Song of the Day #2,355: ‘Rick James’ – Jude

jude_no_oneThe Random iTunes Fairy is in a nostalgic mood this weekend. We got an early 00s track from Guster yesterday, and now here’s Jude, an artist who ascended briefly in the 90s before falling quickly to earth.

Jude’s 1998 album No One is Really Beautiful is a fun and innovative bit of alt-rock, showcasing his unconventional vocals and his knack for mixing balladry with white-boy funk.

‘Rick James’ is a great example of the latter. I love the sound of this song, though I’ve never been entirely sure of its meaning. It starts out as a screed against a pornographer but takes detours into Novocain and Jesus freaks that don’t really add up.

This is just the basic, this is not the best
Everybody knows that the trouble starts when you talk all about the rest
First, you went to college and then you got yourself degrees
Then, you got some pretty girls to get down on their knees
You took yourself some pictures and you showed them to your friends
Now, you’re going straight to Hell and that’s where your story ends

Well, one of those girls was a friend of mine
One of those ones you took
One of those girls didn’t want to see her face on the cover of a dirty book
One of those girls took her life last night just in case you had not heard
And everybody knows that the pretty ones go down doing it for the work, and

[Chorus:]
Don’t be fooled
Don’t be flattered
It’s not like you ever mattered
When the world around is falling down, and every ship’s been shattered
Don’t be fooled
Don’t flattered
It’s not like you ever mattered
Not to me
Ah, Rick James was the original super freak

Man, you’re not so perfect
Man, you’re not a pearl
You’re nothing more, man, than a little piece of sand
That grew up inside of a girl
I don’t go for the Novocain
‘Cause I don’t like the pin
And I don’t fall for the Jesus freaks when they seem like they want to win

[Chorus]

[Bridge:]
I’m not looking for an answer anymore
I’m not looking for a visionary
Help me, Mother Mary
I’ve done my time
I’m closer everyday to a life of crime

The god above us and everywhere – he watches all the people die
Killing them as others waste their time in asking why
But time is all we’re given, and the happiness we seek
It may be the peace within the meek or maybe the statement of the freak and

[Chorus x 2]

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,355: ‘Rick James’ – Jude

  1. Dana says:

    I haven’t heard this song or this album for quite a while, but there was a time years ago that I would play this record quite a lot. Good stuff. What ever happened to Jude?

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