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The Evolution of “Crazy”

Date June 28, 2006

Origin: You all have heard Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy” (it’s pretty much impossible to get away from at this point), but have you heard “Nel Cimitero Di Tucson”, which is essentially a raw instrumental form of Crazy. Unless you check alot of random world-music blogs (like me) you probably haven’t. It seems that Gnarles Barkley heavily sampled the song, which comes from the soundtrack of the film, Preparati la bara! (IMDB link here).

It’s very interesting to listen to the original version and be able to hear the progression to it’s current chart-topping form, most noticeably the trumpets from the original were replaced with strings for Gnarles Barkley’s version, but the bass line stays the same nearly the whole song though.

Gianfranco Reverberi – Nel Cimitero Di Tucson

The blogger that found this goes by the name Guuzbourg and he writes for The Spleninda Project. The original post is here. Great find, Guuz!

Covers: You can’t mention the song without talking about the covers, three of which feature an acoustic/stripped down version of the song and one (Twilight Singers) which turns it into a soulful piano jam. Time will tell, what Paris Hilton will do with the song when she covers it. Here’s all four versions:

MP3 The Kooks – Crazy
MP3 Ray Lamontagne – Crazy
MP3 Nelly Furtado – Crazy
MP3 The Twilight Singers – Crazy
MP3 Mates of State – Like U Crazy / Crazy (Gnarles Barkley Cover) update*

Live: Finally, the live performances of Crazy have all have had variations. The MTV version varies the least, other than some wind effects and added a piano melody on “who do you think you are”. The Top of the Pops version slows down the tempo and adds in marching drums, and the Conan version is completely remixed with some funky sound effects at the end. View all three:

Crazy @ MTV Movie Awards – Darth Vader
Crazy @ Top of the Pops – Airplane Pilot
Crazy @ Conan O’Brien – Bathrobe
(courtesy of YouTube)

Overall, I’ve heard this song more than any other single played this year, and I still enjoy it. Does that me crazy? possibly…


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29 Responses to “The Evolution of “Crazy””


  1. Anonymous said:

    If you fix these links, youwill make someone very happy!

  2. Anonymous said:

    The Zutons did a version of this for the Radio 1′s live lounge, I can’t find it anywhere or I’d send you it for completeness!

  3. Taylor said:

    The links are all up, EZarchive has been acting a bit funny today though.

  4. DJMonsterMo said:

    Nice find on the origins!

  5. p r said:

    is reverberi credited anywhere? shouldn’t he be cashing i on some of the crazy chart-topping?

  6. Anonymous said:

    The credits for the song won’t be cashed if you look at the sleeve of the soundtrack hahaha

  7. Anonymous said:

    I think the drum line for the song comes from a Motels song as well, Suddenly Last Summer. Love what Gnarls Barkley did with the pieces and parts.

  8. Eric Marcoullier said:

    This is, without a doubt, one of the coolest music posts I’ve seen in a while. Nice find on the source material and nice followup with the covers and performance vids.

  9. dja said:

    is reverberi credited anywhere?

    From the liner notes:

    “CRAZY” written by Brian Burton/Thomas Callaway/Gianfranco Reverberi/Gianpiero Reverberi. [...] Incorporates elements of “Last Men Standing” written by Gianfranco Reverberi/Gianpiero Reverberi. [...] The sample of “Last Men Standing” is courtesy of BMG Zomba Production Music Ltd. Used by permission.

    shouldn’t he be cashing i[n] on some of the crazy chart-topping?

    As credited co-composers, the Reverberis are clearly getting a significant cut of the royalties from airplay and album sales.

  10. John said:

    where can i find some of these world music blogs?

  11. Anonymous said:

    http://www.myspace.com/reverberi

  12. Anonymous said:

    The link to the MTV Awards Performance on YouTube is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VCWJVvE0Fk

  13. MrDJ said:

    I love the version from The Kooks and by Ray Lamontagne!

    -http://jeepneydiaries.blogspot.com

  14. elaine chan said:

    extremely awesome post. thanks for the links.

  15. Anonymous said:

    Anybody know who snag the version heard on the TV show Medium.

  16. gg said:

    The Racontours did a very entertaining verison of Crazy this weekend at Lollapalooza…Apparently Gnarls returned the complement a day later on the same stage by covering a greenhornes song.

  17. ralphie apostrophie said:

    Just curious…why did you leave the apostrophe out of the title in “Can’t” yet you added it where it doesn’t belong in the phrase “the progression to it’s current chart-topping form”.

    It should be “its” not “it’s”

  18. Taylor said:

    ralphie, read the name of this blog.

    Just curious, why are you checking people’s grammar at 1 a.m.?

  19. winni said:

    What a wonderful post. Highly informative and nicely compiled with the covers and videos. If anyone asked me what music blogs are about I’d show hiim this post as an example. Brillant job!

  20. jacobsteel said:

    Great post! I be linking. :D

  21. Steve said:

    Links are down again – can you please fix? Thanks!

  22. The Model T said:

    Is it possible to update the Nelly Furtado link. My computer crashed and I lost the file and this is the BEST version of “Crazy” out there. Nelly’s voice alone is chilling…

  23. Vbulletin said:

    Vbulletin…

    vulnerabilities have been reported in vBulletin, which can be e…

  24. Anonymous said:

  25. Anonymous said:

    how could you possibly for get OF Montreal’s cover??????????

  26. luteragzfer said:

    Mike Mossberg, I know you reading this forum, please contact me, because I can’t find your contact details.

  27. ZoorsWahthish said:

    Hello

    As a fresh musicforants.com user i just wanted to say hello to everyone else who uses this forum B-)

  28. obsefwerb said:

    What is bumburbia?

  29. Wrannyassenty said:

    Hey forum!

    You have a very interesting forum.

    So i’d like to ask you if a world financial crisis affected someone among you?