Tennessee Ernie Ford Would Have To Load 17 Tons Under the Idea of Music Inflation
Inflation is the hot topic right now, as prices for everything from gas to groceries have grown steep. Politicians are busy either decrying the situation or else promising things will get better.
Listening to the blather from both sides of the spectrum is really quite a bore, so I prefer to hear musicians discuss the topic on inflation. Actually, the indie group Okkervil River applied the concept to classic rock songs on an offering from their 2007 album, The Stage Names.
Front man Wil Sheff on the song “Plus Ones” mentions a 97th Tear in reference to the biggest hit by Question mark and the Mysterians, as well as 100 Luft Balloons take on Nene's 1982 smash hit.
Also getting upped in number are REM's 8 Chinese Brothers, Paul Simon's 51st way to leave your lover, and the Byrds' nine miles high.
Listeners also hear of seventeen candles, David Bowie's TVC16, and the Commodors' fourth time you were a lady. Missing from the song were references to numbers in names of bands, such as the Four Dog Night or the Dave Clark Six.
As clever as the song is, Sheff and his band mates could have added to their list of inflated titles. Here are a few suggestions in the case that Okkervil River ever wants to do “Plus Ones 2.”
Obviously Six Believers
Bob Dylan limited the count to five on his track from Blonde on Blonde, the same album where he takes a “Fourth Time Around.”
Gimme Four Steps
In order to avoid a likely fatal fight with the boyfriend of a girl he had met in a bar, the Lynyrd Skynyrd character pleaded for a head start of just one fewer step but would gladly welcome this extra unit.
Knock Four Times
Of course, along with the additional rap in the chorus of this Tony Orlando and Dawn hit, you would also expect to hear “thrice on the pipe if the answer is no.”
Black Letter Days is the home of “21 Reasons”, the most infectious and intriguing track in the catalog of Frank Black and the Catholics.
Soul Coughing front man Mike Doughty scored his first solo single with “27 Jennifers,” one of the juicy cuts from sophomore album Golden Delicious.
Drummer Graeme Edge, who just passed away last week, turned the number of days (to which inflation would add one) we could expect to live into one of the highlights of Long Distance Voyager.
Mod main character Jimmy has a quartet of looks, so inflation would alter the album and subsequent film to a title of Quintrophenia.
Six Gears In Reverse
Elvis Costello used only five gears on the 20-song album Get Happy, which with inflation would give us a bonus track.
In Only Eight Days
Bassist John Deacon contributed this romantic ballad to Queen's Jazz album, but with our inflation rate it would end up being 24 hours more than one week.
You would still owe your soul to the company store and get deeper in debt, even after adding a burdensome ton to the workload made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford.