Top 10 Classic Rock Songs About “Fools”



through Mike McPadden


The first 24 hours of the fourth month of each year, popularly known as April Fool’s Day, are traditionally reserved for jokes, pranks, hoaxes, bunkum, and other comedic trickery in which bewilderment is transformed into good humor through the hitting line. statement “April Fools!” “

However, rock-and-roll seems to take a more subdued approach to the concept of “crazy”. Classic rock songs that directly address “fools”, especially in the title, tend to sound like warning, rejection, outright mockery, and even and even anger. Not fool!

For this April Fool’s Day, take some time between cranking the cranks and pumping up Whoopee cushions to check out our playlist of the 10 best “Fool” classic rock songs.

“The Fool in the Rain” – Led Zeppelin (1979)
The idiot in the title of Zep’s latest single to hit the pop charts waits in a corner during a downpour, sweating and worrying every moment for a woman in love who doesn’t show up to meet him.

The epic song, complemented by a monstrous Latin percussion breakdown in the middle, ultimately pays off with a punchline reminiscent of the rock and roll classic of 1957. “Silhouettes” by the Rays: “I’m just a jerk waiting on the wrong block!”

Zep frontman Robert Plant extended the notion of a waterlogged schlemiel to the value of an entire boat on his 1988 rock radio hit, “Ship of fools”.

“Crazy on the Hill” – The Beatles (1967)
The Beatles returned largely bitter and disillusioned from a trip to India in 1968 to visit meditation guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi George Harrison, who remained a lifelong cosmic seeker, was the exception) . True to Ozzy Osbourne’s assessment of Paul McCartney and John Lennon as rock’s ultimate ‘bittersweet’ combo, Paul composed the sweet ‘Fool on the Hill’ on his previous assessment of the one year older man. early. John wrote the most scabrous “Sexy Sadie,” which was originally just titled “Maharishi” and makes his feelings very clear with the lyrics: “You’ve made fun of everyone!”

“Won’t be fooled again” – The Who (1971)

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The Who’s stormy call to never trust authority presents both the listeners and the group themselves as fools who have been duped by empty promises and hypocritical double deals from so-called rulers, but now we are all wiser.

Still, the song remains hopeful in its assessment of how the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s changed the world, with Roger Daltrey singing Pete Townshend’s lyrics to kneeling down and praying that ” we were no longer fooled “. Then, after what rock critic Dave Marsh has described as “the biggest cry of a screaming career,” the song ends on an overwhelming Orwellian note: “Meet the new boss, like the old boss.” In other words: don’t be a fool.

“Fool to cry” – Rolling Stones (1976)

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The soul ballad “Fool to Cry” is the only real success from the Rolling Stones’ 1976 album. Black and blue, a record that has its fans but is popularly considered a placeholder between the classics It’s only rock’n’roll (1974) and Certain girls (1978).

The lyrics are a curious confessional in which Mick Jagger sings about being a “certified idiot” who relentlessly mourns his daughter, his wife in the poor part of town, and even his friends. Whenever he cries, they all say, “Daddy, you’re a crying fool.

“What Does a Fool Believe” – Doobie Brothers (1979)
The Doobie Brothers’ biggest hit officially defined the group as being both the world-class biker-boogie outfit that they started out as and the powerhouse of the lush and emotional adult rock-and-soul they’ve become with the addition of singer and keyboardist Michael McDonald.

Irresistible with its cheerful opening riff and the soaring voice of McDonald’s, “What a Fool Believes” tells the age-old tale of a sucker who yearns for lost love. She moved on, as the fool “struggles to recreate what had not yet been created.” We’ve all been there: moved by a broken heart to cling too hard to what an idiot believes.

“Getting it wrong (the angry young man)” – Styx (1978)
Upstart guitarist Tommy Shaw wrote “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” with Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung in mind. Shaw was never able to understand how DeYoung, as the lead singer of one of the biggest rock bands in the world, always seemed stressed and pissed off by the band’s issues. Hence the words: “You have everything in the palm of your hand / But your hand is soaked in sweat and your head needs rest / And you’re wrong if you don’t believe it.”

Over time, Shaw says he identified himself strongly with the lyrics, largely frustrated with the directions DeYoung led the band in the ’80s. Everyone’s joking around sometimes.

“Crazy” – Def Leppard (1983)

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Following the amplified power-pop of “Photograph” and the over-the-top, almost parody metal of “Rock of Ages,” the third single from Def Leppard’s platinum-making machine from 1983 Pyromania, “Foolin ‘,” took on a dark and brooding turn, adding dramatic power to the sound and refined skills of the band.

After a chilling introduction about Lady Luck who never smiles, frontman Joe Elliot bemoans his own loneliness, lamenting, “Is there anyone out there? Does anyone care? He is so carried away by emotion that making sure he is serious, Elliot and the other Leppards stutter (in the great tradition of Who’s “My Generation” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothin ‘Yet” by BTO ): “Baby I” I’m not fff-crazy ! “

“Nobody is crazy” – Cinderella (1986)

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Philadelphia’s Cinderella infused their metal hair with sleek bluesy licks and other interesting musical takes that noticeably raised them above the standard poodle heads of MTV’s glam era.

Concrete example: the revolutionary hit of the group “Nobody’s Fool”. The song combines haunting, almost gothic verse with a thunderous chorus in which Cinderella’s brain Tom Keifer hammers her mindless days wasted on unrequited love over.

There’s just no way you can’t believe Keifer when he sings, “I’m screaming with all my heart just to earn a dime / And with that dime I bought your love / But now I changed my opinion / I’m not your fool / Nobody cheat! “

“Crazy for the city” – Foghat (1975)

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On the title track of Foghat’s biggest album (yes, the one that contains “Slow hike”), Lonesome frontman Dave Peverett proclaims himself, like so many singers since time immemorial, to be madly in love. Alas, Peverett’s passion isn’t for a woman: it’s for dirty, hectic and difficult city life.

“Breathe all the clean air, sit in the sun,” sings Lonesome Dave, “When I get my train ticket I’ll get up and run / I’m ready for the city, air pollution here I am! “

“Dancin ‘Fool” – Frank Zappa (1978)

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Zappa’s anti-disco rant “Dancin ‘Fool”, taken from his 1978 classic Sheik Yerbouti, offers no heartfelt jokes when it comes to the dance culture of open-shirt, chained-neck singles. , coked and swinging afterSaturday night fever 1970s. “The beat goes on,” Zappa sings, “and I’m so wrong.”

When hosting Saturday Night Live in 1978, Zappa performed “Dancin ‘Fool” and, thereafter, the song reached No. 45 on the pop charts. This is his second biggest hit after the 1982 duet with daughter Moon Unity, which reached No. 32. “Valley girl.”

Mike “McBeardo” McPadden is the author of Heavy Metal Movies: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos and Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 most heart-wrenching Big Scream movies! (Bazillion points).

[Photo: Mercury/Getty Images]

Mike McPadden is the author of the book “HEAVY METAL MOVIES: Guitar Barbarians, Mutant Bimbos, and Cult Zombies Amok in the 666 Most Ear- and Eye-Ripping Big Scream Films Ever!” (Bazillion Points, 2014).

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