So, What's This All About?

This page is a collection of notes and opinions about most of the Shadowy Men (and Shadowy Men-related) releases mentioned on this page. Obviously, if I've never heard the release, then I can't really review it, can I? Each of the titles are hotlinked back to the detailed entries in the discography, so this page won't cover the fine details of each release.

I've used the following terms to help convey how easy or hard to find each release is. For the rare items, I've used eBay as a benchmark of sorts. For the out of print items, you'll need to try a used record store, a record convention, or something like eBay to find it. That's how I got a lot of my stuff.

NOTE: I'm only referring to finding a copy of the item in general. For some of the singles, there's several variants on the cover art. To be honest, I haven't paid close attention to which color patterns show up when, so I'm not sure which particular variation is rarer than another. In addition, I list the CDs as "in print" (because they are), but the LP versions of each vary in rarity (although Savvy Show Stoppers has been reissued on vinyl and is definitely available).


Albums

cover of Savvy Show Stoppers
Savvy Show Stoppers

Essential. Generally accepted as the best of the band's three albums (and I concur). Savvy Show Stoppers is a collection of most (but not all) of the songs from the first five singles, including "Having An Average Weekend", well known as the theme from The Kids In The Hall.

Availability: IN PRINT

cover of Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham
Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham

Essential. My introduction to the band. Counted this as my personal favorite of the band's three albums until a massive relisten of albums to work on preparing my personal Top 100 Albums Of All Time list made me rethink that. Still a superb album. The vinyl, CD and cassette each have a different bonus track. See the full entry for details.

Availability: IN PRINT

cover of Sport Fishin' CD
Sport Fishin' - The Lure Of The Bait, The Luck Of The Hook

Essential. Sometimes overlooked, but every bit as good as the first two albums.

Availability: IN PRINT


Singles

cover of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet
Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet

All four songs are are unique to this tape (two are only on this tape, two are different versions of songs that appear elsewhere). This is probably the rarest thing on the list because the tape wasn't ever sold in stores. The S Men gave out copies to their friends and relatives. If you get a chance to get this tape - do it.

Availability: FRIGHTENINGLY RARE

cover of Love Without Words
Love Without Words

All three songs are on Savvy Show Stoppers. Get this one if you want the actual single. There are several different variations to the cover art.

Availability: VERY RARE

cover of Wow Flutter Hiss '86
Wow Flutter Hiss '86

Three of the four proper songs are on Savvy Show Stoppers. The fourth, "Customized", is on the 2012 reissue of Savvy Show Stoppers, but it's not on the CDs. Additionally, the fifth track (the little backwards one) is unique to the single. There are several different variations to the cover art on this one too.

Availability: SOMEWHAT RARE

cover of Schlagers!
Schlagers!

All four songs are on Savvy Show Stoppers. Get this one if you want the actual single. One of the neater singles because of all the game.

Availability: SOMEWHAT or VERY RARE
Depends on whether you want just the single or if you want the single with the "lunar bingo chips".

cover of Live Record With Extra Bread And Cheese
Live Record With Extra Bread And Cheese

"Laser Men" is hilarious, and the live "Shadowy Countdown" is a killer version. Both are only on this single. "You Spin Me Round '86" is on Savvy Show Stoppers and "Woman Shake" is fun, but strange (and also only on this single). If you can get it, get it for "Laser Men" at a minimum.

Availability: FRIGHTENINGLY RARE

cover of Explosion Of Taste
Explosion Of Taste

Both (excellent) songs are on Savvy Show Stoppers, so if you're getting this one, it's for the famous (or infamous) popcorn cover. It's very cool.

Availability: VERY RARE

label of Reid Does Neil
Reid Does Neil

Probably the goofiest single the Shadowy Men released. The A-side is a fun vocal medley of two Neil Diamond songs that show why Shadowy Men were a great instrumental band. The B-sides are silly, but fun. Worth getting for the A-side.

Availability: FRIGHTENINGLY RARE

cover of Music For Pets
Music For Pets

A fantastic single. "Rover & Rusty" is a Shadowy Men classic, and the pet themes are a riot. Absolutely worth getting.

Availability: COMMON
Probably the easiest single to find on eBay. Comes up fairly often.

cover of Tired Of Waking Up Tired
Tired Of Waking Up Tired

Another great one. The cover of The Diodes' "Tired Of Waking Up Tired" is great, and the Shadowy original "The Alouette …" is among their best. Definitely get this one.

Availability: SOMEWHAT RARE

label of Just Married
Just Married

Worth getting if you can find it. The cover of "The Chicken Dance" in the B-side medley is a blast.

Availability: FRIGHTENINGLY RARE

cover of Dog & Squeegie
Dog & Squeegie

Two of the songs are on Sport Fishin' and the third ("Like You") is literally 15 seconds long. For completists only.

Availability: SOMEWHAT RARE

cover of Sport Fishin' Accessories
Sport Fishin' Accessories

Definitely worth getting so you can hear the S Men parody themselves. "Having An Average Weekend '78" is worth it alone, and "Vibrolux Delux" is another killer (although it's been added to the Savvy Show Stoppers reissue). The other tracks are on Sport Fishin'.

Availability: SOMEWHAT RARE

cover of Take Outs
Take Outs

An excellent single. No goofing around on this one, just two fantastic songs.

Availability: COMMON
A pretty easy single to find on eBay. Comes up reasonably often.

cover of It's A Wonderful Record!
It's A Wonderful Record!

Another fantastic one. "Winterfresh" is a great song, the cover of "Deck The Halls" is a riot, and the long "Twelve Answering Machine Messages Of Christmas" is a must-hear. If you can find it, get it!

Availability: VERY RARE


Related Releases

cover of the Double Happiness sountrack
Double Happiness: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

This is essentially the fourth Shadowy Men album, although there's only about 15 minutes of Shadowy Men music on here. The songs are all unavailable anywhere else (although "Honey You're Wasting Ammo Again" is a new version of "Honey, You're Wasting Ammo" from Sport Fishin'). Most of the songs are very short, roughly akin to the link music from The Kids In The Hall although "Theme From Double Happiness" and "Credits! Credits! Credits!" are of normal Shadowy length and excellent. If you can find it, get it.

Side note: The movie itself is quite good and worth a rent!

Availability: SOMEWHAT RARE

cover of Better Than The Average Weekend
various artists
Better Than The Average Weekend

22 artists (including Dallas Good's band The Sadies) pay fond tribute to Shadowy Men. The covers aren't just carbon-copies, so each band's personality shows through. Wonderful.

Availability: OUT OF PRINT.
Currently unavailable.

cover of Just Fred
Fred Schneider
Just Fred

If you like the B-52's, you'll probably like this. The songs with Shadowy Men are musically great, but Fred takes some getting used to. If you're not a B-52's fan, this is probably just a completer piece.

Availability: IN PRINT

cover of Shame-Based Man
Bruce McCulloch
Shame-Based Man

If you're a Kids In The Hall fan, you'll love this. The Shadowy contribution is the backing to "Daves I Know" (which, if you're a KITH fan, you're now singing to yourself). Worth it for a KITH fan, so-so for a non-KITH fan.

Availability: IN PRINT

cover of Drunk Baby Project
Bruce McCulloch
Drunk Baby Project

Not really a Shadowy Men-related project (since only Brian is on it), but like Shame-Based Man, you'll love this if you're a Kids In The Hall fan. Brian Connelly co-wrote most of the songs and plays guitar on the whole album. The style is very similar to Shame-Based Man. Basically, it's a combination of songs an monologues set to music. Worth getting if you're a KITH fan.

Availability: IN PRINT

cover of Korean Jeans' cover of Savvy Show Stoppers
Korean Jeans
Savvy Show Stoppers

Korean Jeans is a duo of drum and tuba, and they cover Savvy Show Stoppers back to front. Yes, it's kinda weird, but very faithful to the original. Certainly worth a listen.

Availability: IN PRINT


Singles

cover of the Crash Kills Five single
What Do You Do At Night?

A pre-Shadowy Men release with Don and Reid that sounds nothing like the Shadowy Men. I like the songs a lot, but if you're here for music like the S Men, it's not gonna fill the bill.

Availability: IN PRINT or SOMEWHAT RARE
Depends on whether you want an original copy. You can order the reissue at Ugly Pop's web site. It's limited, so don't wait!


Albums

cover of Monsters, Lullabies … and the Occasional Flying Saucer
Monsters, Lullabies … and the Occasional Flying Saucer

Musically, this is a dazzling album, and very much in the Shadowy Men vein. The difference is that there's a lead vocalist this time around, and Jad Fair is definitely an unusual lyricist and singer. To be honest, I didn't care for it at first, but it's grown on me over repeated listenings. Once you "get" Jad's singing, the album gets very catchy very fast. Lots of fun.

The music was written by the Shadowy Men and the lyrics by Jad Fair. Brian Connelly doesn't appear on the record, hence the name change to "Phono-Comb". See the review from Drop-D magazine on The Written Word page for more details.

Availability: IN PRINT

cover of Fresh Gasoline
Fresh Gasoline

Essential. Recorded as an instrumental quartet after Phono-Comb finished working with Jad Fair, and easily the best of post-Shadowy Men albums. Similar to the Shadowy Men albums sound-wise, but with an second guitar and little country flavor to give the sound a new shape.

Availability: IN PRINT


Singles

cover of In A Haunted House
In A Haunted House

Basically a Halloween novelty record with much the same feel as Monsters, Lullabies … and the Occasional Flying Saucer (see the review above). It's basically a one-sided single. The b-side is just a bunch of people making scary noises.

Availability: VERY RARE

cover of The Crass And The Switchblade
The Crass And The Switchblade

Fantastic single with a killer cover of The Ramones "53rd & 3rd". Recored by Reid, Don and Dallas Good before Beverly joined on bass and Reid switched to second guitar.

Availability: VERY RARE


Singles

cover of the Heatseekers single
[ untitled split single with The Shuttlecocks ]

A very good single with a Shadowy feel. Worth getting if you can actually find it! Brian re-recorded the A-side ("Thingmaker") for the 3rd Atomic 7 album, … Something For The Girl With Everything.

Availability: FRIGHTENINGLY RARE


Albums

cover of … Gowns By Edith Head
… Gowns By Edith Head

Essential. Brian Connelly's Atomic 7 shares a lot of the "Shadowy" sound (notably from Brian's distinctive guitar work), but the influences sound less punk and more '50s and '60s. As a result, Atomic 7 sounds more like the S Men than Phono-Comb, but it's definitely not just a rehash. There's lots of different styles of music on here from the rockin' "She's Got Haggar Party Slacks" and "Guitar For Sale" through the Hawaiian-flavored "Her Sassy Kiss" to the laid-back "Seven Stranded Castanets".

Availability: IN PRINT.
Information on ordering is on Atomic 7's Web Site.

cover of … en Hillbilly Caliente
… en Hillbilly Caliente

Atomic 7's second album treads fairly similar territory to the first, mixing rockabilly and surf with Brian Connelly's twangy guitar work. "Daddy's Little World" is the big highlight - it's an unreleased Shadowy Men rocker that sounds great with Brian's current band. Irresistably catchy, a ton of fun, and just as good as the debut album.

Availability: IN PRINT.
Information on ordering is on Atomic 7's Web Site.

cover of … Something For The Girl With Everything
… Something For The Girl With Everything

In between the last Atomic 7 album, 2004's … en Hillbilly Caliente, and this one, Atomic 7 leader Brian Connelly started up a side band called Ancient Chinese Secret that focused on instrumental covers of old-school country. … Something For The Girl With Everything shows the influence of this work on songs like "Junior Miss Chop Shop" and "Children's Letters To God". The album mixes these with rockers like "Lava Devils!", "Glow In The Dark Underpants" and "The Whirly Girly Revue" (a rework of "Eggs Rancheros" from the S Men's self-titled debut cassette). Great stuff.

Availability: IN PRINT.
Information on ordering is on Atomic 7's Web Site.

Singles

cover of the Atomic 7 single
She's Got Haggar Party Slacks

Another very good single with a Shadowy feel. Also worth getting! Brian re-recorded the A-side ("She's Got Haggar Party Slacks") for the Atomic 7 debut album, … Gowns By Edith Head

Availability: IN PRINT.
Information on ordering is on Atomic 7's Web Site.


Albums

cover of Messin' With Greek Buck
Messin' With Greek Buck

A wildly different record from anything else above. Very experimental in points, catchy and poppy in others. Available on vinyl only. Be aware: The cover and liner art contain some gay sexual images. If that's going to bother you, then consider yourself warned.

Availability: IN PRINT.
Orderable through Comatonse Records or Art Metropole.

cover of Bucquiem
Bucquiem

A hypnotic, five song mini-album of new material and remixes of tracks from Messin' With Greek Buck. Contains "Minimal Peach" that was used in Queer As Folk (but it does NOT contain the QAF title track).

Availability: IN PRINT.
Orderable through Art Metropole.

cover of The Law Of Enclosures
The Law Of Enclosures

The lush, evocative soundtrack from The Law Of Enclosures is gorgeous music, falling somewhere between classical music and the dense soundscapes of Bucquiem.

Availability: IN PRINT.
Orderable through Art Metropole.

cover of Proteus
Proteus

The soundtrack to Proteus follows a style similar to the The Law Of Enclosures, with native South African influences all throughout. Gorgeous, evocative and hypnotic.

Availability: IN PRINT.
Orderable through Art Metropole.

Singles

cover of No Time
No Time

No Time is easily the most "rock and roll" sounding work in Greek Buck's catalog. The sound is a combination of the experimental sounds from the first two Greek Buck albums combined with a punk edge.

Availability: IN PRINT.
Orderable through Art Metropole.


Albums

cover of Feel Free
Feel Free

Feel Free takes the sound of Black Heel Marks' single, Partnership · Results · Success, and adds more electronica and several different vocalists. Very different from the other albums in this list, but worth checking out.

Availability: IN PRINT.
Orderable from the band at the Black Heel Marks Mega-Mall.

Singles

cover of Partnersip * Results * Success
Partnership · Results · Success

Partnership · Results · Success seems like a progression from Greek Buck's No Time. The EP starts out with howling vocals and No Time's aggression, moves through garage rock, and ends on an experimental note.

Availability: IN PRINT.
Orderable from the band at the Black Heel Marks Mega-Mall.


Singles

cover of the Long Branch single
Lucky Me/Just In Case

Rock? Alt-country? Doesn't matter - this excellent single walks a line between both. Totally different from both Shadowy Men and Don Pyle's other projects. "Lucky Me" is catchy rock with crunchy guitar. "Just In Case" is slower and moodier with some great harmonies. The digital bonus track "Empty Suitcase" is similarly moody but with nice fiddle a killer guitar solo and maybe a little Crazy Horse vibe. It's a great single. Go to the Bandcamp site and you can listen to all three songs before you buy.

Availability: IN PRINT
Available from Long Branch's Bandcamp page


Singles

cover of the Portrait Of A Serial Monogamist soundtrack
Portrait Of A Serial Monogamist

This three-song EP has Don Pyle's original score for the film. The title track is both synthy and cinematic. Reminiscent of Greek Buck, but not punky. A lovely theme song. The other two songs on the EP are full-band songs: "I Heard People Talking" feels like it could have been a Shadowy Men song in a different life (and without the vocals, of course). "Let's Quit While We're Still Ahead" has got a 50's "girl group" vibe with a cleverly cynical lyric. The whole EP is really excellent. Go to the Bandcamp site and you can listen to all three songs before you buy.

Availability: IN PRINT
Available on Don Pyle's Bandcamp page.