3533. “Shiny Shiny” by Haysi Fantayzee

Official video:

I find that I have more than I thought I’d want to say about Haysi Fantayzee.

First, I encourage you to revisit my entry on “In A Big Country” by Big Country where I recount how I came to own a copy of Haysi Fantayzee’s only album, 1983’s Battle Hymns for Children Singing.

Next, enjoy this choice quote from the AllMusic review by Ned Raggett linked above:

Arguably one of the most head-shaking albums ever made — though to the band’s credit, that was the whole point — Battle Hymns for Children Singing might just be what the doctor ordered for insomnia. It’s not so much for the fact that the music will put a listener to sleep as much as it will induce a listener to destroy the sound system it is playing on, therefore tiring out that person for bedtime. The sublimely ridiculous “Shiny Shiny,” with its opening “Good times come to me now” hook and goony music hall singalong madness (or indeed Madness) — not to mention the inclusion of everything from inappropriate electric guitar solos to Dexy’s Midnight Runners-styled fiddles — made for a most unlikely early-’80s hit.

Yeah, the album is really kind of dreadful. Even their first big UK hit, “John Wayne Is Big Leggy” is borderline unlistenable,.

I first heard Haysi Fantayzee’s second hit, “Shiny Shiny” on the Dr. Demento show, though they played it quite a bit on WXCI as well. The drums sounded a bit like Bow Wow Wow or Adam Ant, the fiddle a little like Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and the singing like a guy yelling for a taxi over a whining 7 year old’s complaints (I am pleased to report that AllMusic largely confirms my interpretation of the band’s sources). To my 15 year old ears, the sound was pretty irresistible, all the more so because it had the Dr. Demento seal of approval.

Listening to it now (and especially watching it now), I find myself cringing and wondering what I was thinking. I know they’re just having fun, but at the time I thought “wow, this means something.” No. No it didn’t.

All three band members went on to greater success after the band dissolved – the female singer became an important professional photographer, the male singer a sought after DJ and the musician joined The Fixx.

I can’t even… I mean… Yeah, so, this song happened.


3533. “Shiny Shiny” by Haysi Fantayzee — 1 Comment

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