Top 10 Fine Young Cannibals Songs

Fine Young Cannibals Songs

This Top 10 Fine Young Cannibals Songs list includes all the best Fine Young Cannibals Songs like “She Drives Me Crazy” “Good Thing,” and more. In 1984, Andy Cox, Roland Gift, and David Steele teamed up as the pop-rock group, Fine Young Cannibals. Cox and Steele, both already famous as band members from The Beat, share the same English demographics as Gift, whom fans may recognize from Akrylykz fame. In 1985, the band made its recording debut with their self-titled album.

Two of the singles released from it, “Johnny Come Home and “Suspicious Minds,” became top forty hits among in their home country of England, as well as Australia, Canada, and other European nations. In 1989, the Fine Young Cannibals released their second studio album, The Raw & the Crooked. This was the album that produced two number one hits for the group, namely “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Good Thing.” The album was instrumental in the 1990 Brit Awards wins for Best British Group and Best British Album.

Getting Noticed

The inspiration behind the name Fine Young Cannibals came from All the Fine Young Cannibals, which was a movie filmed by Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood in 1960. At first, the group had trouble earning a recording contract until the members took it upon themselves to film and released a music video for “Johnny Come Home.” Serving as the breakthrough hit to get the band noticed, it didn’t take long before the Fine Young Cannibals would win over a solid fan base that wanted more.

In 1987, the trio recorded music for the comedy, Tin Men, and also made an appearance during a nightclub scene in the movie. From 1987 until 1990, the Fine Young Cannibals continued to win over an international fan base. This momentum continued until 1992 when the trio opted to go their separate ways. It wouldn’t be until 1996 that they would get together again to record “The Flame,” which was the only new single added to a greatest hits album, The Finest, that was put together that same year.

FYC Legacy

Also dubbed FYC, the Fine Young Cannibals released two studio albums. The first was in 1985, which was named after the band and since became certified platinum with Music Canada and gold with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). This album brought forth four hit singles, starting with “Johnny Come Home.” In 1989, The Raw & the Crooked, became the group’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling studio recordings of all time on an international level. With Music Canada, it was certified platinum six times. The British Phonographic Industry and the Australian Recording Industry Association each awarded the album triple platinum while the Recording Industry Association of America did so twice.

After the incredible success of these two albums, FYC disbanded in 1992, then reunited in 1996 for “The Flame” and its album, The Finest. This compilation album was certified platinum by the BPI. There were three more released after this. The Platinum Collection was released in 2006, followed by the 2009 release of She Drives Me Crazy, and 2012’s The Collection.

Top 10 Fine Young Cannibals Songs

#10 – Love for Sale

As a tribute to Cole Porter, the Fine Young Cannibals performed and recorded “Love for Sale” as their contribution to the album, Red Hot + Blue. Proceeds of the album, which featured a collection of Cole Porter songs performed by a variety of artists, went to AIDS research. “Love for Sale” was a song that was featured in the 1930 musical, The New Yorkers.

Sung from the point of view of a prostitute, first by Kathryn Crawford, featured a male’s perspective through the vocal talent of Roland Gift. When this song first came out in 1930, it met with bad press and had to deal with reluctant radio stations who avoided broadcasting it. This resulted in Porter turning to Elisabeth Welch to perform the song at the Cotton Club in Harlem. It had since then gained in popularity, starting with the 1931 recording by Libby Holman, before becoming a jazz standard.

 

#9 – The Flame

In 1996, members of the Fine Young Cannibals reunited, four years after they officially disbanded. It was featured on the group’s compilation album, The Finest. On the UK Singles Chart, “The Flame” became a number seventeen hit, marking a decent comeback for FYC as the trio released their first greatest hits album. Sung as a lovestruck victim, the narrator addressed his former flame and how much it hurt knowing the magic shared between them was so recklessly thrown away. Incredibly soulful, “The Flame” rightfully earned its place in the hearts of FYC fans as an easy favorite.

 

#8 – I’m Not Satisfied

In 1989, “I’m Not Satisfied” peaked at number ninety on the US Billboard Hot 100 as FYC’s final hit on this particular music chart. In Ireland, this song charted the highest on its official singles chart at number nineteen. It was also a number forty-six hit on the UK Singles Chart. In this song, the narrator expressed his disappointment as a man fed up with his possessive girlfriend, as well as having to contend with city life, and realizing the weekends are not long enough to truly get away from all the negatives that drag him down. Roland Gift’s talent as a powerful vocalist that knows how to trigger emotions from listeners tuning in is more than satisfactory to make “I’m Not Satisfied” worth listening to and enjoying.

 

#7 – Don’t Look Back

1988’s “Don’t Look Back” featured amazing guitar riffs that felt like they could have been something borrowed from the biggest pop bands of the 1960s. This self-pity tune of the narrator wanting to ditch his past as a means to move forward served as a heartfelt favorite among the fans who found this song a great contrast to FYC’s previous hits. What made “Don’t Look Back” so popular was the ability of this trio to go from one style of music to another as if without effort. On the US Billboard Hot 100, this single peaked at number eleven and it was a number ten hit on the Canadian Singles Chart and the Irish Singles Chart. In the UK, “Don’t Look Back” charted as high as number thirty-four and was also a top forty hit among the nations of Australia and New Zealand.

 

#6 – I’m Not the Man I Used to Be

Coming from The Raw & the Crooked, “I’m Not the Man I Used to Be” became one of six singles from it to become a hit. In 1989, this powerful tune peaked as high as number eight on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and on the Irish Singles Chart. In the UK, it peaked as high as number twenty. Globally, this song also charted within the top forty charts belonging to Australia, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. Performed like a wistful song in the tropics, “I’m Not the Man I Used to Be” illustrated the narrator coming to terms with what he felt was a shadow of his former self.

 

#5 – Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)

When the Fine Young Cannibals covered Buzzcock’s 1978 original, “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve),” this was for the 1986 movie, Something Wild. “Ever Fallen in Love” was an international hit for FYC, even surpassing Buzzcock’s number twelve peak ranking on the UK Singles Chart at number nine. On the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, it peaked at number eleven and it was even a number one hit on South Africa’s Springbok chart. At the very least, it was a top forty hit among the nations of Australia, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. It also became a certified gold seller with the UK’s BPI. The powerful vocal delivery of how much love can hurt, especially with someone you really shouldn’t have anything to do with, once again demonstrated why Roland Gift is so gifted as a singer.

 

#4 – Suspicious Minds (featuring Jimmy Somerville)

Originally performed by Mark James in 1968, then popularized by Elvis Presley in 1969, “Suspicious Minds” was a hit single for Fine Young Cannibals that also featured the guest vocals of Jimmy Somerville. This song was released by FYC in 1985 from their self-titled debut album and it peaked as high as number six in Australia and number eight in the UK. On the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, it became a number twenty-three hit. Among the nations of Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, “Suspicious Minds” was at least a top forty hit.

The lyrical tale of mistrust in a troubled relationship began when Mark James had a wife who suspected he still had feelings for another woman he was involved with when he was much younger. It played a factor in their divorce. For FYC, the music video filmed for their version of “Suspicious Minds” played an instrumental role in the song’s popularity. The footage paid homage to the late Elvis Presley, using the monochrome technique as if this was something filmed during an era when this practice was commonplace.

 

#3 – Johnny Come Home

When the Fine Young Cannibals first came together as a band in 1984, the trio had a difficult time getting a recording contract. After the video to “Johnny Come Home” was made public, this changed.

This mix of rock and ska once again demonstrated the distinction of Roland Gift’s amazing voice as he shared the story of a young runaway who found the city life not as appealing as he had hoped it would be. This was one of FYC’s greatest hits as it peaked as high as number nine on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and at number seventy-six on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, it was a number eight hit, as well as cracking the top ten among the nations of Belgium, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

 

#2 – Good Thing

The song of appreciation sung by FYC suggested the love interest in this lyrical story was a “Good Thing” the narrator found. According to the US Billboard Hot 100 and Canada Top Singles chart, it was good enough to top its chart in 1989. In the UK, “Good Thing” peaked as high as number seven and was a top ten hit among the nations of Australia, Germany, Ireland, and New Zealand. “Good Thing” featured a touch of R&B nostalgia that made it such a fan favorite, breaking away from the standard pop sounds and R&B hits that dominated much of the late 1980s rock charts.

 

#1 – She Drives Me Crazy

“She Drives Me Crazy” is clearly the signature song most identifiable with the Fine Young Cannibals. In 1990 and 1991, the ASCAP Pop Music Awards recognized this single as one of the Most Performed Songs. With the UK’s Ivor Novello Awards, it won International Hit of the Year. On the US Billboard Hot 100, “She Drives Me Crazy” became a number one hit, as well as on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. It also topped the charts belonging to Australia, Austria, Canada, New Zealand, and Spain.

Wherever it didn’t reach number one, it was at least a top ten hit among Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. On the UK Singles Chart, “She Drives Me Crazy” peaked at number five. As for certifications, it became platinum in Australia and it became gold among the nations of Canada, Germany, Sweden, the UK, and the US. In this incredibly powerful song, the narrator’s obsessiveness over a certain love interest was the source of a lovestruck man who had trouble keeping his sanity in check. Between the guitar riffs and Roland Gift’s amazing dance with his vocals, “She Drives Me Crazy” drove fans hyped enough to keep asking for more.

Feature Photo: Fine_Young_Cannibals_rehearsal.jpg: Alan Lightderivative work: FotoPhest, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 Fine Young Cannibals Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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