“’Cause what the world needs now
Is another folk singer
Like I need a hole in my head”
If you’re like me, you laugh a little bit every time you hear that name-making chorus line by American alt-rockers Cracker. In fact, you probably know many of the great lines in the song so well that you let loose a chuckle a few times during its entirety, even before the words are sung.
“Teen angst (what the world needs now)” was the first single ever released by the band and is track one on their self-titled debut album. Cracker was formed by David Lowery and childhood friend Johnny Hickman in 1990 after Lowery’s first band, Camper Van Beethoven, called it quits. They have released eight more albums since their debut announced their arrival, the most recent coming five years ago and according to my own city’s concert listings, Cracker are still touring, hitting a few North American spots nearing the end of this year. I never got into the Camper Van, myself, nor have I listened to much Cracker since the mid-1990s but I did love their first two records. In fact, while re-listening to “Cracker” while writing this post, I found myself wondering how me and the band ever grew apart and made the decision to have a meander through their latter works.
This particular song, though, with its tongue-in-cheek and self-deprecating attitudes, spoke to people (including myself) back in 1992. It rocked and rolled and thrashed about and twanged its way to the top of the modern rock singles charts. Lowery’s delivery, which cavorted between laidback and morally indignant, was just the right tone at just the right time. He was telling us, even as he was doubting it himself, what he thought the world needed, or maybe just what he needed to survive this world. And well, I agreed with him on many of those points.
For the rest of the Best tunes of 1992 list, click here.