Songs about mental illness -- suggestions please

Bangpuss

Well-known member
So I'm compiling a mixtape for the newly refurbished Substance.tv website, and I've decided to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Brian Jonestown Massacre's Thank God For Mental Illness album by putting together a mix of songs about mental illness.

I'm not just looking for any old shit that has "crazy" or "mad" in the title, so don't bother suggesting Gnarls Barkley. Looking for songs about losing the plot. So far I have:

19th Nervous Breakdown -- Rolling Stones(obviouisly)
The Rubber Room -- Porter Wagoner
Frontier Psychiatrist -- Avalanches
Depression -- Black Flag
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment -- Ramones
Psychotic Reaction -- Count Five
Madhouse -- Anthrax
Just Dropped In -- Kenny Rogers

Any others?

+ Pretty much anything by Daniel Johnston
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
That Stones song is hardly about mental illness per se. Just Jagger being a misogynist again. Yawn.

Stars of the Lid did an album of songs about Texan mental hospitals, no? I'm sure Mike Patton has a few too. And Roky Erikson. Syd Barret-era Floyd. Most people who were close to losing it/lost it wrote songs that reflect the experience better than those wiritng about it from afar.
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I'm not just looking for any old shit that has "crazy" or "mad" in the title

what you need in that case is uk apache and shy fx 'original nutta'
 

CrowleyHead

Well-known member
Failure - The Nurse Who Loved Me (It's involved, but it's about a dude who doesn't realize he's in a mental institution, and thinks he has a special relationship with his nurse.)
 

bunnyhausen

bunnyhausen
'Radio Song' by ATV / The Good Missionaries

'Psychiatric Underground' album, or pretty much anything else by the Ceramic Hobs

Groundhogs 'Split'

immediately spring to mind.
 
S

simon silverdollar

Guest
Half man half biscuit "depressed beyond tablets"
ariel pink "the doldrums"
 

slowtrain

Well-known member
No one has posted this yet?

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The musicians involved have never been revealed and the band is known for using various mental patients to perform vocals.

Fake yeah, but still.

And this one...:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cUVERB9B3A8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The band has been the subject of much controversy, mainly because of several allegations made against their vocalist Nattramn, who was supposedly institutionalized shortly after the album was released, thus forcing the band to split up.


Although maybe songs BY mental patients isn't exactly what you wanted.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Gotta be Joy Division, 'She's Lost Control', right? Or even Grace Jones's cover of the same ("I'VE lost control again..." - she sounds pretty derranged on that one).

There's an early Neubauten track called 'Tanz Debil' ('Dance Insane'). Plus their whole Drawings of Patient O.T. was inspired by a schizophrenic 'outsider artist'.

Sabbath's 'Paranoid'?

Edit: oh, you mentioned the Ramones, they've got another great one called 'Teenage Lobotomy', haven't they? And the Stones' 'Mother's Little Helper'? Guess you might not want >1 song by each artist, though.
 
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paolo

Mechanical phantoms
Metallica - Sanitarium
Dr Dre and Ice Cube - Natural Born Killaz
Wiley - I'm Going Mad (think that's the title? On his first album)
Roots Manuva - Awfully Deep
Roots Manuva - The Falling
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (the whole album really)
Korn - Kill You

Also lol at Original Nuttah. I'll try to think of some more
 

Bangpuss

Well-known member
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Cabin Fever
Manic Street Preachers - 4st. 7lb
Gravediggaz - Diary Of A Madman

I'm going for 'Sue' by BJM.

Manics, err, no thanks, even if it's their supposedly better earlier stuff.

Gravediggaz: Mos' def'. Been listening to this a fair bit recently. Their first album is killer.
 

Bangpuss

Well-known member
That Stones song is hardly about mental illness per se. Just Jagger being a misogynist again. Yawn.

Stars of the Lid did an album of songs about Texan mental hospitals, no? I'm sure Mike Patton has a few too. And Roky Erikson. Syd Barret-era Floyd. Most people who were close to losing it/lost it wrote songs that reflect the experience better than those wiritng about it from afar.

I was having a conversation about misogyny in music a while ago, and my point was that a lot of pop music is misogynistic. Besides the blatant and well-documented chauvinism of so much hip-hop and early reggae (plus all other forms of xenophobia), rock & roll is also littered with, and permeated by, misogyny. The Rolling Stones are a prime example, although I highlighted the point with 'Under My Thumb'. Not sure how misogynistic 19th Nervous Breakdown is, though. I suppose it could be argued that "On our first trip I tried so hard to rearrange your mind" casts the girl as someone with an inferior mind, but there's no suggestion that it's to do with her gender, more her neglectful upbringing. I know a girl just like her. Dad's an art dealer, she's in LA in rehab for about the fourth time. Coke addict.

So basically, if misogyny is so offensive, don't listen to music because the chances are you'll come across a fair bit of it. And don't watch films, either. Or watch TV. It's everywhere. Argh!
 
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