What Up, Dog?

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What Up, Dog?
Was (Not Was)-What Up, Dog (album cover).jpg
Studio album by Was (Not Was)
Released 1988
Recorded 1984-88; The Institute of Social Disorder
Genre Pop rock, pop, funk, R&B, dance, rock, soul
Length 57:07
52:17 (UK)
Label Chrysalis
Fontana/Phonogram (UK)
Producer David Was, Don Was, Paul Staveley O'Duffy
Was (Not Was) chronology
Born to Laugh at Tornadoes
(1983)Born to Laugh at Tornadoes1983
What Up, Dog?
(1988)
Are You Okay?
(1990)Are You Okay?1990
Singles from What Up, Dog?
  1. "Robot Girl" b/w "Earth to Doris"
    Released: 1986
  2. "Spy in the House of Love" b/w "Dad I'm in Jail"
    Released: 1987
  3. "Walk the Dinosaur" b/w "11 Miles An Hour (Abe Zapp Ruder Version)"
    Released: 1987
  4. "Boy's Gone Crazy" b/w "What Up, Dog?"
    Released: 1987
  5. "Out Come the Freaks (Again)" b/w "Earth To Doris"
    Released: 1988
  6. "Anything Can Happen" b/w "The Death Of Mr. Ping Pong"
    Released: 1988

What Up, Dog? is a 1988 album by Was (Not Was). It became the US group's breakthrough album worldwide and was ranked #99 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Best Albums of the 1980s. The cover illustration was credited to Christoph Simon and Karen Kelly.

Overview[edit]

Success of What Up, Dog? was propelled by the group's two biggest hits: "Walk the Dinosaur" and "Spy in the House of Love" and four other singles. The former was promoted by a popular music video in which the band performed while a group of girls in campy cave girl costumes danced. The video received heavy rotation on MTV and MuchMusic and led the single into the top ten of the US singles chart in 1989. Artist/animator Christoph Simon[1] created videos to accompany the tracks "What Up, Dog?", "Dad I'm in Jail" and the Tom Waits-style "Earth to Doris". These appeared on MTV's Liquid Television and in various film festivals, including the Spike & Mike festival.

The album had fewer guests than their previous album and instead was focused around the group's two lead singers: Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens. However, a typically long list of collaborators and guest musicians worked on the album including Elvis Costello (co-writer of "Shadow & Jimmy"), and Frank Sinatra, Jr. on "Wedding Vows in Vegas". It also included the second re-recording of the group's signature song: "Out Come the Freaks".

Release[edit]

What Up, Dog? became the group's breakthrough album in the US and worldwide. It reached #43 on the Billboard 200 album chart, #41 in New Zealand, and #47[2] in the UK. The album also spawned six singles (seven if the re-release of "Spy in the House of Love" is counted). The biggest hit was "Walk the Dinosaur" which charted worldwide and hit the top ten in the US and UK.[2] "Spy in the House of Love" was very popular too, hitting the top 20 in the US, #21 in the UK[2] and peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. "Anything Can Happen" was the third and final single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 chart reaching #75. In the UK, "Robot Girl", "Boy's Gone Crazy" and "Out Come the Freaks" (alternately re-titled "Out Come the Freaks (Again)" and "(Stuck Inside Of Detroit With The) Out Come The Freaks (Again)") reached modest positions on the charts.[2] In 1992, "Somewhere in America There's a Street Named After My Dad" was released as a single to promote the group's compilation Hello Dad...I'm in Jail.

US and International versions of the album featured different running orders and varying versions of the songs. Notably, "11 MPH" on the US edition was remixed and "Robot Girl" was a slightly different and shorter mix. The International CDs and LPs did not include David Was's jazzy monologue "Earth to Doris". LP versions in both countries do not include "Robot Girl", "Wedding Vows in Vegas" and "I Can't Turn You Loose", but have differing running orders.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[4]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[6]
The Village Voice A−[7]

In 1989, it was ranked #99 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the '80s.[8]

Track listings[edit]

US and Japan CD and Cassette (Chrysalis)[edit]

The Chrysalis edition of the album features the largest number of tracks, but includes a shorter mix of "Robot Girl" and the Abe Zapp Ruder Version of "11 MPH" instead of the original recording.

All tracks written by David Was and Don Was; except where indicated.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Somewhere in America There's a Street Named After My Dad"   3:42
2. "Spy in the House of Love"   4:18
3. "Out Come the Freaks"   4:36
4. "Earth to Doris"   2:03
5. "Love Can Be Bad Luck" David Was, Marshall Crenshaw, Don Was 3:52
6. "Boy's Gone Crazy"   3:44
7. "11 MPH (Abe Zapp Ruder Version)"   4:05
8. "What Up, Dog?" David Was, Don Was, Harry Bowens, Sweet Pea Atkinson 1:48
9. "Anything Can Happen" David Was, Don Was, Aaron Zigman 3:57
10. "Robot Girl"   3:48
11. "Wedding Vows in Vegas"   3:38
12. "Anytime Lisa"   4:15
13. "Walk the Dinosaur" David Was, Don Was, Randy Jacobs 4:22
14. "I Can't Turn You Loose" Otis Redding 3:37
15. "Shadow and Jimmy" David Was, Elvis Costello 4:18
16. "Dad I'm in Jail"   1:25

International CD and Cassette (Fontana)[edit]

Fontana Records' international editions do not feature "Earth to Doris", which was previously released as the b-side of "Robot Girl". The original mix of "11 Miles An Hour" appears.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Spy in the House of Love"   4:18
2. "Boy's Gone Crazy"   3:44
3. "Anything Can Happen" David Was, Don Was, Aaron Zigman 3:57
4. "Out Come the Freaks"   4:36
5. "Somewhere in America There's a Street Named After My Dad" David Was, Marshall Crenshaw, Don Was 3:42
6. "Love Can Be Bad Luck"   3:52
7. "Shadow and Jimmy" David Was, Elvis Costello 4:18
8. "11 Miles An Hour"   4:05
9. "Robot Girl"   4:12
10. "What Up, Dog?" David Was, Don Was, Harry Bowens, Sweet Pea Atkinson 1:48
11. "Anytime Lisa"   4:15
12. "Wedding Vows in Vegas"   3:38
13. "Walk the Dinosaur" David Was, Don Was, Randy Jacobs 4:22
14. "I Can't Turn You Loose"   3:37
15. "Dad I'm in Jail"   1:25

US LP (Chrysalis)[edit]

The US LP is a condensed version of the CD.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Somewhere in America There's a Street Named After My Dad"   3:42
2. "Spy in the House of Love"   4:18
3. "Out Come the Freaks"   4:36
4. "Earth to Doris"   2:03
5. "Anything Can Happen" David Was, Don Was, Aaron Zigman 3:57
6. "Boy's Gone Crazy"   3:44
7. "What Up, Dog?" David Was, Don Was, Harry Bowens, Sweet Pea Atkinson 1:48
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
8. "Love Can Be Bad Luck" David Was, Marshall Crenshaw, Don Was 3:52
9. "Walk the Dinosaur" David Was, Don Was, Randy Jacobs 4:22
10. "Shadow and Jimmy" David Was, Elvis Costello 4:18
11. "11 MPH (Abe Zapp Ruder Version)"   4:05
12. "Anytime Lisa"   4:15
13. "Dad I'm in Jail"   1:25

International LP (Fontana)[edit]

The International LP features the same tracks as the US LP, with the exception of the original mix of "11 Miles An Hour" appearing instead and "Earth to Doris" not appearing at all.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Spy in the House of Love"   4:18
2. "Boy's Gone Crazy"   3:44
3. "Anything Can Happen" David Was, Don Was, Aaron Zigman 3:57
4. "Somewhere in America There's a Street Named After My Dad"   3:42
5. "Out Come the Freaks"   4:36
6. "What Up, Dog?" David Was, Don Was, Harry Bowens, Sweet Pea Atkinson 1:48
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "Love Can Be Bad Luck" David Was, Marshall Crenshaw, Don Was 3:52
8. "11 Miles An Hour"   4:05
9. "Anytime Lisa"   4:15
10. "Shadow and Jimmy" David Was, Elvis Costello 4:18
11. "Walk the Dinosaur" David Was, Don Was, Randy Jacobs 4:22
12. "Dad I'm in Jail"   1:25

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christoph Simon animation professor, http://www.scad.edu/academics/faculty/christoph-simon
  2. ^ a b c d "Chart Stats - Was (Not Was)". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  3. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "What Up, Dog? – Was (Not Was)". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2009). "Was (Not Was)". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-199-72636-1. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  5. ^ Waller, Don (December 18, 1988). "Was (not Was) 'What Up, Dog?' Chrysalis". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  6. ^ Goodman, Fred (October 6, 1988). "What Up, Dog? : Was (Not Was)". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 6, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 24, 1989). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  8. ^ The Editors (1989-11-16). "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980's". Rolling Stone (565).