Drugs have played an important part in music, both positively and negatively. They’ve inspired songs, affected careers and taken great artists before their time. This is the second part of a continuing saga which identifies the individual chemicals that stimulated some of the best known recordings.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Scooby Snacks (1996)
Written by Fun Lovin’ Criminals
Influenced by – Diazepam/Valium
The phrase “Scooby Snacks” came from a man band members Huey Morgan and Brian Leiser used to know. “He would dole out pills like puppy treats” Morgan said. There was a minor backlash from some commentators stating that he was glorifying armed robbery fuelled by drugs. His response was “In Europe they tend to get the irony of what we do. In the U.S. some people say we’re irresponsible. They’re too worried about selling Cola products to have a sense of humour. Our view is that you either get humorous or you lose it and start shooting”.
The Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode (1992)
Written by The Shamen
Influenced by – Ecstasy
One of the most controversial number one U.K. hits due to its perceived endorsement of recreational drug use. The song was initially banned by the BBC. It has been claimed that the single was eventually withdrawn after the band were hounded by the British tabloid press, though according to The Shamen themselves, it was deleted while at Number 1 due to its long chart run “messing up our release schedule”. The inspiration for the song may have been influenced by the group’s experiences whilst hosting rave nights at London’s T&C2. Their “Synergy” night boasted hallucinogenic visual stimuli to complement the sounds. As far as other stimuli went, some said the club had more dealers than party goer’s.
The Stranglers – Golden Brown (1981)
Written by The Stranglers
Influenced by – Heroin
Initially the band denied any link to the references to Heroin, with drummer Jet Black famously quipping that the song is about the famous yeast extract spread, Marmite. In his 2001 book “The Stranglers Song By Song”, guitarist Hugh Cornwell clearly states “‘Golden Brown’ works on two levels. It’s about heroin and also about a girl”. Essentially the lyrics describe how “both provided me with pleasurable times”.
Sonic Youth & Cypress Hill – I Love You Mary Jane (1993)
Influenced by – Marijuana
This fond tribute to Marijuana was included in the “Judgement Night” movie soundtrack. Little surprise given that Cypress Hill had celebrated anything herbular on previous occasions. Indeed, they would even go on to be banned by Saturday Night Live for smoking on air and destroying their instruments during a performance of “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That”.