Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Have A Ball

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Have A BallEasily the strangest thing I’ve heard in 1998 (and keep in mind, this is when I include a bunch of Babylon 5 soundtracks and other such oddities), this dandy slice of indie treasure is one punk band’s loving tribute to the songs they had no choice but to grow up with. Well, perhaps “loving” isn’t the best description, and some might even argue with me on the “tribute” part, but it’s hilarious (and quite good in a musical sense!) to listen to. For the most part, the songs start out in the same tempo as the original, but at the first opportunity – usually between verses, or between the first verse and the first chorus – the group kicks into high gear and starts jamming the song in question to within an inch of its life. Some of the songs featured are good songs and are just fun to hear in a strange context – namely Elton John’s “Rocket Man” and Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” – and others are smarmy samples of the 70’s which truly deserve to be musically massacred like this (Terry Jacks’ “Seasons In The Sun”, one of my all-time least favorite songs, is actually far more appealing in this form – I can finally return all the torture I’ve received from years of being forced to hear that song in my first radio job). And the musicianship is uniformly good – despite the wild jamming aspect of the whole thing, the playing and singing are good, even more so when you consider that this is a punk band…they’re not just screaming, notes are actually held! (Though some amusing artifacts of punk rock 4 out of 4surface, such as repeatedly screaming “YEAH! YEAH! at the end of some songs.) I recommend this rarity to anyone who suffered through the 1970s in person (as opposed to the younger crowd who may think they’ve experienced the worst of it because they’ve watched 8-Track Flashback on VH-1), or to anyone who’s going to have a wild party anytime soon.

Order this CD

  1. Danny’s Song (2:09)
  2. Leaving On A Jet Plane (2:33)
  3. Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard (2:42)
  4. One Tin Soldier (2:01)
  5. Uptown Girl (2:22)
  6. I Am A Rock (2:04)
  7. Sweet Caroline (2:54)
  8. Seasons In The Sun (2:27)
  9. Fire and Rain (1:24)
  10. Nobody Does It Better (2:28)
  11. Mandy (2:27)
  12. Rocket Man (3:17)

Released by: Fat Wreck Chords
Release date: 1997
Total running time: 28:50