Camper Van Beethoven’s 1985 debut album, Telephone Free Landslide Victory didn’t really sound like anything else at the time (and precious little since). It was a fusion of world, folk, country, rock and (I’m guessing) copious amounts of drugs.
Let’s put this song in context. Its worth looking at what a couple of sites identify as the top 100 songs of 1985. I trust the one that starts with “Careless Whisper”/”Like a Virgin,” since that seems to match Billboard’s listing.
Anyhow, nothing that was getting airplay on anyone’s top 100 of ’85 list sounded even remotely like “The Day That Lassie Went To The Moon”. Between the subject matter, the organ work, the drowsy “yeah yeah” backing chorus and Dave Lowery’s speak/sing delivery, the song was like a look into an alternate reality.
For those of us who were lured to Camper Van Beethoven that year because of “Take The Skinheads Bowling,” we came in expecting an album of comedy, a la The Dead Milkmen. What we got instead was something entirely unexpected.
While there are a number of bands that opened up my mind to different styles of music, Camper Van Beethoven made me realize that there were styles of music out there that I hadn’t even conceived of. Thank you, gentlemen!