Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Human Beinz -- "Nobody But Me" (1967)

No no no no no no no no no
No no no no no no no 
No no no no no no no no no
No no no no no
Nobody can do the shing-a-ling like I do

Very talented people are often envied by less talented people.  I myself have experienced such envy on more than one occasion.

For example, whenever this song comes on the radio, I am able to do something that very others can -- namely, sing the very tricky "no-no" parts of this song EXACTLY correctly. 

It was once said of a baseball player that he was such a natural hitter that you could drag him out of bed in the middle of the night and he would immediately start hitting line drives to all fields.

If you dragged me out of bed in the middle of the night and put on "Nobody But Me," I would duplicate lead singer John "Dick" Belley's performance like we were Siamese twins, putting each and every "no" (there are 30 altogether) in its proper place.  I don't even need to hear the record -- I can do it a cappella and on demand.  

Try it sometime.  What the hell -- try it right now.  Click on this link, which will take you to the song.  Hit the "start" button and give it a shot.

I'll even give you the sheet music:

How you'd do?  Pretty bad, huh?  Well, try it one more time -- I caught you by surprise, before you had a chance to warm up.  I'm sure you'll do much better the second time . . .

NOT!  You sucked just as badly the second time, didn't you?  Tell the truth!

That's the difference between you and me -- I nail "Nobody But Me" a hundred times out a hundred, rain or shine.  (Actually, that's not the only difference between you and me.  Another difference is that you've never created a wildly popular blog.)

"Nobody But Me" is used as the soundtrack to a new Nike TV ad.  It's not the best Nike TV commercial ever (I'll be posting about the very best one sometime in the future) but it's a good one -- thanks in large part to this song.

Here's the Nike ad:

Here's the original recorded version of "Nobody But Me" by the Isley Brothers.  That version is very different.  For one thing, they don't open with the "no-no" part -- that comes much later.

Score one for the Human Beinz there.  They open with that part and then repeat it.  Once isn't enough but three times would be too many -- singing it twice is j-u-s-t right.

The Human Beinz are from Youngstown, Ohio, and originally called themselves the Premiers.  In 1966, they changed their named to the Human Beingz, but their record company mispelled their name on "Nobody But Me."  The song became a top-10 hit, which meant they couldn't really change the spelling then.

Turns out it didn't really matter.  They never had another hit (at least not in the United States -- the band was very popular in Japan for some reason), and broke up in 1969.

The Human Beinz in Japan

Quentin Tarantino used "Nobody But Me" in Kill Bill: Volume 1, and Martin Scorsese used it on the soundtrack of The Departed.

Here's a scene from The Departed where Leonardo DiCaprio goes all medieval on a couple of thugs to the accompaniment of "Nobody But Me":

The first episode of the 7th season of "The Office" featured a cold open with the cast doing a lip dub to "Nobody But Me."  (Don't be surprised if there is no sound with this video -- most of the YouTube videos of this have been disabled.)

Here's "Nobody But Me":
Click here to order the song from iTunes:

Nobody But Me - Nobody But Me

Click here to order it from Amazon:

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