Tuesday, 6 May 2014

My Top Ten Songs About Bad Neighbours

So we'll (hopefully) be moving house in the next couple of weeks.

I'll let you come to your own conclusions as to why...

However, I dedicate this post to my friend and comic collaborator Rob Wells, whose "naughty neighbour" experiences make ours pale into insignificance, and whose hilariously confessional graphic novel 'Sack, Crack & Back (& Brain)' has just been shortlisted for this year's Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Competition.Congrats, Rob, you deserve to win... the rest of you, just be glad I didn't do a 'Sack, Crack & Back' Top Ten.

10. ZZ Top - Neighbor, Neighbor

The double-Zs aren't too happy that their neighbour has spread a malicious rumour about them to the missus. Cue instant, non- neighbourly retribution.

9. Reverend & The Makers - Noisy Neighbour

The Reverend takes revenge on a noisy neighbour by turning up his stereo...

I've got a noisy neighbour
We don't see eye to eye
He hoovers up at 1am
But we'll drown him out tonight

Pretty soon there's a knock at the door
And the Window Wobbler's shaking the walls
Turn my music way up loud
It's your turn, how you feeling now?

8. Paul Simon - One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor

Like many people with bad neighbours, Paul Simon doesn't like to make a fuss...

I heard a racket in the hall
And I thought I heard a fall
But I never opened up my door
It's just apartment house sense
It's like apartment rents
Remember: one man's ceiling
Is another man's floor

7. Misty's Big Adventure - I Buried The Neighbours

Well, that's one solution...

(Rob: don't do it!)

6. Benji Hughes - Neighbor Down the Hall

Benji Hughes isn't afraid to admit it: he is your bad neighbour!

The landlord's really coming down on me
He says if he gets just one more call
In the middle of the night about my stereo
I'm gone

So... what you gonna do about it?

5. Beck - Truckdrivin' Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)

Based on two scary-ass neighbours who lived in the flat below Beck, this begins with a recording (or is it a re-enactment?) of one of their arguments.

Acid casualty with a repossessed car
Vietnam vet playing air guitar
It's just the shitkickin' speedtakin'
Truckdrivin' neighbors downstairs

4. Space - Neighbourhood

Mostly forgotten Scouse-Pop anthem from EIGHTEEN years ago that begins with a dated Lloyd Grossman reference!

In 110 they haven't paid the rent
So there goes the TV with the repo men
In 999 they make a living from crime
The house is always empty
Cos they're all doing time

3. Richard Thompson - Psycho Street

As he explains in the live intro linked to above, Richard Thompson really hates the TV show Neighbours... largely because he doesn't think it's at all realistic: the folk who live next to him are anything but good friends.

A man pours petrol through his neighbor's letterbox
And throws in a match, the house is engulfed in flames, as the neighbors
Jump from the upstairs window he films the whole thing on video
He plays it back to them later in hospital
"Things have been pretty dull at home without you", he says

2. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - The Neighbors

Jonathan suffers from extremely nosy neighbours - a big problem when he's having an affair with the woman across the street.

1.Tom Waits - What's He Building?

The scariest neighbour imaginable... and a contender for scariest song too. 

I'll tell you one thing:
He's not building a playhouse for
The children

What's he building in there?

This is a work of genius.

Those were my favourite bad neighbour songs... but which one gets you hammering on the wall?


  1. Closest I can get is Kate Bush's "Get Out Of My House" - something I'd certainly scream if ever I found my neighbours in my living room.

    1. I think about you every time I see the trailer for that new Seth Rogen movie.

  2. Thanks, Rol. I often find myself thinking of 'What's (S)He Building In There?', as our neighbour is always doing DIY. Unfortunately, she isn't very good at it and she rarely finishes anything - she usually just does the demolishing part and then gives up and moves on to demolishing something else. I reckon she had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the exterior of her (rented) house within weeks of moving in (by all accounts, the inside of the house is much, much worse), which makes our house look bad by association. I once joked that, every time she gets her tool box out, she knocks a couple of grand off the value of our place, which is probably true.

    My only suggestions are 'Antisocial' by Anthax, 'Who Let The Dogs Out (at 4:20am on a Saturday morning)?' by whoever sang that song, and the Bryan Adams album, 'Waking Up The Neighbours'.

  3. All I can think of to contribute today is the Run DMC/Aerosmith video for Walk This Way, where they kick through the partition wall after listening, aghast, to each others music through the walls.

    I know, must try harder...


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