I don’t know the reasoning behind this decision, for me it’s just arbitrary. Add It Up by The Violent Femmes is likely the greatest song of all time, and the album from whence it comes, their 1982 debut self titled album “Violent Femmes”, is easily my favorite album of all time. With classics like Blister in the Sun, Kiss Off, Add It Up, Good Feeling, Gone Daddy Gone, Give me the Car, and if you get the special edition version, Waitin’ for the Bus, there is not a bad song on this album.
If you have never heard the Violent Femmes before, it’s time you gave them a look see, especially if you like modern folk music. However, their influence reaches much further than just the current folk scene, they preceded many major grunge bands of the ’90’s, and were even assimilated into that movement, though by the time grunge was in its heyday, the Violent Femmes were on the down swing.
Yes, it’s true, as great as their early albums are, their later work is laking the soul the original work had. Brian Richie, one of the Femmes original founding members, had this to say in relation to their downfall:
“[W]hen you see dubious or in this case disgusting uses of our music you can thank the greed, insensitivity and poor taste of Gordon Gano, it is his karma that he lost his songwriting ability many years ago, probably due to his own lack of self-respect as his willingness to prostitute our songs demonstrates…I see my life’s work trivialized at the hands of my business partner over and over again, although I have raised my objections numerous times. As disgusted as you are I am more so.”
Even as their newer work faded away, their early work still holds strong, it influence spread wide as evidenced by songs like Gnarls Barkley cover of “Gone Daddy Gone”, and the advancement of the sound of Folk-Punk which seems to be gaining momentum now a days. Personally, I having been born in 1985, I discovered the Femmes music later in my life, as bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Staind were flowing around my high school (couldn’t one of them spell their name correctly?). Years have passed since then, but still I find myself listening to 1982’s album more than any other album which has come before or since.