One Hit Wonderland - Tubthumping by Chumbawamba

(295 votes, average 4.90 out of 5)
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Comments (134)
  • toSTONEiGO
    Great review Todd, but it's too bad I won't be able to enjoy Tubthumping anymore, since every time I hear it I'll be reminded of how irritating and pretentious this band is.

    Also, small correction. Anarchism isn't necessarily a socialist ideology. Anarcho-capitalism is prevalent as well.
  • armagod679
    I believe you mean communist. Socialism is a political idea that is not entirely incompatible with capitalism, while communism is an economic idea that is the complete opposite of capitalism.
  • Sewblon
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    In some circles that definition is true. But I read an economics textbook that claims that communism and socialism are the same thing.
  • PlayMp1
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    Nope. Karl Marx delineated the difference between socialism and communism in his various works pretty clearly: socialism is the post-capitalistic period ruled by a "dictatorship of the proletariat," which is hopefully eventually succeeded by communism, a classless, stateless utopia.

    On an economic level, they're pretty damn similar, but politically, they're very different.
  • RAF
    What book was that, and who assigned it. I have studied a tone of global politics and I can tell you that is not true. Claiming that they are the same is like claiming that conservatism is the same as fascism. You really need to alert somebody about that text book.
  • trlkly
    avatar
    Which one do you think is which?

    But, seriously, the terms can be used interchangeably in some contexts, as extreme socialism is basically national-level communism.
  • RAF
    Socialism is being compared to conservatism and communism to fascism in the above statement. It is true that some forms of the former can look like the later especially in America today where right of center is considered radical left and several prominent Republicans are fascist in everything but name. Nobody calls them that since fascism is loaded term because of its association with the axis powers, and while many people know about their war atrocities, Hitler and Mussolini’s incompetent government policies are less well known.(and predate them)
  • Sewblon
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    "in America today where right of center is considered radical left." How is that even possible? I mean in terms of basic propositional logic.
  • Kavonde
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    What he said. Sure, it's an economics textbook rather than a political science one, but that's still a dramatic oversimplification and likely indicates a definite political slant from the author.

    Also, there wasn't anywhere more appropriate to put this: political ideologies sit on a graph, not a line. It's not just Conservative vs. Liberal, it's Authoritarian vs. Libertarian. Anarchy is an extreme form of libertarianism; it could maintain a capitalist system, leaning right, or a communistic one, leaning left. So it's accurate to say that the band promoted an anarchist-communist philosophy.

    That said, most folks don't realize that there's a difference between communism as proposed by Marx and communism as implemented by the USSR and other nations. THAT version of communism is an extreme liberal-authoritarian form of government. We really need a separate word for one of those types of communism, for clarity's sake.
  • Sewblon
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    The book was "Economics Principles, Problems, and Polices. 19nth edition" by Campbell R. McConnell of the University of Nebraska, Stanley L. Brue of Pacific Lutheran University and Sean M. Flynn of Scripps College.
  • ThatDudeInTheUshanka
    avatar
    No, he means socialism. Communism is really only different from socialism in the sense that communism does not believe in a transition from capitalism to a socialist economy. The confusion here comes from a similarly named ideology to socialism called "social democracy" which keeps in place the capitalist control of the means of production, the continuation of most of bourgeois social structure (okay there is no way to say "Boureois Society" and not sound pretentious but there isn't really a good alternate term besides it) and in general is more focused on being a "third way" between socialism and capitalism, capitalist ordering of society and capitalist structuring of the economy goes on but at the same time it focuses on increasing social equity and in general trying to keep in place a level of equality between the poor and the rich. Socialism on the other hand is very much the "complete opposite of capitalism" you mentioned though.
  • otakuchick45
    why is everyone talking about a bunch of political stuff on a video that's about a song with a weird name? And hey Todd, I really like your OHW's, but I wish you would come out with something more current. There's tons of bad pop music that's been coming out, so could you maybe review those? I like the nostalgic value of songs like this, but when we haven't had a normal review in a couple weeks, it gets annoying.
  • Sean Strife
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    God, I remember when this song came out. I was in 6th grade and loved this song so much and I went out and got the album from my local Wal-Mart (I guess they didn't screen the album fully, because one of the songs actually contained the words "No virgin me/for I have sinned. I sold my soul/for sex and gin.") It was actually a really solid album and it still had some of those political/anti-religious songs, like "The Big Issue", "Mary, Mary" (which a remix of it was the opening song to the movie Stigmata), and "One by One".

    If you get the chance to, I recommend checking out the album if you haven't.
  • GoldenGoat
    Todd's now done three One Hit Wonderlands and one past-year top-ten since the last time he had a regular pop song review. Charts a little devoid of material, eh...?

    I'm not complaining, mind. These are far more interesting than pop song reviews, I always learn something and come away impressed by the breadth of Todd's knowledge of music history.
  • PlayMp1
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    He could do One More Night, but I'm thinking he feels Maroon 5 is a little played out to joke on - all has left to say is, "Adam Levine sold out, Maroon 5 now sounds like Bruno Mars, this band has nothing left."

    Other alternatives: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift (again, not much to say on the subject), Die Young by Ke$ha (a DIRECT ripoff of a Flo Rida song), and maybe Diamonds by Rihanna. However, I haven't even heard that last one despite being #1 on the charts.
  • The Dubya
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    One More Night is one of those songs that is just pure, unadulterated BAAAAAAAAAAD that you really can't even have fun with. It's not catchy, it's not goofy, it's not "WTF what a stupid video playing along with the song", it's just....stupid. Pointless and stupid and lacking any material to pick apart. It's just worthless.
  • littlelili
    Oh dear sweet god every time I hear "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" I want to destroy my radio. Can we please stop calling Taylor Swift a country artist now?

    Anyways you're not missing much with Diamonds, it's really repetitive and honestly boring. It's mind boggling to me how the heck that song got popular.
  • PlayMp1
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    The slight touch of guitar is the only thing that makes WANEGBT (too damn long to type) remotely related to country. Otherwise, it's just a plodding, dumb pop song.

    And I was almost certain I was missing almost nothing with Diamonds. Refer to my Motorhead avatar.
  • sprezzatura
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    hahaha agreed- I hang my head in shame and admit Taylor Swift had not truly annoyed me up until this point, but something about the squeaking, squealing chorus of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" just makes my head explode every time I hear it. HATE. THAT. SONG!!!!
  • Sean Strife
    avatar
    Not to mention the last pop song review he had done is something of a stretch.
  • FearlessFighter  - Perhaps
    Well a few new songs have come forward now. I mean, there's a new train song (50 Ways To Say Goodbye), Bruno Mars (Locked Out of Heaven) One More Night like PlayMp1 said. He could do Flo Rida (I Cry) or even Pitbull/Shakira (Get it Started). But hey, I love these One-Hit wonder videos too!
  • rayhs1984
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    Been ready for this since they broke up.
  • CinemaKid
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    Always enjoy the OHWs, this was no exception. Man, this band is odd.
  • moazeem88  - This song....
    Its pretty much an English football song now, great review Todd, I had no idea anyone outside of the Uk had even heard of it
  • Steve the Pocket
    avatar
    The sitcom "Home Improvement" used it once for a montage scene once; I think it might have been their last episode. That's where I know it from. But I'd heard OF it back when it was a hit on the radio. It wasn't until years later that I learned that the song and the completely unrelated title were one and the same.
  • Mosher  - Ahhhh Memories
    My little bro gave the cassette for this when it came out. I was a prehipster hipster who only listened to punk, tool and other stuff that qualified in I hate the conformist world because its conformist bullshit (the nineties were cool for that shit :) ). I got it, did not mind, eventually went back and found the super political stuff and loved it. There stuff is pretty good all around and one of the few acts that are like Bowie that are able to successfully change their style and consistently be really good.

    As an aside, I too have turned to folk music as I grew older.
  • Larie
    That was really insightful. Very interesting! I never knew more about them than their one hit wonder. I had no idea they were the ones who had made the 'memory loss' song, either, and yes, it is used by VH1 in their promos sometimes. These things go by SO often that I remember it clearly... From start to finish... Ugh.
  • CyborgPrince
    avatar
    So that's who wrote this song. I've heard of Chumbawumba, but I never made the connection. Probably because I knew they were a punk band and wouldn't have expected this. Interesting song title for this type of song.

    I think people are probably overanalysing this song. Every band should be able to make at least one song just about having fun and a good time. Not every single song released needs to have a social and political message attached to it.
  • cyber95
    avatar
    This was the OHW episode I was waiting for, really, and it did not disappoint. I really like the one Chumbawamba album I actually knew existed, and had no idea the history behind them, which turns out to be really, really interesting. I think I might have to grab some of their other albums now.
  • TheMoistIntruder
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    First Dexy's and now this! You did good Todd.

    My only complaint is that I wish you had have gone into 30 years worth of detail...
  • Zoidzilla
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    Agreed! I was disappointed that he skimmed so much of the band's history, though I can understand why he did.

    I've really enjoyed all the OHWL episodes thus far, Todd, and look forward to many more.
  • Kinnikufan
    Nice use of the TMBG cover at the end. Do they count as a one-hit-wonder by any chance? I can think of one of their hits, but not sure if there are more (or how much of a hit it was).
  • Wario_man
    avatar
    They Might Be Giants have had a few hits. Birdhouse in Your Soul is one of the most well known ones but there's also Ana Ng, Boss of Me (Malcolm in the Middle theme), They'll Need a Crane, chances are you may have listened to a ton of TMBG songs without even having known it.

    They were my third favourite band for quite a while ^^'
  • Kinnikufan
    I'm personally very familiar with their music (awaiting their new album for 2013), but I've never known any of their songs to chart as high as "Birdhouse in Your Soul" and that seems to be the only song people around me know is by them. But I guess if they've had other charting songs, then they won't qualify.
  • Ceaen
    avatar
    Though they maybe haven't had BIG hits, their music has been used in a lot of places and people are (unknowingly) familiar with them, so I don't think TMBG counts as a one-hit wonder. Frankly I was surprised to find out how many of their songs permeated my childhood. Particle Man was in an episode of Tiny Toons, their cover of Istanbul (Not Constantinople) was also used on Tiny Toons, Dr. Worm was used on Nickelodeon, and as mentioned by Wario_man they did the theme song for Malcolm in the Middle. Also a few years ago they wrote songs for the Coraline movie, but it was all cut with the exception of The Other Father Song. And recently I saw a Payless Shoes commercial that used the song I Am a Paleontologist which is from one of their childrens' albums. The also wrote and performed the themesong for Disney Junior's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

    Not to mention that most everyone has probably heard Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas)

    /yeah, I'm a bit of a TMBG fan
  • Jegsimmons
    avatar
    Actually Todd, anarchy is form of government with no authority figures.
    this ranges from Communist anarchy
    anarcho capitalism
    mix market anarchy


    really the main point is anti-authoritarian.


    so it can be left winged, right winged, or center.
  • Janitor25
    Great analysis and review Todd (as usual)! I found out about all their political stuff not too long ago (cracked.com) and also gained a newfound respect for this "one-hit wonder" in the process.

    Weird that it's like reverse nostalgia for me: hated Tubthumping when it initially came out, mostly because it was EVERYWHERE. But time has been kind and I enjoy it for the sport stadium/karaoke bar staple it is.
  • RAF
    How come on a show called One Hit Wonder land you have only ever done 1 One Hit Wonder (Sir Mix A Lot). Every one else has had at least two hit songs in either the US or UK. While you do sometimes talk about later hits you always ignore early ones like. Most notable you completely ignored Carle Douglas’s first hit song Crazy Feeling and claimed you could not find a picture of him before Kung fu fighting.

    You also do not seem to know a lot about politics. Anarchist is a lot closer to libertarianism centrism and is probably at the opposite end of the spectrum from communism. (Real libertarianism not the shit people like Parker and Stone claim to promote). Chumbawomba was not far left the Tories just like to claim anybody that opposed them was, and with an idiot like John Major in charge it was a long list of people.
  • dennett316
    avatar
    1) The show is about bands who are KNOWN for just one song...he says this right at the start of this video. Say Chumbawamba, and people will say "Tubthumping", or just say "I get knocked down, but I get up again" because they don't know the real title. Get it?

    2) He admits he knows nothing about politics, again, right there in the video.

    In short, way to call him, on stuff that is fully explained or admitted in the content.
  • RAF
    I am not trying to call him out on anything.

    The second part first; I know that he said he did not know a lot about politics so I thought I would help him and other people that read this forum out by providing information. I have a master’s degree on the subject and do not like hearing it misrepresented. If Todd or another member of the site talk about the UK anarchist movement again they will hopefully be more knowledgeable about it because of me.

    As for the first part; a lot of bands he profiles are known for other songs. For instants when I hear the name Gerardo I think of “We Want the Funk” and the MWH song I am most familiar with is “Pop Goes The World”. While there are several great real one hit wonders, like Toni Basil and Lipps Inc, this show has yet to feature them and I wish it would.

    I like this show but with it's title was more accurate
  • mr_rubino
    avatar
    "One Hit Wonder" only ever actually meant someone that had one number one hit in America, and then didn't have another number one hit in America.
    Other charting songs? Doesn't count. Home countries? No sir.
    Why? I assume because we have the nukes. Herp herp bloody well herp.
  • PlayMp1
    avatar
    Uh... I could have sworn that there's both big socialist/communist and capitalist wings to anarchism - you know, on one hand you have the anarcho-socialists who don't like any private ownership or government to enforce it (because they're another organization oppressing you), and on the other you have anarcho-capitalists who don't like any public ownership (because big government!). Vast oversimplification, but that seems like an accurate reading. Inform me, o graduate degree holder.

    That said, Chumbawumba here is certainly left-anarchist. They take John Lennon's "imagine no possessions" and run with it.

    Personally, I like Rage Against the Machine more just because they know how to write a catchy frickin' riff that manages to draw from jazz, metal, funk, and hip-hop despite apparent simplicity. Plus, Tom Morello is a really interesting guitarist who has a degree from fucking Harvard.

    Note that I'm a percussionist, so it's not like Morello is an inspiration or influence of mine :P.
  • RAF
    The political spectrum is a very complicated thing. It is not a straight line but more like a vast plane. To simplify it though, if you are going by the straight line anarchist would be in the center because they tend to hold views similar to both the far left and the far right, think of them as an extreme form of libertarianism. While chumbawamba tends to put more enfaces on the left wing area of there politics (their other hit songs Amnesia (which I agree with Todd is a better song) and Top of the world definitely skew to the left) they are definitely not socialists anymore then they are conservatives, despite what several people (including themselves) say.

    Also I agree with you on completely on Rage Against the Machine
  • rockybalboa211
    avatar
    No, he didn't misrepresent anything. If he were to not mention his lack of understanding of the situation prior to discussing his view on the subject, well that would be misrepresentation. That wasn't the case though.
    Also, a lot of these bands/individuals truly did only have one hit in America or some of them are only remembered for that one hit. The reason why people think of Rick Astley as a one hit wonder even though he had multiple hits is because most people/media only remember him for 'Never gonna give you up'.
  • RAF
    I never said he misrepresented anything, just that he was ignorant on the subject which he himself admitted in the video. Also, like I said before, several of these bands are known for other songs and are not one hit wonders.
  • Mav
    avatar
    So basically your argument boils down to "Todd has probably named this show inaccurately"

    Fair, but lets face it...picky...
  • Annie-Mae
    avatar
    Great review of a great song. Really wanted me to get into them some more as well. All the great one hit wonders are breaking up (A-ha was your earlier review).

    Also great for using the TMBG cover of the song at the end.
  • MrKingOfWin
    avatar
    GREAT video, I freaking love this song,
    since my last faulty list I just have one request:
    Chamillionaire's Ridin'
  • Captain Siberia
    I really would have liked to be able to hear more of their music in this episode, to get a better idea of what they were all about.
  • katefan
    avatar
    You can find Amnesia on Youtube, and I'm sure you can find their other stuff online as well.
  • dennett316
    avatar
    30 years of material to fit into 12 minutes? Unlikely. I guess you could argue the video should be longer, but you'd need a couple of hours to really do it justice.

    Look up some of their stuff on youtube. I'm sure someone, somewhere will have uploaded a selection of their stuff with lyrics or something.
  • katefan
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    Thanks for this, Todd. I always appreciate it when I am not only entertained, but well informed as well.
  • LadySierra117  - Epic Nostalgia
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    FCK YEAH !!! CHUMBAWAMBA@!!!!
  • Lone Wolf
    avatar
    "Anarchism is just socialism or communism with out the government" That would be anarcho-communism and anarcho-socialism. There's is also anarcho-capitalism and other forms of anarchism. And none of them work.
  • Keiji
    avatar
    They were as far to the left as Limbaugh is to the right.

    'Nuff said.
  • Keiji
    avatar
    Also, to the people saying Communism and Sociolism is similar/the same? Look up socio capitalism. It is literally the strongest form of democratic-republic government there is.
  • PlayMp1
    avatar
    Communism and socialism are not the same, but they are from the same source and have similar ideals (i.e., full equality for all, eliminating class and any division between people).

    They're more like different stages of the same process. According to Marx, capitalism takes root, then a socialist workers' revolution takes out the capitalists and replaces the government with a "dictatorship of the proletariat" (ideally, a well-run representative democracy or something, practically, usually turns out as either mobocracy or oligarchy). Communism is the final goal, where both government and class are eliminated, and no one is better than his/her sister/brother.
  • ThatDudeInTheUshanka
    avatar
    Socio-capitalism isn't a form of socialism, its another ideological branch unrelated to socialism beyond a belief in political equity.
  • Kire59
    avatar
    Great video, man, always love your stuff.

    Would love to see a Scatman john episode of this sometime, I feel it would make a good episode. Also,let's not forget Eiffel 65.
  • BigMac90
    avatar
    Great review, Todd!
    I didn't really know anything about Chumbawamba until I watched this. They sound like an interesting bunch, to say the least.

    I love Tubthumping though! There's just something so catchy about it...
    That "Amnesia" song sounds pretty catchy too...
  • Chicken Parma  - A couple of things:
    Firstly, you forgot to mention that the title of the Live Aid parody album was "Pictures Of Starving Children Sell Records".

    Second, Tubthumping is about the older, left-leaning members of the UK's Labour Party who were left behind once Tony Blair took over as leader in the mid-90s and moved the party's policies towards the centre.

    Also, I'm surprised you didn't mention their 2000 song "Passenger List For A Doomed Flight" which is the lead singer reading out names of people who the band wishes would die in a horrible plain crash (most of them being billionaire moguls and right-wing politicians) over an electronic beat.

    Finally, this is the first time that I've been reading the comments on a Todd video and had to check to make sure I wasn't looking at an NChick video by mistake.
  • Gagnon
    This was helpful. Thanks. Really didn't think the song was just about sitting around drinking.
  • PontyMython
    avatar
    I do love the irony that a band who disliked charity records have their biggest hit later used for a charity (children in need, if you're interested)
  • Steve the Pocket
    avatar
    That's not really the same thing, though; one is using a song to promote a charity, and the other is basically using a charity to promote a song.
  • crissbones  - Idea for another one-hit wonder
    Todd you need to review "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve. Their story is pretty damn depressing when you look at it! The song is also just gorgeous! Definitely one of the top songs of the 90's!
  • andx0r
    avatar
    I think I still have this on cassette somewhere....
  • joliet_jane  - Ben Elton?
    avatar
    Did I just see Ben Elton in a TGWTG video? O_O
  • thestooshie
    avatar
    Yes, he presented the 1997 Brit Awards.
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