Absolutely Bill's Mood

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Absolutely Bill's Mood
artist They Might Be Giants
releases They Might Be Giants, Don't Let's Start (EP) [Elektra Re-issue], Then: The Earlier Years
year 1986
first played July 8, 1992 (23 known performances)
run time 2:38
sung by John Flansburgh


  • The titular "Bill" is Bill Krauss, the band's early producer and live sound man. In 2015, he said of the song:
The song, written by Flansburgh, was originally titled "I'm Insane" and it was announced as such at many early shows. During the recording of the first album, John and John decided the name was too "on the nose" and retitled it. The attribution of my mood was most certainly related to my state of mind during the album mixdown sessions.
  • This song features the phoned-in guitar mastery of Eugene Chadbourne: "For the guitar solo... we put in a special long distance call to Greensboro, NC where Eugene Chadbourne had just put his kids to bed. To avoid disturbing them, he gently played his acoustic guitar into Dubway's [Dubway Studios, where they were doing additional recording and mixing] answering machine, without musical accompaniment or guide." - John & John
  • Flansburgh on getting Eugene Chadbourne for the song[1]:
We'd done a show with him where his amp had blown up and he asked if he could borrow my amp. I was really reluctant to let him borrow my amp. I didn't know him at all. He was like, "Don't worry. It won't be bad." And then he plugs in this electric rake with like, a cheap pickup on it. So he's playing it through my amp making this completely hellish feedback sound really loud. Then he gave me back my amp and it wasn't... broken. But I think I made it clear that he owed me one. So we were figuring out the arrangement for the song, I thought, "Hey, I'll give him a call. He borrowed my amp." And that was the deal. We just called him at home.
  • "Absolutely" in the title was inspired by Bob Dylan, who would occasionally add irrelevant, emphatic adverbs to his song titles (e.g., "Absolutely Sweet Marie", "Positively 4th Street", "Obviously 5 Believers").
  • As reported in the August 3, 1987 issue of New York magazine, the band threatened to sue the electronics chain Crazy Eddie because of a commercial they claimed used parts of "Mr. Me" and "Absolutely Bill's Mood." The band had been first approached by the company about using "Absolutely Bill's Mood" in a commercial, but the band declined the offer. Upon being turned down, Crazy Eddie's created their own sound-a-like, which led to the band threatening a lawsuit against the company. After the story was picked up by a few newspapers, the advertisements stopped airing.[2][3]

Song Themes

Gratitude, Insanity, Loneliness, Medical, Music, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, References To Other Songs Or Musicians, Relatives, School, Sea, Size, Songs With Handclaps, Telecommunication, Title Not In Lyrics, Water, Weather


  • Watch it on Youtube.png - official static video

Current Rating

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Absolutely Bill's Mood is currently ranked #405 out of 1005. (145 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.43)