Educating Peter # 11

September 2, 2012

After last week’s suggestion by guest suggester Steve (Hi, Steve!), this week it’s back to Michael and his efforts to educate me in the supposed benefits of 1980s music.

This week the song is “Crazy In The Night (Barking At Airplanes)” by Kim Carnes.

Although I’m very familiar with Kim Carnes (courtesy of Ms. Carnes getting plenty of airplay on Australian radio in the 80s), the name of this song doesn’t ring any kind of bell that I’m aware of.

Kim Carnes – “Crazy In The Night (1985)


0:00-0:06 – I liked the opening sound effect of someone walking acrosss a room to knock on a door. (It sounded great on my headphones.) I wasn’t so fond of the child answering it, with a supposedly scared/scary “Who is it?” (Or maybe that should be “Who is it?“)

0:06-0:14 – This is a horrible, horrible synthesizer sound. It reminds me (as another song did a few weeks ago) of my old sound card. There was a synthesizer setting on it called “Fantasia”, and this sounds just like it. [Shudder]

0:14-0:30 – Ms. Carnes has started singing. Ah, I have heard this song before. As I’m listening to Kim sing, at the end of every second line I expect the female backing singers of the Buggles’ “Video Killed The Radio Star” to sing “Oh-wu-oh”.

Before I get to the next part of the song, I must say mention something. The echo applied to Kim’s voice in the start of the verse is one of the strangest I’ve ever heard in a recording. It sounds like she’s singing from the bottom of a well. Just have a listen to Kim when she sings “What can I do…” at 0:16. That’s weird.

0:30-0:34 – The introduction of a very tame bass drum.

0:34-0:50 – Now the verse has some extra instruments. I’ll be more accurate: it has more synthesizers. Oh, and the second time I heard this section I noticed some palm-muted guitar playing. I hadn’t noticed it before because I had been focussing on all those synthesizers.

0:50-1:06 – Ugh. I’m having trouble believing the following thing actually occurred in the song. Kim Carnes had just spent the preceding half a minute talking about how sometimes she really thinks she’s going crazy in the night, and as soon as she stopped singing that a chorus of men starting chanting, football-match-style: “Sometimes she really thinks she’s going crazy in the night”. What?

Oh no. All those men are still chanting away. I thought they were going to simply chant a line and leave it at that, but it sounds like they’re singing the entire verse that Kim just sang. What??

I’ve just figured out that those men chanting makes up the chorus of the song. But still: What?

1:06 – And laughter rang out in the Peter household. It’s at precisely 1:06 in the song that two things happened simultaneously: the men stopped chanting, and it sounds like a synthesizer just blew up. Excellent.

1:06-1:13 – But that “Fantasia” sound is still there. Grrr.

1:13-1:30 – Kim’s now singing about monsters being everywhere. She even does a pretend-scary voice from 1:22 to 1:26, saying “I’m so hidden they can’t find me, but then again they might”. But if I want to hear that kind of pretend-scary, I’d rather listen to Welcome To My Nightmare. (Note to self: listen to Welcome To My Nightmare again. It’s been a while.)

1:30-1:46 – Oh no. Those men are back, repeating what Kim sang earlier. Why??? To add to my puzzlement, while the men are chanting there are some other background singers adding a few “doo-doo”s. I don’t get it.

The more I’m listening to this song, the less I’m liking it.

1:46-2:04 – Now a guitar solo’s popped up for no reason other than this: in standard, regulation pop songs, you have to have a guitar solo after the second chorus, whether the song needs it or not.

It’s a singularly uninspiring guitar solo.

2:04-2:20 – Kim’s singing what I hope is the last verse.

2:20-2:36 – The men are back. Help!

2:36-2:50 – The chorus is being repeated, but this time without the men. It’s just the other singers going “doo-doo”. There is such an obvious joke there, but I refuse to say it.

2:50-3:00 – The men come back just to shout the phrase “crazy in the night!”. Unfortunately, the guitar has come back too. It’s doing not much except simply making grunty noises (e.g., “rzrzrzmpn”, “tswroung”, “blblblng” etc.).

Incidentally, that last lot of “doo-doo” vocals started from 2:21 and kept going until the song faded out, ending at 3:36. That’s a full minute-and-a-quarter of “doo-doo”s. Over a minute of “doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo…”. Talk about testing the limits of your patience.

Anyway, the song’s finished, and I think I can stop typing now – unless Michael wants me to listen to the song again and make even more comments about it. I sincerely hope not.