Down The Dumper – The 90s Part 17.

I’m not really a fan of the rock or metal genres, but I do remember that there were a lot of alternative American indie-rock groups whose songs had rather quirky lyrics on the British singles chart in the late-90s. These included Ben Folds Five, Fountains Of Wayne, Weezer, The Eels, Cake, Deep Blue Something, Rocket From The Crypt, and more.

But I thought that rather than do pieces on all of them, I shall pick out one of these groups, and I think that this one definitely fits the description that I am aiming for. The Presidents Of The United States Of America were a trio who formed in Seattle in the mid-90s. But would you believe, none of them had ever actually been the American President for real!

In January 1996, they had their first hit single in the UK when “Lump” was released, and this reached no. 15. And in the same month, their self-titled debut album made the Top 20. But in April 1996, “Peaches” was released, and this reached no. 8, to become their first and only Top Ten hit single in the UK (this is was also their first and only hit single in the US).

This is a song where they were rather keen to tell us about how fond they were of peaches, they could eat millions and millions of them apparently, and this had nothing to do with the The Stranglers either. Two further Top 40 hit singles would follow in 1996 with “Dune Buggy” and “Mach 5”, and they finished off this rather busy year with their second album “II” also making the chart.

And then in August 1998, they released “Video Killed The Radio Star”, a cover of the classic 1979 chart-topper by The Buggles. I thought that it was rather interesting to hear this familiar song in a rather different genre. And this also featured that effect that seemed to be popular on some songs at the time that made them sound like they were on the phone.

It was also around this time that The Presidents announced that they had split, and this song was considered to be something of a farewell gift to the fans. However, it seems that not too many of them took much notice, as this reached only no. 52. But a few years on, they did reform, and they have now made six albums. What a zany bunch of guys.


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