Song Of The Day 1/28/2015: Brute Force - "King of Fuh"

Apple Scruffs: I can’t believe we’re closing in on three years of Song Of The Day and I haven’t featured this song until now. This is part of my permanent canon. One of 100 songs that shook the empire. Its omission to this point is nearly inexcusable, except for the fact that I’m the only person I make any excuses to, and I believe not one of them.

Brute Force – wonderful, sweet breath of life Brute Force – was a guy named Stephen Friedland. In 1967 he was already accomplished as a songwriter and collaborator for a lot of above-ground artists, like Del Shannon and the Chiffons. He also reportedly sang with a version of the Tokens, of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” fame, though I didn’t have time to verify that through any ironclad sources.

At some point Friedland veered way off the highway and began recording under the name Brute Force. He recorded an album for Columbia called I, Brute Force, Confections of Love. There really aren’t any suitable descriptors for this album, except by sheer force of nerve and a consumptive embrace of abandonment and sanity it is one of the greatest albums of the ’60s. I used to play selections from this album on my show on KAOS and every time I did I’d get a phone call. A couple of them went “What in God’s name was that?” Another guy couldn’t complete his thoughts, gasped and hung up. Oh, the power of music.

But let’s talk about “King of Fuh.” According to Wikipedia, that useful source of information on the Sheffield Eagles rugby team and customer experience management, “King of Fuh” was actually produced by the Tokens. It came to the attention of Apple, again via George and John, who greatly admired the song. I’m sure John the cunning linguist laughed himself hoarse as soon as he realized the song’s, er, “hook.” It was an original idea back then, decades before Aqua Teen Hunger Force co-opted the joke. Obviously, there wasn’t much of a chance that “King of Fuh” would get a ton of airplay, so accountants couldn’t find a good reason to put it out on a wide scale. George, who masterfully added the strings on top of this song, decided to put out an extremely limited edition of 2,000 singles. Thankfully, it’s survived to this day.

Bruce Force is still very much around. This is an interview I found relating to all things Fuh. You may want to hear the song first. Maybe twice. Take all the time you need.

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