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Crazy Horses by The Osmonds

Album: Crazy HorsesReleased: 1972Charted:
  • The song was written about Air Pollution - "Crazy Horses" represents automobiles - "horsepower" - that creates pollution in the skies from the exhaust.
  • This was written by Alan, Merrill and Wayne Osmond. They were the oldest of the group, who were all fathers.
  • This song was originally banned in South Africa because "horses" is a slang term for heroin there, so "crazy horses" was thought to be referring to drugs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above
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Comments: 15

The horse "noise" was indeed a Yamaha, with what they called a Theramin Bar.Joe - Grants Pass, Or
just in case anyone else came here trying to find out what they used to make the "Screaming" sound, it was a Yamaha YC-45D combo organ apparently.Nancy - Isle Of Wight, United Kingdom
Firstly, I think the song makes most sense as a protest of pollution, especially in light of the lyrics "Crazy horses all got riders, and they're you and me." After all, cars and other fossil fuel-powered transportation devices resemble horses insomuch as horses were the transportation device for centuries and centuries before cars were ever invented. Also, cars "smoke up the sky," and, if compared to a horse as it's prototype does, indeed, seem crazy.

Also, although,I don't mean to make this a discussion about Mormonism, but seeing as it could be related to the interpretation of the song, I feel I should make a correction to the comment about "Mormon laws." While Mormons are supposed to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, and sex outside of marriage, and although many do abstain from caffeine, they are not prohibited from consuming caffeine, and sex within marriage, even if only to express mutual affection without the intent to create life, is perfectly allowed.
Ammy - Oklahoma City, Ok
The Osmonds never smoked in their entire lives, due to the strict Mormon laws, that also prohibit them from consuming alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, as well as gambling, pornography, pre-marital sex, and recreational sex while married, except for the sole purposes of producing children.Jordan - Los Angeles, Ca
Did anyone hear the recut on Donny Osmond's 2002 CD "Somewhere In Time"? Donny said a while back on Graham Norton's BBC program that his brothers backed him up on it.Gina - Hiawatha, Ia
this is an anti pollution song i think time shows this as a 70's classic.check out the re mix with the utah saints.Shaun - Luton, England
This song IS about cars and buses. At least two of the osmonds were smoking when this was released as it was after all 70's america. n Anyway, LISTEN TO THE LYRICSTed - London Town, England
Glam Metal Detectives did a Cover Version in 1995.Neil - Middlesbrough
I was 13 when my sister lugged the 45 version of this home in the 70s. I thought it was a desperate attempt for the Osmonds to break away from bubbble gum music, and into hard rockBobbie - Central, Nm
How come One Bad Apple (the song that started it all for the Osmonds) isn't listed?Vince - Tucson, Az
One of the very few Osmond songs that rock (another being perhaps Traffic on my Mind). I have always mentally toyed with the notion of attching Donny to some electrical wires to provoke that screaming sound at the beginning. Not much of an Osmonds fan if you couldn't tell.Wes - Springfield, Va
In the early eighties, before there were enough doomy goth records to fill a club night, goth DJ's used to play the 45rpm version of this at 33rpm. Try it if you like that sort of stuff.Paul - Glasgow, Scotland
The Independent: Where did the inspiration for the song "Crazy Horses" come from?
Donny Osmond: It was Alan, Wayne and Merrill who wrote "Crazy Horses". Wayne and Merrill were in the studio and Wayne had started the main riff for the song. Then Alan came in and brought a cohesive concept about pollution: the horses being horsepower. Then Merrill added the "crazy" before the horses. It's a very serious song.
Artimus - Oxford, England
I thought that this was about the 4 horsemen of the apocalypseChristie - Edgewater, Md
This song was **NOT** about cars or buses - it is an anti-smoking (or cigarette) song! There are many print interviews from that era by the brothers stating such.Oriole - Birmingham, Mi
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