Monday, March 30, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 70)

70. "The King Is Half-Undressed"
Artist: Jellyfish
Year: 1990

The band wasn't around long, just two proper albums, but Jellyfish should be considered one of the power-pop greats of the '90s and of all time. The fellas wore their influences on their sleeves, the Beach Boys, XTC, Cheap Trick, the Paisley Underground, and core members Andy Sturmer and Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., surrounded themselves with like-minded geniuses such as Jason Falkner (on the first album) and Jon Brion (on the second album) to create a sort of supergroup to be. Every musician named here would go on to create many of my favorite pop albums later in the '90s and beyond as songwriters, solo artists, producers and as members of other bands.

There were a whopping five singles on the first album, and any of them could have been chosen to fill this spot. "Baby's Coming Back" was the closest to a hit here in America, peaking at No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "That Is Why" is the one that seems to get selected the most for compilations, but I went with "The King Is Half-Undressed" because it was the first song I ever heard from them and because its stuffed with all of the bells and whistles that became even more prevalent on the second album. If, by chance, you aren't familiar with the albums 'Bellybutton' or 'Spilt Milk,' this is a great time to jump on the bandwagon. Both have been reissued as double-disc deluxe editions in 2015. Perhaps we will hear from a Jellyfish alum a little later in the countdown.


friend of rachel worth said...

Eg white did a great cover of stay home on his debut solo lp . Love this single but found the LP a tad too much of a sugar rush

McPop said...

I'm glad Jellyfish made the countdown. I'm a big fan! I bought both Bellybutton and Spilt Milk deluxe 2-CD sets on Omnivore (one of my favorite labels). The remastered albums sound great and I currently have them in my car 6 cd changer along with the new reissue of Game Theory's Real Nighttime (also on Omnivore).

Brian said...

And that's saying a lot, FORW, because I know you like your sugar. In the case of Jellyfish, I actually like the albums as a whole more than the individual singles. If this was an albums countdown, Bellybutton would rate much higher than this single did.

McPop, You certainly sound like a big fan. Do you have the fan club box? If you do, is there much crossover between it and the bonus material on the album reissues you're enjoying in the car? I'm with you on Omnivore. They are doing a wonderful job with Game Theory's catalog. Lolita Nation should be coming up soon.

McPop said...

Nope, didn't get the Jellyfish box set although I was buying a lot from Not Lame at the time. I do have the Posies box set which has some great unreleased material though as you're probably aware the great Omnivore (this is starting to feel like an advertisement) is also reissuing their catalog with bonus tracks!