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, it has remained critically lauded in the decades since its release.


 [hide*1 Background


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]Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [2]
The A.V. Club A[3]
Robert Christgau A−[4]
The Guardian [5]
Mojo [6]
Piero Scaruffi 8/10[7]
Pitchfork 9.1/10[8]
PopMatters 9/10[9]
Rolling Stone [10]
Smash Hits 8/10[11]
Tiny Mix Tapes very favorable[12]

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 MonstersJoy Division's CloserThe Rolling Stones's Emotional Rescue and The Specialsdebut album.[13] In their retrospective review, The Guardianwrote "Crazy Rhythms is one of those albums during whose course you hear the most exciting sound in music: things changing."[5] Rolling Stone called it "a landmark of jangly, guitar-driven avant-pop, and its shimmersing 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."[9] 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."[12]

It was ranked number 49 in Rolling Stone's list of the 100 best albums of the 1980s,[1] and number 69 on Pitchfork Media's list.[14]

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]Edit

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

Side one
No. Title Length
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
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Original Love"   2:55
6. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide (Except Me and My Monkey)"   John LennonPaul McCartney 4:18
7. "Moscow Nights"   4:34
8. "Raised Eyebrows"   3:00
9. "Crazy Rhythms"   6:13

Release history[edit]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.


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