Analog Adventures: I Could Rule The World If I Could Only Get The Parts
About the Artist
The Waitresses hail from Akron, Ohio and came together in 1978. The band was initially a side project of guitarist Chris Butler when he was apart of Tin Huey. Butler is a clever songwriter, penning the bands tracks such as the hit I Know What Boys Like. Butler recruited his friend Patty Donahue to sing the songs he wrote, and eventually the band found modest success. The Waitresses are an eclectic blend of post punk and new wave music. Much like their fellow Akronites Devo, they have a unique sound all their own. Post punk sounds such as staccato guitars and heavy bass lines are complimented by the saxophone which adds a jazzy flair to their music.
The Record Itself
I Could Rule The World If I Could Only Get The Parts is an EP that contains two important pieces of popular culture. The first being the theme song to the CBS sitcom Square Pegs and the now classic Christmas Wrapping. The song originally appeared on A Christmas Record, a compilation album for ZE Records which features Christmas songs by artists on the label. The title is a play on the word ‘rapping’ since Donahue’s vocal delivery is reminiscent of the budding hip-hop genre. Also since it’s a Christmas song, it plays on wrapping paper. If a pun is only as good as the eye-rolls it receives, consider this one great.
“Bah, humbug!” – The Waitresses, Christmas Wrapping
The song begins with a pastiche of Jingle Bells complete with sleigh bells. The track itself is utterly infectious with its disco-esque four to the floor beat and funk inspired guitar. The song tells a story about missed connections and the dread of holiday obligations. The song is prominent in popular culture to this day, most recently appearing on the Fox comedy Glee and still receiving playtime on Christmas radio and playlists.
This a simple single disc affair, weighing in at 140 grams. The album features art that is in line with other new wave albums at the time. Much like a dada inspired collage, the cover features limited colors, borrowed art and images, and a splash of vibrant yellow. There is a warning that says that there is a message that is audible if the record is played backwards. This is a joke referencing concerned parents suing the bands Judas Priest and others for putting in satanic messages only heard in reverse. The rear cover features a full color photo of the band posing in front of a globe, cementing their plans for taking over the world.
The rear cover of the record
Is it Worth It?
For a taste of the Akron sound of the late 70s and early 80s and an absolute Christmas classic, this album is worth the asking price of $15. If you are like me and do not care for too much Christmas music, this provides you with a track to add to your holiday playlist that will not drive you up a wall with repetition. A worth addition to any collection.
- Christmas Wrapping
- Square Pegs
- I Could Rule The World If I Could Only Get The Parts