My Top 1000 Songs #316: Sharing Patrol Theme
Some songs on the list are obvious, widely-shared favorites, the sort of songs we can celebrate together, our mutual admiration binding us together. And then there are the super-obscure ones, the songs that I love for purely personal reasons, that I'm convinced few people have heard, much less count among their favorites.
So, yeah, this is one of those latter ones. But boy I love this song! While the first LP from Seattle's Young Fresh Fellows was a collection of lo-fi, good-humored retro-styled garage rock & psych-pop, the 1985 follow-up really showed them expanding their scope and sophistication. It was a clear indicator that frontman Scott McCaughey had far grander ambitions (as borne out by his subsequent decades, fronting two separate bands--YFF and the Minus 5--as well as joining R.E.M. as a touring and recording member and playing in about a hundred side projects with pretty much everyone).
While there are countless great tracks on Topsy Turvy, in a wide array of styles, "Sharing Patrol Theme" has always felt special, a song that just kinda spoke to me. It's a grandiose yet concise suite, starting off with a slow-building psychedelic instrumental jam, moving into a dark and trippy but catchy vocal bit, and finally cutting loose with some anthemic whistling and la-la-las, pure pop joy. (Hey, can I just say that more songs need some whistling?) It feels like a call to arms for... something? "I know that it's so hard to stand up; it never seems to do any good. But anyone who can learn to say 'hands up!' can learn to think like Robin Hood." By the time of the closing invitation to "Join the Sharing Patrol!" I'm definitely signing up. It's a small club, and it's unclear what we're gonna do, but I love being a part of it. Join us!Live in 1985 (without the instrumental lead-in jam and the whistling):...and in 2013: