Sunday, July 15, 2012

10,000 Maniacs - Like the Weather

Few bands have as much of a disconnect between their name and their sound as 10,000 Maniacs.  The inspiration for the band's name came from the 1964 Herschell Gordon Lewis splatter film, Two Thousand Maniacs!, which is about as far from folk-pop as you can get.  As an aside, the band may not have remembered exactly how many maniacs were involved when they picked their name.

10,000 Maniacs' first big commercial success was their 1987 album, In My Tribe, and "Like the Weather" was their first charting single.  Although it did not break the top 40, it reached a respectable #68.  The band would go on to have seven additional charting singles, including two top 40 hits (but only one after lead singer Natalie Merchant left the band in 1993).  With their mellow sound and socially-aware lyrics, they became a staple of the "coffeehouse sound" and enjoyed significant success on college radio.

The video is pretty standard fare, although it almost seems to be a song by Natalie Merchant with a backing band.  To be fair, she did write the song, though.

As most readers will know, both 10,000 Maniacs and Natalie Merchant remain active in the music industry as of this writing.

Cool trivia fact:  Rolling Stone views In My Tribe as the 65th best record of the 1980's.

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