successful initially, it has remained critically lauded in the decades since its release.


On the album, band member Glenn Mercer has said "The sound we were after was a reaction against the punk scene [...] Being a little older, we felt it had all been done before. We wanted the guitars to be cleaner, and we started experimenting with a lot of percussion."[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. ClubA[3]
Christgau's Record GuideA−[4]
The Guardian5/5 stars[5]
Mojo4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone4.5/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[10]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[11]

Although not commercially popular upon release, Crazy Rhythms was a critical success, coming in a number 17 in the Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll, beating out such notable critics' favorites as David Bowie's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), Joy Division's Closer, The Rolling Stones's Emotional Rescue and The Specials' debut album.[12] David Hepworth, in Smash Hits, wrote that the band "have the power to really draw you into their strange little suburban world."[13]

In their retrospective review, The Guardian called Crazy Rhythms "one of those albums during whose course you hear the most exciting sound in music: things changing."[5] Rolling Stone branded it "a landmark of jangly, guitar-driven avant-pop, and its shimmering sound can still be heard in bands like R.E.M."[1] PopMatters wrote that the album "stands as a wildly inventive and influential record that stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the best music of the American post-punk era. With their very first album, The Feelies managed to speak directly to the zeitgeist of the American independent underground without becoming overexposed or repetitive."[8] Tiny Mix Tapes wrote, "Crazy Rhythms, released in April 1980 amongst a veritable shitstorm of like-minded groups, stands grinning madly at the top of the pile – a shining monument to new wave at its quirky best."[14]

Crazy Rhythms was ranked number 49 in Rolling Stone's list of the 100 best albums of the 1980s,[1] and number 69 on Pitchfork's list.[15]

In September 2009 the album was performed live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bill Million and Glenn Mercer, except as indicated.

Side one
1."The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness"5:10
2."Fa Cé-La"2:04
3."Loveless Love"5:14
4."Forces at Work"7:10
Side two
5."Original Love" 2:55
6."Everybody's Got Something to Hide (Except Me and My Monkey)"John Lennon, Paul McCartney4:18
7."Moscow Nights" 4:34
8."Raised Eyebrows" 3:00
9."Crazy Rhythms" 6:13
CD reissue bonus track
10."Paint It Black" (recorded 1990)Mick Jagger, Keith Richards2:54
2009 Domino reissue bonus tracks
11."Fa Ce-La" (Single Version)  
12."The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness" (Carla Bley Demo Version)  
13."Moscow Nights" (Carla Bley Demo Version)  
14."Crazy Rhythms" (Live from the 9:30 Club, Washington D.C., March 14, 2009)  
15."I Wanna Sleep in Your Arms" (Live from the 9:30 Club, Washington D.C., March 14, 2009)Jonathan Richman 

Release history[edit]

The first release on CD was in Germany and the United States in 1986. A&M Records released the album on CD in 1990 with a bonus track, a cover of The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black". The track was recorded in 1990 without Fier or DeNunzio.

Bar/None Records reissued Crazy Rhythms on 8 September 2009, while Domino Records reissued the album outside of the U.S. and Canada.



  1. ^ a b c "100 Best Albums of the Eighties: The Feelies, 'Crazy Rhythms'". Rolling Stone. April 18, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Crazy Rhythms – The Feelies". AllMusic. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ Phipps, Keith (September 15, 2009). "The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms / The Good Earth". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Hann, Michael (October 22, 2009). "The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms". The Guardian. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  6. ^ Segal, Victoria (November 2009). "The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms". Mojo. London (192): 110. ISSN 1351-0193. 
  7. ^ Powell, Mike (September 14, 2009). "The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms / The Good Earth". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Carson, Craig (September 23, 2009). "The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms / The Good Earth". PopMatters. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ Sheffield, Rob (September 8, 2009). "Crazy Rhythms : The Feelies". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 12, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "The Feelies". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 296. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  11. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  12. ^ "The 1980 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. February 9, 1981. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ Hepworth, David (March 20 – April 2, 1980). "The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms". Smash Hits: 31. 
  14. ^ Vodicka, Gabe (July 9, 2009). "The Feelies – Crazy Rhythms". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1980s". Pitchfork. November 20, 2002. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]