"Fish Heads" is a novelty song by comedy rock duo Barnes & Barnes, released as a single in 1978 and later featured on their 1980 album Voobaha.[1] It is the most requested song on the Dr. Demento radio show, and a music video for the song made in 1980 was in regular rotation on MTV.[2][3] The song was featured on Barnes & Barnes' 1982 Fish Heads (Greatest Hits) 12-inch on Rhino Records.[4]

"Fish Heads"
Single by Barnes & Barnes
from the album Voobaha
B-side"High School Gym"
LabelLumania Records
Songwriter(s)Barnes & Barnes

The lyrics are an absurdist celebration of fish heads, describing them in the high-pitched chorus as "roly poly" and delicious to eat. The verses describe various things they (mostly) cannot do such as play baseball, wear sweaters, play the drums, and drink cappuccino in Italian restaurants with oriental women.

Actor Bill Paxton, a filmmaker at the time, directed and appeared in the music video for the song, along with cinematographer Rocky Schenck and Robert Haimer's girlfriend at the time, Joan Farber, who designed the costume look. The video aired on NBC television on Saturday Night Live, on December 6, 1980, and the following week. Dr. Demento had a cameo as the bum.

The song is featured in The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror VII". Alan Arkin sings the song in the 1993 movie Indian Summer. In the 2017 television episode "Goodwill" of Halt and Catch Fire Joe and Haley listen to the song while driving in Joe's car.[5][6]

References Edit

  1. ^ Barnes & Barnes - Fish Heads on YouTube
  2. ^ Buck, David (18 July 2019). "Eat Them Up, Yum!". Tedium. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Dr. Demento - About". Retrieved 2020-10-06.
  4. ^ "Barnes & Barnes - Fish Heads (Greatest Hits)". Discogs. 1982. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  5. ^ Collins, Sean T. (9 October 2017). "'Halt and Catch Fire' Recap, Season 4, Episode 8: 'It Was a Beautiful Service'". Decider. NYP Holdings, Inc. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  6. ^ Perkins, Dennis (7 October 2017). "A lovely, restrained Halt And Catch Fire lets everyone grieve in their own way". The A.V. Club. G/O Media. Retrieved 2 January 2020.