Tag Archives: The Beach Boys

Why I Want Justin Bieber To Go Crazy

15 Mar

Justin Bieber

First of all, I should point out that when I say I want Justin Bieber to go crazy, I don’t want him to go quite literally insane. That would be horrible, and nobody, not even Justin Bieber, deserves to suffer from a terrible and nightmarish bout of insanity.



No. When I say I want Justin Bieber to go crazy, I mean that I want him to go off the rails a little, but not life-endangeringly so. I want his career to go off the boil. I want him to have the time to go away and reflect on everything he’s done.

And then I want him to record a triple disc album of industrial noise.

You may scoff, but stranger things have happened. You think I’m lying? Perhaps you’ve never heard of 1950s heartthrob Scott Engel. For a while, Engel was very much the Justin Bieber of his day. Not quite as successful, perhaps, but he had a pretty face, and a nice enough voice, and girls would swoon and scream when he took to the stage. Here he is singing the saccharine little ditty, Too Young.

Scott Engel 

Those of you who clicked on the link might see where this is going. By 1964, pretty young Scott Engel had joined John Walker and Al “Tiny” Schneider to form The Walker Brothers, a balladeering boyband who churned out such stirring, but easy-on-the-ear hits as The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More. By the end of the decade, Engel, steeped in Jacques Brel torch songs and Ingmar Bergman movies, was recording songs with titles like The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated to the Neo-Stalinist Regime). By 2006 he was making music by having a member of his band punch bits of meat.

"That's great, but could you maybe try punching it in D Major?"

“That’s great, but could you maybe try punching it in D Major?”

If you think Scott Walker’s a one-off, an eccentric after whom the mould was well and truly broken, how about The Beatles? In 1963 they were producing lovely little pop tunes like this. Three years later, when none of them were any older than 26, they sounded like this.

We'll draw a curtain on what happened 20 years later.

We’ll draw a curtain on what happened 20 years later.

Not a Beatles fan? How about The Beach Boys? In 1963, they were mercilessly ripping off Chuck Berry. Three years later: This happened.

And who, in April 1972, could have predicted that the monsters responsible for Puppy Love would produce something as spectacularly awesome as Crazy Horses within the next six months?

Of course, taking the path less travelled doesn’t always work out for many pop stars and boy bands. Some, like The Osmonds, go back to doing what they did before, over and over again until at least half of them look like Ewoks…


Others, like Take That, produce efforts so awful there are bacteria living on the moons of Saturn who can’t believe they tried getting away with that shit.

Now let us never speak of this again.

Gary Barlow looking, appropriately, as if he’s squeezing out a very painful turd.

So… If Bieber is to go a little crazy, a little avant-garde, what route should he take? Here are three possible paths for the future of the Bieber brand.

1) German Electronica

Seriously. Chop off that cutesy first name, and you’re left with what already sounds like a German Electronica outfit from the early ’80s. If, 6 years ago, someone told you they were really into a band called Bieber who emerged from the tenement buildings of Kreuzberg in 1981 to produce the seminal album Funkturm, you would have believed (Beliebed?) them. What’s more, you would have hurried straight home to download it.

Bieber Funkturm

2) Contemporary Classical

Who says the new improved Justin Bieber has to sing? He could join forces with classically trained musicians to produce an album of spiky, pizzicato-based noise inspired by the horrors of Abu Ghraib. His Torture Symphony could become the biggest selling “contemporary classical” album since whatever Philip Glass most recently spat out, and lead to an appearance at the 2019 BBC Proms.

Bieber Torture

3) Death Metal

It may be a little passe nowadays, but I reckon Death Metal’s ready for a comeback, and who better to lead the charge than Justin Bieber? His 2015 album Gushing Axe Wound will consist of 23 songs, none of them any longer than 1 minute 45 seconds, in which Bieber, now sporting a hockey mask and a shaven, tattooed scalp, growls and screams about gibbet cages and stamping on kittens.

Justin Bieber Axe Wound

And if all else fails, he could always join the Sugababes.