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Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

Album: St. ElsewhereReleased: 2006Charted:
  • This song is about losing your mind and diving into insanity, which the Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley finds is not all bad. Speaking at a BMI conference, he explained the inspiration for the song: "It was '04, I was going through a divorce, I did not have a deal - things were bleak at the time and I was going through a personal trial. But it was an opportunity to be expressive. Danger Mouse's production compelled me into a deep retrospection, and I really appreciate him for that because with him, I knew that my misery had some company, because his music was so miserably brilliant and beautiful to me. It was the sound of my soul. If you could have taken a picture of it, it would have resembled this internal chaos."
  • Going along with the theme of the song, the music video is done in the style of the Rorschach test, which is a psychiatric evaluation where the patient is asked what he sees in various inkblot patterns. It was directed by Robert Hales, who used an ink theme in the video for Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl." (thanks, Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR)
  • Gnarls Barkley is producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and vocalist Cee-Lo Green (Thomas Callaway). Danger Mouse produced The Gorillaz album Demon Days; Cee-Lo was in Goodie Mob. The name "Gnarls Barkley" is a play on "Charles Barkley," who is a Hall Of Fame basketball player and an outspoken commentator. The moniker came up in a conversation between Danger Mouse and some of his friends when they were throwing out weird ideas for band names.
  • In a 2006 interview with The New York Times, Danger Mouse said: "I brought in a song that I felt was a complete Ennio Morricone ripoff, (Morricone is a composer of spaghetti-western scores) but Cee-Lo and I started talking, and I somehow got off on this tangent about how people won't take an artist seriously unless they're insane. And we were saying that if we really wanted this album to work, the best move would be to just kill ourselves. That's how audiences think; it's retarded. So we started jokingly discussing ways in which we could make people think we were crazy. We talked about this for hours, and then I went home. But while I was away, Cee-Lo took that conversation and made it into 'Crazy,' which we recorded in one take. That's the whole story. The lyrics are his interpretation of that conversation."
  • This song was leaked on the Internet and became a very popular download when it was released in England, sending it to #1 on the UK charts.
  • In 2006, Danger Mouse told The Observer Music Monthly, "I did the initial backing track when I was in Iceland on holiday a couple of years ago. We put it on in the morning and by the time we left the studio that evening we had the whole song done." Cee-Lo Green added, "I thought 'Crazy' might be the song that Danger Mouse would write if he wrote songs. He played the instrumental track for me and I was just, 'Wow!' We put the track on repeat while we talked for 2 hours about sanity and its place in pop culture and the creative process., how it's associated with true artistry."
  • This was the best selling single of 2006 in the UK, where it spent 9 weeks at #1. At the end of 2007, it was the most downloaded song ever in the UK. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2)
  • This was chosen by a panel of experts including Yoko Ono, Lil Wayne, Lars Ulrich plus critics and industry insiders as Rolling Stone's #1 song of the 2000s.
  • Cee-Lo Green explained to Mojo December 2010 why he believes this song proved to be so popular: "It rang true to a lot of my peers and fellow artists. Because the song was about insisting upon doing things my way, and the thin line between being crazy and being convinced that you're right."
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Comments: 18

I had never heard this song on youtube. It closed out the first video of the fictitious blogger, lonelygirl15. You can see the video here: - Honolulu, Hi
Sounds to me like the songs about government mind control, and how the populace has become stupid droning zombies, and he himself was once part of the droning mind controlled crowd until he broke free and got his mind back. I mean its nice being a mind controlled zombie, so nice that we all ask for it everyday!!!Luciano - Denver, Co
cee-lo's voice reminds me alot of Al Green'sRandy - Portage, In
I just LOVE the song maybe because I can relate to it in too many ways.Valerie - Eureka, Ca
the first time i saw the video for Crazy, i had just smoked from a vaporizer and i was tripping balls. this song is bad ass.Marcus - Fresno, Ca
Just posted a comment on the first song I ever remember; "Linda" from 1947. From Sinatra to Lonnie Donegan to Elvis to Beatles, Hendricks,
Joel, Madonna, U2 and now Gnarls...The beat goes on Thank You Song Facts for the joy you bring to my life.
Brady - Niagara Falls, Ny
This song is very Zen. To be in a state that your "mind" does not control you--instead you control your mind is to be in a HIGHER state. Reading the lyrics from a Zen point of view, they aren't so crazy...Kristie - Hackettstown, Nj
I agree with Dean of SydneyRoberta - Carleton, Mi
Great song. A glimmer of hope that tells me not to write off contemporary music all together.Dean - Sydney,
It's pretty much saying that the least sane people are the ones who think they're just fine.Aimee - Ughville, Ma
The song can mean anything depending on their own experiences and state of mind. The lyrics are great!Carol - Newport News, United States
I thought that this song was about about falling into street/drug culture as an adolescent. It just strikes me in that way.Robert - Merced, Ca
kool song.......the rest of the album isn't as good though in my opinion which is defintly a shame and a waist of 20 bucks on my partJoe - Chicago, Ar
I thought this was about soaring in a glider plane "out there, without a care, yeah I was out of touch." People think you're crazy for riding the air waves like an eagle in a plane with no engine, but I think you're crazy if you don't try it! I claim this song for the sail plane pilots of the world!Margaret - Buffalo Mills, Pa
This song actually hit the top of the charts in France during last summer which was also when the french soccer team got in the world cup finals. I know it might sound 'crazy', but it is exactly what the french champion Zinedine Zidane could have said to the italian player Materazzi just after he hit him. Read the lyrics again, be my guest, and get inside a 'crazy' man's brain!Bobodabanka - Paris, France
I always thought this was about a war veteran going crazy after what he saw.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
Yes! Danger Mouse is getting to 'stack cheese', while EMI is getttting what they deserve for blocking the release of the 'Grey Album' a few years back.Wik - Brooklyn, Ny
Great song. Can't wait to see them @ ACL in Austin this year.Ryan - Austin, Tx