Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals

By Ron Powers

This month I’ll be discussing one of my favorite pop songs of all time. In the late 1980s, the British band Fine Young Cannibals burst onto the pop music scene with their smash hit single “She Drives Me Crazy.” With its monster drum sounds, catchy chorus, and genius percussive hooks, the song quickly climbed to the top of the charts in both the UK and the US. Not only did this song bring the band huge success but it cemented the band’s place in music history and help define the sound of a decade.

As the opening beat of “She Drives Me Crazy” begins to play, it’s clear that this is a song that’s going to get you moving. The drums are processed with gated reverb creating that iconic 80s sound. After two bars of drums, we hear guitar chords processed with a telephone EQ filter along with plucked synth notes. These elements are placed in the arrangement with a minimalist elegance reminiscent of an abstract painting you might see in an art museum.

As the first verse is introduced the music is perfectly complemented by lead singer Roland Gift’s high-pitched falsetto vocals and catchy top line. We hear the opening lyrics, “I can’t stop the way I feel / Things you do don’t seem real”. The vocals are supported by a punchy and clean bass sound along with drums and percussive synth. Halfway through the verse, gentle synth pad chords are added giving the music a lift in energy just before the band launches into one of the best pop choruses of all time.

The chorus of “She Drives Me Crazy” is a true earworm that’s impossible to forget once you’ve heard it. It’s built around the repetition of the song’s title, with lead singer Roland Gift delivering the line “She drives me crazy” in a catchy and distinct vocal style. The chorus is a perfect example of the band’s ability to craft simple, yet incredibly effective hooks that stick in your head long after the song is over. The instrumentation is also a key part of the chorus, with the band opening up their sound with big lush guitar chords that give that extra punch to the sound. Overall, the chorus of “She Drives Me Crazy” is a masterclass in pop songwriting that has stood the test of time and remains just as catchy and irresistible today as it was when it was first released.

Although Fine Young Cannibals are no longer making music, they’ve left behind a legacy that has stood the test of time. “She Drives Me Crazy” sounds as fresh and exciting as the day it was released, and millions of people are still enjoying the upbeat and energized sound of this amazing band. If you’d like to learn more about Fine Young Cannibals, you can find them on Wikipedia, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you’d like to listen to “She Drives Me Crazy” you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold.

About the Author: Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent.

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