We all learned to count to ten long before the Violent Femmes’ “Kiss Off” first entered our consciousness… but we don’t remember ever having more fun at it than when we sang along with mopey-voiced Gordon Gano.
The Milwaukee trio may never have cracked the Billboard charts, but if you were of age in the 80s, and if you enjoyed a nice high school party every now and then, well… chances are the Femmes were often on the boombox.
Their biggest song, of course, was 1983’s alt-rock ditty “Blister in the Sun”, but we here at Best of the 80s maintain that “Kiss Off” (an unreleased single–– also off their debut, self-titled album) was their best.
“You can all just kiss off into the air, behind my back I can see them stare…”
Even without the little counting lesson in the middle of the song, “Kiss Off” would have still been a classic tune, but WITH it? Well, it’s just that much better (and eminently more memorable).
“I take 1 1 1 ’cause you left me,
and 2 2 2 for my family,
and 3 3 3 for my heartache,
and 4 4 4 for my headaches,
and 5 5 5 for my lonely,
and 6 6 6 for my sorrow,
and 7 7 n-n-no tomorrow,
and 8 8 I forget what 8 was for,
and 9 9 9 for a lost god,
and 10 10 10 10 for everything everything everything everything…”
If we told you the Femmes went on to record seven other studio albums and that they only officially broke up in 2009 (before getting back together 4 years later), you might look at us with a cockeyed glance… but it’s true.
And though they never had any other songs quite as successful as the ones off their first album, we’ll argue that’s plenty.
The Femmes were as awesome as they come in the ‘folk punk’ world, and “Kiss Off”? Well… yeah, yeah, we’ll listen all the time. (Yeah yeah.)
We ♥ Kiss Off.