Certain Songs #627: Hoodoo Gurus – “Down On Me”

hoodoo gurus in blue cave Album: In Blue Cave
Year: 1996

The year is 1996. I’ve moved to Oakland, and I’m doing what I did at least twice a month on Saturday mornings: digging through the recent additions in Amoeba Music’s used CD section.

It was one of my rituals: driving into Berkeley first thing on Saturday morning, standing in trade-in line with CDs that had run the gamut of usefulness in order to get some store credit to offset the a bit too much I was going to spend on music that day.

And I come across a promo CD with no cover, but stamped on the light blue label is “Hoodoo Gurus In Blue Cave.” I don’t think I knew they had a new album coming out, but since that was 20 years ago, who remembers? And despite the fact that I hadn’t like either of their previous two records, I figured it was worth the five or six bucks to check it out.

And I’m eternally glad I did.

Because In Blue Cave was a pretty fucking great comeback, an eternal reminder of just how well-schooled the Hoodoo Gurus were in the basic rock ‘n’ roll that I’ll always love, and coupled with a bunch of great Dave Faulkner songs, it was irresistible.

My favorite song on the album was “Down on Me,” which featured everything you could want in a Hoodoo Gurus song: a tough-as-nails central riff, call-and-response chorus, and more than one killer Brad Shepherd guitar solo.

And the darkly sardonic lyrics were just a bonus.

Ain’t it always the way
How people treat you today
Fuck you over and say,
“Now go and have a real nice day!”

They must be
(Down on me!)
Can’t you see
(Down on me!)
I don’t need them
(Down on me!)
Let me breathe, stop drowning me

It goes without saying that yelling “down on me!” along with the Gurus is the point of the song, and it’s an extra nice that in the verse about turning to drugs has a tongue-in-cheek phase shift effect even as Faulkner is listing all of the drugs that aren’t helping.

Also fun, and pretty much apropos of nothing given that it was 1996: when Faulkner ends the song by yelling “MTV, go down on me!!!”

“Down on Me”

“Down on Me” performed live

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

Comments are closed.