Label: Checker - LPS-10016 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Stereo • Country: US • Genre: Funk / Soul • Style: Gospel
Composed by founding members Steven Page and Ed Robertsonthe sing-along If I Had A Hammer - Harold Smith & His Majestic Choir* - Just As I Am has become one of the band's best-known songs, and is a live show staple, despite never having been a true single and If I Had A Hammer - Harold Smith & His Majestic Choir* - Just As I Am an accompanying music video. The song first appeared on one of the later versions of the band's first independent release, Buck Naked.
The song subsequently appeared on their second and third tapes, Barenaked Lunchand The Yellow Tapeas well as their EP Variety Recordingsand their debut CD, Gordonwhich would go on to sell over a million copies in Canada, where the song remains very popular and well known.
An edited version of the Gordon recording of the song later appeared as a bonus track on the UK edition of Born on a Pirate Ship this version was later released as a singleand a live version of it was featured on Rock Spectacle.
This prompted the band's label to release a one-track radio single of the song in December Inthe song would be officially released as a commercial single in the UK; a second commercial single was released there in Another radio single containing the Gordon and Rock Spectacle versions of the song was released in North America later.
Despite these releases, the song is often not considered a true single, since it gained popularity before the release of a radio single, and it never had a music video although stations such has MuchMoreMusic and MuchMoreRetro have occasionally aired a performance from Intimate and Interactive as a video. It was first conceived as a simple improvised song while Page and Robertson were counsellors at a summer music camp. On the way home from camp, Robertson played the tune for the campers, randomly listing amusing things he would buy with a million dollars.
Upon returning to camp, he brought the idea to Page, and the two fleshed out the song. While hinting at romantic intentions, the lyrics offer eccentric ideas about purchases one would make with a million dollars. The protagonist suggests all the things he would buy for his sweetheart were he a millionaire. Ed Robertson and Steven Page share the vocals: in the verses, it is a call-and-response vocal with Page responding to the lines Robertson starts; in the choruses, Robertson and the rest of the band repeat the harmonized title line while Page responds to the line with further spending ideas.
A trademark of the song developed early on: After each of the first two choruses of the song, the vocals break down into a free-form banter. On each of the song's first three indie cassette appearances Buck Nakedthe Metal On The Black Sea - Various - Magic Circle Festival Volume I (DVD) Tape and the Yellow Tapethe banter between Page and Robertson lasts only in the remainder of the bar after the last line of the chorus.
On Buck Nakedthe second banter is followed by an instrumental interlude. The dialogues became improvisational for Page and Robertson at live shows. When it came time to record Gordonrecognizing that spontaneity in these banters would be vital to the song, the band chose to record a different take of this song each day, with the best one chosen for the album.
In live performances, it became traditional for Page and Robertson to improvise entirely new dialogue at these points. Initially the subject tended to flow from the previous sung lyric a fridge in a treefort after the first chorus, and Kraft Dinner after the second chorus ; with time this grew less common, and evolved into one of the two lead singers telling an unrelated anecdote. Since Page's departure from the band in Februarykeyboardist Kevin Hearn has filled his singing role in concert and all of the remaining band members have picked up some of the bantering with Robertson.
Some of the purchases are humorous references to the lavish spending of pop star Michael Jackson during the s, specifically exotic animals, the remains of the "Elephant Man" and a pet monkey. For an awards ceremony, Jackson bought Elizabeth Taylor, his friend, a sparkling emerald green dress 'not real emeralds'.
The line "but not a real green dress that's cruel" was originally written as "with a tastefully rounded neck". Page incorrectly sang the "cruel" lyric in the studio as a joke, which Robertson found so funny that the rest of the band decided to leave it in the finished song. A line in the song inspired fans to begin throwing Kraft Dinner at the band during concerts. It initially began as a single box at a show at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. It became so bad that eventually hundreds of boxes were pelted at shows; the band and their instruments were often the target.
Especially unpleasant were open cheese packages, which would create a putrid aroma when sitting on stage under hot spotlights. Some diehard fans would go one step further and throw cooked pasta. Eventually, the band requested that fans cease the ritual and instead donate the food via bins set up in the lobbies of their shows for local food banks.
In the band's iTunes OriginalsPage recalls a Maroon -era interview in which bassist Jim Creeggan cited this as his favourite song of Alpha - TwichGarden - Alpha-Omega EP, which sparked a realization in Page "that the song means so much to so many people, and has become a part of people's memories of a certain time in their lives".
In the early If I Had A Hammer - Harold Smith & His Majestic Choir* - Just As I Am , the song was used in television and radio advertising for the New York Lottery.
Init was featured in the episode " My Fruit Cups " of Scrubs. The song was also featured in the end credits of Dave, Shelly, and Crazy To Love You - Anjani* - Blue Alert 's film The Trouble with Money and was featured on the soundtrack of the film My Boss's Daughter.
It also appeared in an episode of Bait Car as it was playing loudly on the stereo of the "stolen" car. It has been parodied by the Brobdingnagian Bards as "If I Had a Million Ducats", replacing the objects and banter with more medieval and Renaissance references. The confection consists of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cups, chocolate-coated toffee chunks, white chocolate chunks and chocolate-coated almonds.
The following is a list of things from the Gordon version the narrator would buy for his sweetheart if he had a million dollars:. Several live changes have been common in performances. The post-chorus banters mentioned earlier are ad libbed at every performance and far more lengthy than the album versions. Due to these banters, the song is typically Zwei Blaue Vergissmeinnicht - Freddy Breck - Freddy Breck longest song in a concert it typically falls at the end of the main set or as an encore.
Since the early s, the third verse Hare Krishna - Hoppy Kamiyama & Bradford Reed - The Bubbleman 2 (A Day Of The Iron Sausage) the song has featured a different groove than the rest of the song, and since the mids has become a sing-along, with the audience calling back the title line instead of Page. This has continued by Hearn since Page's departure.
Both of these are heard on Rock Spectacle. The introduction to the song has also occasionally also been used for banter or to sing covers or parodies of songs. In the early s, Page and Robertson would often talk about the intro's "hot guitar lick". An example of the intro being used to sing another song is found on the Rock Spectacle version, in which they sing an excerpt of their own song "Grade 9.
At the end of the song, the band would often extend the musical outro to allow Page to demonstrate his vocal ability by belting out a short excerpt of another song typically a cover song. In the past, this tended to lead into a medley of cover songs and rapping known as the Amigo - Bärbel Wachholz, Orchester Gerd Natschinski - Amigo / Das wünsch ich mir Rap".
This medley was retired inbut was revived after Page's departure. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Barenaked Ladies song. For the film, see If I Had a Million. CD 12" 7" cassette. Steven Page Ed Robertson. Barenaked Ladies Michael Phillip Wojewoda. Distinguished Artists TV-series. June 3, Retrieved November 28, Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 27, Official Charts Company. Barenaked Ladies. Au Naturale Tour.
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