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Jun 13

THE OUTHERE BROTHERS – “Boom Boom Boom”

Popular70 comments • 4,783 views

#723, 8th July 1995

outhere2 A dilemma, here. On the one hand, the second Outhere Brothers number one is somewhat better than “Wiggle Wiggle” – it shouts at you less, for one thing. On the other hand, the very words “second Outhere Brothers number one” suggest we have left the borders of necessity far behind. The Brothers here sound a little less obnoxious, a bit more playful – nursery rhyme goofs instead of unabashed horndogs. They have better ideas, too – a breakdown early on that sounds like it might be going somewhere, with an atmospheric dancehall intro. But the basic approach, constipated rappers leching over ordinary beats, really hasn’t changed, and “Boom Boom Boom” outstays its welcome just as surely as “Wiggle Wiggle” did, so you send it on its way still wondering why it bothered us in the first place.

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Comments

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  1. 31
    James BC on 27 Jun 2013 #

    They said in an interview (on the Big Breakfast if I remember rightly) that “Outhere” meant that they were different from everyone else. “Like, everyone else is in there, and we’re out here”.

    Not sure why ‘brothers’, though.

  2. 32
    Cumbrian on 27 Jun 2013 #

    27: Not a clue! It is set in Miami though and, having been there, there are quite a few Jamaican expats knocking around – so, taking a wild stab in the dark, it might be that someone thought that a reggae fusion record would speak as being somehow from the area.

    The soundtrack album has 2Pac, Warren G, Ini Kamoze and Inner Circle on it – as well as KMFDM (which stands out like a sore thumb – that track is being played when they infiltrate a metal club).

  3. 33
    Cumbrian on 27 Jun 2013 #

    28: Bad Boys II is indeed pretty bad – and not bad meaning good. Bad definitely means bad there.

  4. 34
    Kinitawowi on 27 Jun 2013 #

    #28: I kinda accept Bad Boys II in an “it’s a Michael Bay film and you know what you’re going to get, and at least he knows how to make a stupid OTT action sequence look good” way, although I’ll freely admit it’s not high art. And it’s certainly not the worst film I ever paid money to see at the cinema (that’s probably The Simpsons Movie), or even the worst film I saw in 2003 (The Matrix Reloaded).

  5. 35
    Patrick Mexico on 27 Jun 2013 #

    If I was being a bit cruel, I could say that Azaelia Banks was the Outhere Brothers’ spiritual daughter. I wondered why I liked the “mothership” bit of Boom Boom Boom and 17 years on she seemed to have picked up the baton (nsfw innit):

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Jv9fNPjgk&t=0m20s

    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWjsvYXM9RU&t=2m10s

    I do like that sprawling, beyond puerile 212 song, but only because it sounds like Buffalo Stance going to hell. And: what are you going to do when I eat a bear? Or is it a pear? You could write a book on this theory alone. It’s like Eats, Shoots and Leaves gone to hell.

  6. 36
    hardtogethits on 28 Jun 2013 #

    Re the Bad Boys soundtrack: There is a track on there called “Boom Boom Boom”. It’s not the same erm, ‘song’ as this. Stupidly, I went to Spotify to listen to it. Seriously, life is too short. When will I learn?

  7. 37
    Chelovek na lune on 28 Jun 2013 #

    #35. Nah, because “212” is witty and playful, and its aggression is a bit less primal and a bit more personal: (Would all this apply if it had been performed by a man? Good question. But no, almost certainly not – certainly not when you get to the concluding line/pay-off). “Buffalo Stance” surely a better point of ref than this. (Oh. It does a have “way-oh” breakdown though… Still.)

  8. 38
    punctum on 28 Jun 2013 #

    WTF does “beyond puerile” mean? Amoebic?

    The correct answer is LMFAO.

  9. 39
    Steve Mannion on 28 Jun 2013 #

    Only a few weeks before this came out Definition Of Sound released ‘Boom Boom’ (not a John Lee Hooker cover) but their double boom proved lacking and it stalled at #59. Other lacklustre booms in 1995 came from Hunter (‘Shakaboom!’) and Benz (‘Boom Rock Soul’), not including its use as part of other words for spoilery reasons if nothing else.

  10. 40
    James BC on 28 Jun 2013 #

    Boom Shak a Lak by Apache Indian might have been around this time too.

  11. 41
    Steve Mannion on 28 Jun 2013 #

    That was ’93 but as an entry tends to be listed as the Nuff Vibes EP so doesn’t show up on a polyhex search for ‘boom’ anyway which could be tres irritating to some pop-pickers.

  12. 42
    hectorthebat on 28 Jun 2013 #

    Sample watch: contains a sample from “erotic city” by prince and Sheila e.

  13. 43
    AMZ1981 on 29 Jun 2013 #

    #14 has mentioned that Alright by Supergrass got stuck at number two behind this. Whatever the merits of Alright (I like it) this is the second example within a few weeks of a Britpop classic getting (and holding) number 2 behind an artistically irrelevant record. 1995 ultimately only had two guitar led number ones but with a few breaks there could have been quite a few.

  14. 44
    Nixon on 2 Jul 2013 #

    #43 It’s interesting how little impact Britpop ultimately ends up having on the very top of the charts, and hence the picture of the UK music scene ’94-’97 painted by Popular. Without getting into bunny territory, if we leave aside Oasis, there’s precious little from the scene to trouble Tom in the future.

    (Whereas it felt like almost every half-decent Britpop act scored at least one chart-topping album. I haven’t checked, but from memory there are a *lot* of them – TPL will be interesting!)

    I don’t know what the singles sales figures would say, but from a #1’s perspective, mid-90s Britpop seems to have been like punk, just another relatively minor genre, exerting minimal gravity before the charts course-corrected. Even “now”, here in the summer of 1995, the Outhere Brothers are outscoring Oasis 2-1, and that 1 isn’t yet – possibly isn’t ever – the herald of some great changing of the guard. At best, it’s a start for one hugely successful and famous band, not a sound, not a scene; at worst, it’s an outlier, a quirk, representing just one strand of what was going on (albeit a strand most commenters here seem to have “lived in” a bit more directly than others), representing albums and clubs most people hadn’t heard or seen; Tony di Bart with better marketing. Given the choice, the British public voted for seven weeks of the Singing Squaddies followed by a dirty joke.

    Anyway, I digress. My question is: we’re now past the 40-year mark, long enough for trends to emerge – without getting caught up too much in specific “that record’s rubbish/hogged the limelight/was unjustly held off #1” arguments, do you think that the list of UK number ones, taken as a weird at-a-glance sweep of British music history, very broadly accurately reflects that history?

  15. 45
    punctum on 2 Jul 2013 #

    #43 – “artistically irrelevant”; please define terms, irrelevant to whom, or what, and why. Lot of dance music fans I can think of who consider “Alright” “an artistically irrelevant record.”

    #44 – I’d say VERY broadly indeed, in that you still get a fairly decent developmental picture, though its contour is regularly disrupted by whatever fly-by-night novelty fancies British people decide to take to their bosoms.

  16. 46
    Tom on 2 Jul 2013 #

    This is sort of the central question this blog wanted to answer – it reflects *a* history, but which one? I don’t think “accurately reflects that history” is meaningful though – there isn’t an accurate pop history to reflect, there’s a sense of ‘what happened’ and ‘what mattered’ which is a mix of personal memories, received wisdom, critical takes and commercial realities, which themselves may not be realities given the distortions gathering sales data creates.

    When pop history is written, it’s usually written by the critical winners, not the commercial ones. So if the question is – how well do Number Ones map onto that? – the answer varies. If you look at it by genre, then for some things – Merseybeat, glam, new wave, the house music revolution, 00s R&B – it does very well. For others – metal, punk, Britpop, progressive rock, hip-hop up to a point – it seems to do quite poorly.

    Looked at as a more material history: of technology, format changes, sales channels, etc. – the Number One lists work better but have disastrous gaps.

    Looked at as a history of British cultural interests – the chart as a seismograph of wider trends – they are an interesting if incomplete fossil record: Robson And Jerome is a case in point.

    You can definitely see broad trends. The overall history of the No.1 spot – I worked this out with graphs once and should again – is broadly speaking a history of increasing diversity: the more you go on, the fewer white men (with guitars or otherwise) you tend to see. (There’s evidence in the US that increasing digitalisation of music may be reversing this a bit – not sure that’s true of the UK). This process, it seems to me, runs parallel to decreased critical respect for the charts and number ones, accusations of irrelevance, the rise of the dread adjective “manufactured” etc.

    Another trend that comes out is that, since the early 80s, “indie” music in its broadest sense has rarely if ever sold well enough on singles to dominate the charts. Britpop is its high watermark – I think it’s fair to say that some bands and singles were unlucky not to reach number one, but that’s also how pop works and it does seem it couldn’t quite mobilise the buyers. Before and after that, indie music has been an important part of pop but, from a singles sales perspective, not THAT important.

    Obviously this doesn’t match up to the attention paid to it critically and culturally – it’s easy to buy into a version of the mid-90s where Britpop DOMINATES the charts and the music scene, despite plenty of opposition to that idea at the time and since. There’s also – as the relatively massive excitement on Twitter over a silly poll suggests – a lot of warm feeling towards the idea of Britpop as a movement and a moment. Other styles have enjoyed far more dominant periods in the chart but haven’t been lavished with attention by the music press, let alone the mainstream news.

    In other words I think in this instance the number ones list gets Britpop right representationally, though the actual selections leave a bit to be desired. And the number ones list is a vastly imperfect version of history, but anyone dismissing it as irrelevant is still revealing their own biases as much as the charts’.

  17. 47
    fivelongdays on 2 Jul 2013 #

    @46 – One would suppose that a history of popular music could be told through an amalgamation of the singles and album charts.

    @43 – ‘Alright’ guitar led? I’d say the song’s hook is the piano intro. Besides, Supergrass (who were sort-of local heroes for me) had far better songs. Had it been ‘Caught by the Fuzz’, ‘Mansized Rooster’ or ‘Lenny’ being kept off number one, I’d see your point a lot better. Suffice to say, as a rather angsty teen, I remember hearing ‘Alright’ for the umpteenth time and thinking “But what if I DON’T feel Alright?’.

  18. 48
    Tom on 2 Jul 2013 #

    I’ve reposted Nixon’s excellent question and my comment as a separate post. http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2013/07/number-ones-vs-history/

  19. 49
    James BC on 2 Jul 2013 #

    @47
    I don’t know about the albums. On the rare occasions that I’ve looked at lists of old number 1 albums, they’ve seemed far less interesting than I might have expected, and certainly of a lot less general interest than the singles number 1s.

    Probably because…
    – The number 1 single: 100,000 people have bought it, most people who listen to much music have heard it.
    – The number 1 album: 100,000 people have bought it, most other people haven’t heard it and never will.

    And I mean, if I haven’t heard Xanadu or some song like that, I might go to Youtube or Spotify and fill in the gap. If I haven’t heard ‘Home Lovin Man’ by Andy Williams, which is more recent and by a far from obscure artist, I’d have to be a raging obsessive to go and look it up purely because it happened to be number 1 once.

    Even in the 70s, where the received wisdom is that the serious artists ignored singles and released only albums and went on the Old Grey Whistle Test, the number 1 albums list is not some kind of thrillingly arcane grown-up counterpart to the singles list. Sure, there’s a bit of Rick Wakeman but a lot if it seems to be best-ofs and late-period potboilers by people from the 50s. Where’s the history in that?

  20. 50
    punctum on 2 Jul 2013 #

    Yes well anyway Britpop fans tended to go for the albums. Hence TPL 1995’s “corrective” work (don’t underrate it; it was a central factor in my deciding to start the blog).

  21. 51
    flahr on 2 Jul 2013 #

    Sadly the great Menswe@r critical rehabilitation will have to wait until somebody starts Music Sounds Better With Ten :(

  22. 52
    punctum on 2 Jul 2013 #

    Don’t get to do I Can See For Miles or Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now either. It’s a disgrace.

  23. 53
    flahr on 2 Jul 2013 #

    I was going to say well at least you do on TPL, but not there either! I guess entry #311 will just have to be a long one :)

  24. 54
    punctum on 2 Jul 2013 #

    May well have to be, though entry #267 is probably going to take a year or seven…

  25. 55
    Steve Williams on 3 Jul 2013 #

    Seems a bit of a downer to go back to The Outhere Brothers after that fascinating discussion but I’m not sure #2 is quite right because I recall it getting loads of play on kids TV (which I was just about still young enough to get away with watching) and indeed The Outhere Brothers are responsible for one of the most excrutiating moments in TV history when they performed one of their follow-ups on Live and Kicking and Andi Peters questioned them on, and invited them to perform a bit of, their album track Pass The Toilet Paper, when surely even the smallest child knew what that song was about. Happily the pair only sung the refrain.

    Although an undistinguished song this is the start of a period of about two years when I knew more or less every single record in the charts and have a memory of every number one, because the combination of Chris Evans joining and me having just finished my GCSEs means I was now listening to Radio 1 all day, every day (I’d completely bought into the Bannister revolution) and completely immersing myself in pop, buying both Q *and* Smash Hits and watching Top of the Pops *and* TFI Friday. And some of it wasn’t just to impress the girls in my A-level classes.

    As mentioned, this was a boiling hot summer as well, which makes me feel a bit more predisposed towards a lot of these records than might otherwise be the case. I wonder if anyone ever has the time or inclination to go through the last forty summers or so and working out if those with above average temperatures (1976, 1990, 1995, 2003) were particularly fertile for pop music.

  26. 56
    Billy Hicks on 4 Jul 2013 #

    That’s fair enough – it just must have never entered my memory. As said in another post it’s only a couple of months before I start to remember almost everything, for now it’s still just the occasional Take That song and hearing, of all things, ‘Trouble’ by Shampoo on the soundtrack of the Power Rangers movie which got it back into the top 40.

    There was a big boom in reggae and dancehall in 2003 which suited that summer perfectly, but it seems to be a happy coincidence rather a genuine reaction to the heat.

  27. 57
    hardtogethits on 4 Jul 2013 #

    #55 Clearly whoever did so would need to start by defining objectively what was meant by “summers with above average temperatures”. And by the way, I’m not arguing against the inclusion of 1995, which would almost certainly pass, whatever the definition. I mean like, 1995, yeah, eh, phew what a scorcher!

  28. 58
    Billy Hicks on 5 Jul 2013 #

    I would include 1983 and 2006 in the four mentioned by Steve.

  29. 59
    hardtogethits on 5 Jul 2013 #

    #58. Since you two have, between you, identified 6 years out of 40 or so you want to include in the sample, the ‘which were the hot years’ test couldn’t be very objective. Also, your suggestions contain a recency bias (I’m going to express a hunch here that it is because the hot years are based on your own memories – but irrespective of that, there is a recency bias).

    I’m sure you could fudge it to get the years you wanted, but that would be likely to be self-fulfilling when you came to consider whether the years were “fertile for pop music.”

  30. 60
    punctum on 5 Jul 2013 #

    It’s a nice day today. Go out for a walk. Learn about yourself. Enjoy life.

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