Memo to Donny Osmond: They're All Kidding You About "Crazy Horses"

Mormons shouldn't play heavy metal.

By , Contributor

I just read an interview with Donny Osmond. The writer asking the questions told Donny that Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot had divulged his love for the Osmonds’ 1972 “metal” hit “Crazy Horses.” Donny responded that Ozzy Osbourne had also told him that he loved the song. Osmond then went on to claim that the group’s hard rocking ambition was derailed by the public’s inability to see him as anything but a teen idol.

Actually a lot of people do love “Crazy Horses” and the reason is that it’s f***ing hilarious. It could be in the middle of the movie This is Spinal Tap and no one would notice the difference.

Maybe I’m just a music snob, but I’ve always been proud of the fact that when I was ten I had a Jackson 5 poster over my bed and considered the Osmonds to be pale white boy crap with Donny being the Pat Boone to Michael’s Elvis. I suppose it could just be reverse discrimination on my part, but that’s how I felt then and that’s how I feel now.

Message to Donny: Somehow the teen idol thing never stopped Michael Jackson from progressing into more serious adult music.

THE OSMONDS Crazy Horses PORTADA.jpgI first discovered “Crazy Horses” when it was referenced by someone I’m pretty sure was Beck in a magazine talking about what an incredible guilty pleasure the song is and if it’s on your iPod like it’s on mine, then that’s the proper explanation.

First of all, just the idea of the Osmonds trying to warp into Led Zeppelin is unbelievably hilarious in and of itself. Every single note of Led Zeppelin’s career was drenched in sex. Was there really someone at bible school praying for a Mormon version that didn’t smoke, drink, or have premarital sex?

“Crazy Horses” is basically a lift from Zep’s “Immigrant Song,” which for my money has always been the most hilarious song in music history. So if the Osmonds were looking to make me laugh then they clearly started in the right place. “Horses” substitutes Plant’s wailing with a sort of theremin/keyboard recurring riff that basically sounds like an alarm is going off in a fire station on the planet Bizarro. If you can't afford one of those and your band wants to play the song, I'm sure that a kazoo would work just fine.

The song is, I believe, sung by Jay. If I’m wrong, shoot me, but all those Osmonds look the same to me. The most interesting thing about the lead vocal is that it sounds like that absurd Batman voice that Christian Bale drove you crazy with in The Dark Knight. It’s kind of like Cookie Monster singing a hard rock song, but give him some props—I think he got there a couple of years before Gene Simmons was doing it.

Defenders of the track will note that its anti-car pollution message puts it right there with Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me (the Ecology)," but then again the song is so absurd, let’s just ignore that.

So anyway, Donny, I hate to break it to you, but when people say they love this song, they’re saying it in the same way as they say “I love whip-its!” Who am I to say what is really going on in Ozzy Osbourne’s damaged head these day, but basically everyone else is pulling your leg.

Below enjoy the video, the pimp outfits, the metal dance steps, and the grand hilariousness that is “Crazy Horses”.

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Brad Laidman has been a freelance writer since 2000. His work has appeared in Film Threat, Perfect Sound Forever, and Rock and Rap Confidential. His defense of The Kinks' Dave Davies so moved the legendary guitarist that Davies labeled Brad his hero and he has the email to prove it.

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