Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers

I bet you already know one song from Fountains of Wayne’s 2003 album Welcome Interstate Managers. Here’s the first verse and part of the chorus:

Stacy can I come over after schoo-oo-oo-oo-ool,

(After school)

We can hang around by the poo-oo-oo-oo-ool,

(Hang by the pool)

Did your mom get back from her business trip,

(Business trip)

Is she there, or is she tryin' to give me the sli-i-i-i-ip,

(Give me the slip)

You know I'm not the little boy that I used to be,

I'm all grown up now,

Baby can't you see.


Stacy's Mom has got it goin' on,

She's all I want,

And I've waited for so long,

Stacy can't you see,

You're just not the girl for me,

I know it might be wrong,

But I'm in love with Stacy's Mom. 

The reason you know “Stacy’s Mom” is MTV President Judy McGrath.  In 2003, she liked the obscure tune so much that she championed the making of a music video that starred Rachel Hunter as Stacy’s Mom and the single went gold.

Ahh, Rachel Hunter!  With a body like that who was listening to the music? Maybe it was due to the incessant airplay of the music video that we all learned “Stacy’s Mom.”  It might not have been on purpose.  It was background music so we could stare at Rachel Hunter.

As catchy and as popular as “Stacy’s Mom” is, it is far from the best song on Welcome Interstate Managers. You can even argue that it is not one of the top five of the fifteen (eighteen if you include the Japanese edition bonus track “Elevator Up” and the tongue in cheek "Adam's Mom (Stacy's Mom Remix)") tracks (do you really care or are you still looking at Rachel Hunter?  I thought so.))

Songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood played together, went their separate ways and then reformed as Fountains of Wayne in 1996, disbanded after a couple of uneventful albums, and then reunited in 2001.  The band consists of members Collingwood, Schlesinger, Jody Porter and Brian Young.

In addition to “Stacy’s Mom” on Welcome Interstate Managers  “Mexican Wine” also garnered  significant airplay.  The music video for the song spawned controversy. It showed young children singing the lyrics "think I'll have another glass of Mexican wine" and guitarist Porter catching a drink on the bare stomach of a woman lying on a beach.  Due to the controversy Fountains Of Wayne’s record label, S-Curve Records, pulled the video from circulation.

Yet, even “Mexican Wine” may not make the album’s top ten songs.  If you really want to hear great pop rock with intelligent writing about timely topics ,and hear great harmonies and instrumentation, just listen to “Bright Future In Sales” about a young road warrior sales recruit trying to justify why he does it, or queue up “Little Red Light” about losing your girlfriend while working in New York and commuting to a dismal job.   You can truly drop the needle anywhere on this one and hear great music. 

Others agree.  The TV series “Scrubs” used “Hey Julie” and “All Kinds of Time” in episodes of its show.  The NFL also used “All Kinds of Time” (an amazing song about a football quarterback making a perfect play in slow-motion) in its 2004 league promotional video.  L.L. Bean used “Valley Winter Song” in a commercial and Kate Perry covered “Hackensack” on “MTV Unplugged.”

Hey, look!  Eyes down here! I’m still telling you about Welcome Interstate Managers.  I know you are still looking at Rachel Hunter and maybe that is Fountain of Wayne’s biggest problem.  They are so good at their craft that others quickly grab their music to take advantage of this band’s incredible talent.  They don’t need Rachel Hunter but, hey, if you got her you don’t give her away.

Okay, you can now return your eyes to the picture of Rachel Hunter or you can watch and listen to one of the band’s videos below.

- Old School

Buy here: Welcome Interstate Managers
Buy here mp3: Welcome Interstate Managers

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