Talk:The Statue Got Me High

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Fire on British TV[edit]

I'm afraid the Johns are mistaken about fire not being allowed on British television. Watch any episode of "The Young Ones", which is filled with fire, explosions, etc. Which is why it's so strange that the video for this song was singled out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:33, January 16, 2006

Actually, I was talking with a teacher/paraprofessional from my school, who was raised in England and only lived in America since 2001, and she watched quite a bit of music television over there. The topic of "The Statue Got Me High" came up, and I said that there were two versions, one with Linnell burning and one without it, and I asked her about it. She said they'd never allow something like that on television. So maybe fire and explosions themselves aren't banned from British television, but I suppose people suffering from such things is banned. - Overjoy 12:54, July 31, 2006
I asked my friend who lives in England about it. This is what he said: "Censorship in the UK tends to be very influenced by context. Music videos appear on shows and channels aimed at kids, and the video contains imagery of someone being burned (albeit not very realistically). UK TV is very wary of showing any violent imagery in programs aimed at children - no matter how tame it is." And then he went on to say how dry he had just sounded and that he felt like a spokesman for the BBFC. But there you go. --Valerie 21:54, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Best songs[edit]

I've seen the light. This is one of the best songs ever written. Mr. 77 19:28, November 15, 2007

Correction: This is THE BEST song ever written. ;) AllTimeWhat 8:23, October 12, 2022


Okay, you know how in the video for the song there's that part with Linnell pushing the buttons? If you look at his fingers he looks double-jointed. I mean, I have some double-jointed friends who's fingers bend like that so naturally I'm going to assume but mine don't and I'm not double-jointed. Any information on this topic? --Sparkling_Omelets 18:52, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I'll look at the video again. I'm double-jointed but not with my fingers... -- Buzzmusic100 ("Keep your voice down...") 15:30, June 2, 2010
I saw it! -- Buzzmusic100 ("Keep your voice down...")
You mean where he's pushing those two buttons and launching the Empire State Building? I don't think that's double-jointed. His fingertips kinda bend backwards and his entire fingers bend slightly inwards. I'm not double-jointed (at least, I don't think so) and I can bend them farther in both directions then John in the video. I think it's just a thing that happens when you push down on something forcefully with two index fingers. Or maybe it's simply the angle of the camera. -- DidgeGuy (आ ज) 20:05, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I dunno, he looks double-jointed to me. I can't bend my fingers like that, so maybe it's just normal. --Sparkling_Omelets 18:07, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Maybe it's an oddity to not be able to bend you're fingers like that. I don't know, I'm not a doctor (but I am a real worm). -- DidgeGuy (आ ज) 20:16, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
What, this? As far as I know, I'm not double-jointed, but I can do that... --Fuzy2K 01:06, 2 August 2011 (EDT)
idk what it is, but i can do it, no surface required. but my fingers are kind of strange in some ways. --ant 01:14, 2 August 2011 (EDT)

The End of the Beginning[edit]

An interesting song that for me was where the critics and to a degree "the kids" fell out with the Giants. 1990 had been a funny almost shapeless year for music with no real themes. 1991 was when Grunge really hit both the USA and the UK and 1992 was dominated by this genre. In the UK the Giants had been pretty cool around Lincoln time in the music press as they were still largely unknown. The backlash began almost as soon as Birdhouse fell out of the charts. The Giants were too knowing for the British music journalists and it was around this time that the "nerd-rock" label came into place. Barbara Ellen, wrote an appalling unfair review of the Giants in the NME that concentrated on their looks and image in late 1990 and they've not had a decent review in the UK press since. She writes for the Guardian now, and the Johns have actually mentioned at recentish London gigs how much the Guardian hate them!

I often wish that they'd released "Twisting" post Birdhouse or maybe "We want a rock" as Instanbul really was a weak follow up (and helped confirm the weak tag that the Giants were in some way Novelty). Two hit singles in a row might have given the Statue Got me High a chance. When Istanbul limped to 50 something and dropped like a stone, the Statue Got me High did even worst when released 18 months later.

The Statue Got me High sounded like a song out of time in 1992. Light-weight compared to Grunge and not catchy enough to be pop in the same class as Birdhouse. Rather it sounded like an attempt to write a hit record. They were not helped by how different it sounded when performed live without the back up band of later years. The accordian intro sounding horribly out of tune and the middle eight jarring. Their UK performance on Jonathan Ross at the time I think did them more harm than good because of how weak it sounded live. Linnell was also (as was quite common when he sang live on TV at the time) very nervous which didn't help.

In 1990, the Giants were touted as the next big thing, but were almost swept away by Grunge. In Birmingham UK, they'd sold out two gigs in 1990. When they returned in 92 they played a similiar size venue to only a third of the audience. Grunge had blown them away. Incidently, they've never returned to the second city since!

In retospect was it all Grunge? Was there a tune on Apollo 18 to rival Birdhouse for sales and recognition? Probably not. The B52s (who had exactly the same problem as the Giants sales wise post 1990s "Loveshack") sounding "See the Constellation" was perhaps a contender as was "I Palindrome I", but the truth is that there was nothing on Apollo 18 to rival the brilliance of the early singles of "Don't Let Start" "Ana Ng" "They'll Need a Crane" or "Birdhouse in Your Soul". They needed something that good to be released. Something like Ana Ng, both heavy and melodic with that brilliant video might have done it. But Apollo 18 has nothing to rival it.

As a determined Giants fan I was desperate for it to do well, but in truth The Statue Got me High is just a solid album track. Also the subject matter - singing about another inanimate object - was a problem. They'll Need a Crane and Ana Ng and Don't Lets Start all have an emotional resonance that some of the later singles just don't have. The follow up single "The Guitar" and then "Snailshell" off John Henry just don't make the same emotional connection. Also (and whisper it) they're not really that good. Given that the band knew the danger of the nerd rock tag, they were especially foolish to use these songs as singles as it reinforced a (false) stereotype about them. I also feel that the band missed Bill Krauss. The organic sound that the first two albums had was lost when he went. The only glimpses of it are on demo tracks like Words are Like. Apollo 18, like Flood before it was probably too over produced.

It would be in 2000 before the Giants would next produce a real screamer of a single in "Dr Worm" where like Birdhouse there is just enough emotion and of course a tonne of melody for it to work as a mass selling single. However, by then, the Giants had been abandoned by Electra. The Statue Got me High and the whole Apollo 18 album was where it went began to gowrong. A mixture of being out of step with the Grunge fashion and weak singles marked the end of the beginning of their career. The B52s, Deelite, Sinead O'Connor, De La Soul (who lost out to Raps version of Grunge - Gangster Rap) were all in a similiar boat. The Giants hopes (and I think they did hope) of being a band that sold a lot records died with the album and they continued as cult band. They continued to release brilliant songs, but Flood was the last non-patchy They Might Giants that has been released. --(Mr Tuck) 12:24, April 30, 2014

Interesting analysis Mr Tuck, and I agree with quite a bit of it. Certainly "Istanbul" was a poor choice to release in Britain; as it was well known in their live set it may have been a logical choice for the US market but for the UK I see that choice as the beginning of the end for Their chances of sustaining a hit career over here. I also agree that "Twisting" was the logical second single from Flood but at less than 2 minutes it is very short - perhaps that was why "Istanbul" was chosen? I'd be interested to know how much say an artist has in which songs are released as singles - it may not have been up to the Johns as to which ones are chosen. I always felt "Statue" was a strong and interesting song and their performance on Jonathan Ross was great - I may be biased as I was there and pretty much blown away by the backstage vibe! Certainly I am one of the fans who felt the post-Apollo 18 to Mink Car period represented a lean time for Them (to me the latter is one of Their best albums - although I think we may disagree on this Mr T.) but "Statue" remains one of my favourite TMBG songs and IMO the highlight of Apollo 18. -- Dr Raygun September 23, 2014.
Tuck, something tells me you were one of the "fans" who boycotted shows when TMBG got a backing band. The only difference is that you stuck around to make everyone else miserable. -Bouncer15111

Lead single[edit]

"However, the album was criticized for lacking a standout lead single." -Wikipedia's page on Apollo 18

Smh. --ColorOfInfinity (talk) 23:02, 8 September 2022 (EDT)

I think there's at least five single-worthy songs on the album. I'm looking at you, Palindrome and Constellation.
Apollo 18 has showstoppers throughout, which is why it's my favorite TMBG album... --FloridaFlamingoGirl (talk) 23:14, 8 September 2022 (PST)
Most of Apollo 18 is absolutely single worthy. I dunno what's wrong with whoever made that Wikipedia page. -- AllTimeWhat (talk) 8:29, 12 October 2022 (CST)
Wikipedia is referring to the AllMusic review of Apollo 18 there, which is why it says the album "was criticized" rather than just making the claim. -CapitalQtalk ♪ 10:18, 13 October 2022 (EDT)