18 October 2008


Fishbone is a ska / punk band out of the same L.A. club scene that bore the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Minutemen.

I hadn’t heard them until around the Truth and Soul period. Strangely, I first caught them performing the Curtis Mayfield classic “Freddie’s Dead” on a kids’ TV show. It was an odd scene. The manic performance of an anti-drug song in front of a bunch of pre-teens.

After that introduction, I picked up Truth and Soul, and later went back to their first EP, and I was hooked.

A few years later, they released The Reality of My Surroundings, which was quite a bit heavier than their previous work, but with its biting social commentary, it was a good fit. It contained the songs “Sunless Saturday”, “Fight the Youth, and “Pray to the Junkie Maker” which are all among my favorites.

I can’t say I’ve listened to them much after that, though. I heard their next couple of albums, but wasn’t overly impressed with either. I still go back to those first ones quite often. That’s the era that these b-sides and things are from.

Many of these can be found on the out-of-print compilation Fishbone 101, or the Japanese import compilation, Singles. If you happen to have both of those, than you have several of these. For those that don’t, however, here you go:

(all files have expired)

Fishbone - “Fishy Swa Ska” B-side of the “Sunless Saturday” CD single.
Fishbone - “Undertsand Me” The other B-side of “Sunless Saturday”
Fishbone with Annette Funicello - “Jamaica Ska” The strangest pairing since Tom Jones and New Model Army, though this actually happened before that. This was recorded for Annette’s movie Back to the Beach.
Fishbone - “I Like to Hide Behind My Glasses” From the out-of-print Set the Booty Upright EP, aka the “Bonin’ In the Boneyard” single.
Fishbone - “Love and Bullshit” Also from Set the Booty Upright.
Fishbone - Skankin’ To the Beat” Originally a b-side, but later on the Say Anything soundtrack.
Fishbone - “In the Name of Swing” Again , from the Set the Booty Upright EP, and also issued on some foreign editions of Truth and Soul.
Fishbone - “Freddie’s Dead” (live Curtis Mayfield cover) From the “Fight the Youth” CD single.
Curtis Mayfield with Fishbone - "He's a Fly Guy" From the soundtrack of I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.
Little Richard with Fishbone - “Rock Island Line” (Leadbelly cover) Another inspired pairing. From the Folkways: A Vision Shared tribute album.
Fishbone - "Let the Good Times Roll" From the soundtrack to the film The Mask.

Fishbone discography:

Fishbone, 1983 (EP)
In Your Face, 1985
It’s a Wonderful Life, 1987 (Christmas EP)
Truth and Soul, 1988 (buy)
Set the Booty Upright, 1990 (EP)
The Reality of My Surroundings, 1991
Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe, 1993
Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge, 1996
The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx, 2000
Friendliest Psychosis of All, 2002 (buy) (EP)
Still Stuck in Your Throat, 2006 (buy)

It appears most of their stuff has gone out of print. The good new is, that means you can hunt them down in used shops on the cheap!


Anonymous said...


DeadBilly said...

Glad I could help. Thanks for stopping by.

deadboy said...

Thanks for the linkage, nice blog some great stuff, have added your blog to my list.

DeadBilly said...

Thanks for coming by. I've been a fan of your blog for quite a while.

Anonymous said...

Great blog!! Any chance you could re-up 'I Like To Hide Behind My Glasses'? That song is mental.