Ebeneezer Goode

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"Ebeneezer Goode"
The Shamen - Ebeneezer Goode.jpg
Single by The Shamen
from the album Boss Drum
Released24 August 1992[1]
LabelOne Little Indian
The Shamen singles chronology
"LSI (Love Sex Intelligence)"
"Ebeneezer Goode"
"Boss Drum"

"Ebeneezer Goode" is a song by British electronic music group The Shamen, which, after being heavily remixed by The Beatmasters, became their biggest hit when released as a single in August 1992. The group's original version featured on the vinyl edition of their album Boss Drum. "Ebeneezer Goode" was one of the most controversial UK number-one hits of the 1990s, due to its perceived oblique endorsement of recreational drug use. The song was initially banned by the BBC. It has been claimed that the single was eventually withdrawn after the band were hounded by the British tabloid press,[3] though according to The Shamen themselves, it was deleted while at Number 1 due to its long chart run 'messing up our release schedule'.[4]


The song is best known for its chorus, "'Eezer Goode, 'Eezer Goode / He's Ebeneezer Goode", the first part of which is audibly identical to, "Es are good" – 'E' being common slang for the drug ecstasy.[3] However, 'E' is also sung many other times during the song, ostensibly as 'e (i.e. he), such as in "E's sublime, E makes you feel fine".[4] The lyrics allude to the advantages of the drug, though with an admonition against excessive use:

The song also contains references to hand-rolled cigarettes with the lines "Has anybody got any Veras?" ("Vera Lynns" being rhyming slang for "skins" or rolling papers) and "Got any salmon?" ("salmon and trout" being rhyming slang for "snout" or tobacco).

The "A great philosopher once wrote.." sample at the start of the song is Malcolm McDowell from Lindsay Anderson's 1973 film O Lucky Man!

Music video[edit]

The video consisted of club scenes intermixed with a caped man (ostensibly Ebeneezer Goode himself, played by Jerry Sadowitz) running round a wasteland. Due to the use of flashing images in the video, some music channels include epilepsy warnings over the video. Some channels, including VH1, edit the video to reduce the frame rate of these scenes which deletes each bright frame.

The music video was played in episode 5 and 6, season 3 of Beavis and Butt-head, "Kidnapped".

Performance on Top of the Pops[edit]

When the Shamen appeared on BBC One's Top of the Pops, it was expected that Mr C should tone down the song due to its being broadcast. The group replaced the final lyric "Got any salmon?" with "Has anyone got any underlay?" He was later asked about this in a radio interview, to which he replied that it was not a drug reference but a rug reference.[4][5]

Chart performance[edit]

The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number six in September 1992, before climbing to number one two weeks later (ironically during the BBC's drug awareness week), staying there for four weeks.[6] It was the 13th biggest selling single of 1992, selling 278,000 copies. It is the group's biggest seller.

Charts and sales[edit]


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  2. ^ "Best of Rave [Westwood] - Various Artists - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Top of the Pops 2 - Top 5 Drug Songs". BBC. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  4. ^ a b c Interviews by Dave Simpson. "How we made ... Ebeneezer Goode by the Shamen". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  5. ^ Bussmann, Jane: Once In A Lifetime: The Crazy Days of Acid House (ISBN 0-7535-0260-7)
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  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
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  12. ^ "Lescharts.com – Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode" (in French). Les classement single.
  13. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Irish Single Chart, database". irishcharts. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Shamen" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  16. ^ "Charts.nz – Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode". Top 40 Singles.
  17. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode". VG-lista.
  18. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode". Singles Top 100.
  19. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode". Swiss Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "Official Charts > Shamen". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  21. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.