31-50

Un Singe Sur Le Dos

by La Rumeur

 

Genre: Hip Hop.

Taken from the album Les Inedits

 

Another selection which underlines the eclectic nature of musical tastes at Rhesus Park as our simians doff their cap and say "tres bien" to this wonderful example of French hip hop at its finest.

 

A Monkey On The Back is the translated title of the song, something that may have jogged memories of our silverback gorilla Optimus infamously trying to take a piggy-back ride on former keeper George Hilton. That fact our CCTV footage earned £200 from You've Been Framed was scant consolation to George as he came to terms with spending his life in a wheelchair.

 

OSH Rating: 707

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Last Train To Clarkesville

by The Monkees

 

Genre: Pop

Taken from the album Best of the Monkees

 

The Simian Top 50 wouldn't be complete if it didn't stop off at the Monkees one more time before reaching its final destination so the Last Train to Clarksville is a fitting choice.

 

While this is a prime cut of Sixties pop at its purest, the song may have a deeper meaning for our monkeys as they always look wistful whenever they hear Davy Jones sing "I don't know if I'm ever coming home", a sad fact of life for all our primates.

 

OSH Rating: 702

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Anima

by Bonobos

 

Genre: Jazz

Taken from the album Animalanima

 

Jazz never really floated the boat of our monkeys but they found plenty of merit in this offering from Spanish group Bonobo as it contains fewer pretentious saxophone solos than average examples of the genre.

 

Unsurprisingly, the highest OSH ratings came from our sexually liberated bonobos who found the track similar to the music which plays in 1970s porn flicks and relished providing the appropriate response.

 

OSH Rating: 690

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We're now deep in the midst of the lower leagueslistening to songs that are never destined for the top flight but might enjoy a good cup run or even lift some silverware in the Johnstone Paints Trophy. Sit back and bask in the warmth of the dying embers

Monkey Pants

by Rusted Root

 

Genre: Rock

Taken from the album The Movement

 

A song that jolted plenty of memories for the Rhesus Park monkeys after our ill-fated plan to fully clothe all our simians for a week while the Shropshire Puritanical Society had rented our conference centre for their annual congress detailing the evils of modern society.

 

Sadly, there was little chance of our furry residents ever dancing with their monkey pants on as every keeper who tried to slip a pair of trousers on them was violently assaulted. Even the redoubtable Clemente Kurva failed in this herculean task, summing up what a virulent dislike our simians took to keeping their parts private.

 

OSH Rating: 790

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Chimp in a 3 piece suit

by The King Blues

 

Genre: Ska/Rock

Taken from the album Under The Fog

 

Another reminder of the Puritanical Society setting up camp here, although it would have taken lots of industrial-strength tranquilisers for us to get anywhere near putting one of our chimps in a three-piece suit.

 

The King Blues have been credited with being part of a "new generation of musicians who are challenging war-monger politicians and their courtiers", perhaps summing up their popularity with our simians, who always make a point of spitting at Conservative politicians.

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OSH Rating: 780

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Bad Day To Be A Rhesus Monkey

by Cliff Martinez

 

Genre: Dance

Taken from the album Contagion OST

 

We would love to say that it's never a bad day to be a Rhesus monkey at Shropshire's favourite animal attraction but it would be a white lie, especially when head keeper Clemente Kurva returns in a rage from paintball, having inexplicably lost.

 

It's hard to explain why this instrumental number scored so highly with our simians but it's maybe down to the fact that it comes from the soundtrack to a Steven Soderberg film and our monkeys, particularly the bonobos, have been big fans since Sex Lies and Videotape.

 

OSH Rating: 770

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Ga Gibbon

by Gustav Lorentzen

 

Genre: Funk/Pop

Taken from the album Amadeus

If the Simian Top 50 was decided by album covers alone, Lorentzen would be gracing the top five instead of languishing in the mid-30s.

Who could fail to be moved as the eccentric Norwegian, a doppleganger for Mike Mills out of REM, gazes lovingly at the gibbon he is cradling in his arms?

 

The song itself is not without its charms and all our monkeys, not just the titular gibbons, responded positively to Lorentzen's enthusiastic delivery, especially when he sporadically breaks into a lusty giggle.

 

OSH Rating: 760

Where can I find this wonderful song?

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The Monkey and The Baboon by Eddie Bond

 

Genre: Rockabilly

Taken from the album 50 Rockabilly Hell Raisers

 

The second song in our Simian Top 50 to highlight the adventures of a monkey and baboon but it scores significantly lower than Dr John's classic as the beasts play second fiddle to a woman named Lucille.

 

Had Bond made the song more simian-orientated he may have gained greater fame and it seems poor decisions were something he specialised in, having infamously rejected an 18-year-old Elvis Presley from his band in the early 1950s, apparently telling The King to stick to truck driving because "you're never going to make it as a singer."

 

OSH Rating: 740

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One Monkey

by Gillian Welch

 

Genre: Alt Country

Taken from the album Soul Journey

 

Miss Welch's suggestion that "one monkey don't stop the show" raised more than a few smiles among our simians as the trip our chimpanzee Huey made to the Shrewsbury Gang Show in 1997 is part of Rhesus Park folklore.

 

Having made a daring escape from his enclosure, the two-hour chase to catch him ended at the theatre when Huey leapt up on stage during a rendition of "We're Riding Along on the Crest of the Wave" and sank his teeth into the genitals of the scout master, potentially saving several future members of the troop from a haunted childhood and a lifetime of therapy.

 

OSH Rating: 736

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Simian Top 50

Fire and the Thud

by Arctic Monkeys

 

Genre:Indie/Rock

Taken from the album Humbug

 

The building menace of this brooding masterpiece by Alex Turner and the boys perfectly captures the drama of our chimpanzees going on the rampage when coitus fails to exhaust their vast reserves of testosterone.

 

While the Rhesus Park chimps have yet to master starting fires, there's certainly plenty of thud in their armoury and it's hard not to feel for those poor beasts right at the bottom of their pecking order when the fists start to fly.

 

OSH Rating: 785

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El Diablo Miro a Mi Chica

by Factor Rhesus

 

Genre: Punk

Taken from the album Factor Rhesus

 

This rousing Spanish punk number highlights the broad musical tastes of our monkeys, proving that they can appreciate music when delivered in a foreign tongue.

 

For those of you too stupid to study Spanish at school, the title of this song translates as The Devil Is Looking At My Girl, something a great number of our baboons can relate to. Their alpha male, Trident, is an barbarous tyrant who doesn't think twice about ravishing the girlfriends of his minions.

 

OSH Rating: 777

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Bonobos

by Tristan Israel

 

Genre: Folk

Taken from the album After The Flash

American folkie Israel was a smash hit with our bonobos, who no doubt appreciated him highlighting the perils facing their brethren back home in war-torn Congo.

 

"We are the bonobos, help us protect our land," implores Israel, a sentiment that often brought a tear to the eye of some of the bonobos whom Rhesus Park rescued from the Congo. OSH ratings were in the high 900s for our bonobos but the rest of the Rhesus Park monkeys were less impressed, explaining why this song comes in at lowly 36

 

OSH Rating: 765

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Monkey Dung Man

by The Unthanks

 

Genre: Folk

Taken from the album Songs From The Shipyards

 

Our monkeys viewed this song as an affectionate tribute to Gunter Volkshiel, the poor man charged with the unenviable task of sweeping out the Rhesus Park cages.

 

Gunter initially performed this duty under duress as part of his community service for writing profane poetry on the walls of Shrewsbury Cathedral but grew to love life at Rhesus Park so much that he applied for the job once his punishment was over.

 

Maybe Northumbrian folkies The Unthanks read Gunter's charming write up by the Shropshire Advertiser before penning this wonderful song.

 

OSH Rating: 758

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Flutter

by Bonobo

 

Genre: Dance

Taken from the album Dial M for Monkey

 

Brighton-born Electronica exponent Simon Green earns plenty of Rhesus Park brownie points for choosing the moniker Bonobo and deciding to name his sophomore album Dial M for Monkey.

 

This track elicited the highest OSH ratings from all his work, especially from the kindred spirits who share his name, and was another popular choice on Sunday mornings as Rhesus Park recovered from the rages of the night before.

 

 

OSH Rating: 738

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Martin by Monkey Swallows The Universe

 

Genre:Indie/Fol

Taken from the album The Bright Carvings!

 

The second offering in our top 50 by the Sheffield geniuses, who have sadly now disbanded and gone their separate ways. Our monkeys definitely identified with the sentiments expressed in Martin, a heartbreaking story about a self-loathing waster and a companion whose unstinting loyalty stems from a feeling she is trapped.

 

It's a fable that eloquently sums up the plight of captive animals and the keepers who are charged with lifting their spirits.

 

 

OSH Rating: 735

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My Monkey

by Jonathan Coulton

 

Genre: Rock

Taken from the album Jo Co Looks Back

 

If ever there was a line that rang true of Rhesus Park then it's Coulton's claim that "every monkey needs some alone time". We boast the highest incidences of self-pollution at any animal attraction in the world, with our simians knocking one out at an average of once every three minutes.

 

That stat rose to once every minute whenever Coulton's song was played over the loud speakers, cementing his status as the aphrodisiac of choice for monkeys who feel the urge yet can't find a willing accomplice.

 

 

 

OSH Rating: 720

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Gorilla Tour

by Tonerush

 

Genre: Dance

Taken from the album On Repeat Trance.

 

This belting techno track always set pulses racing and it became something of an anthem for our gorillas, who actually did go out on tour when magician Paul Daniels included them in his 1987 extravaganza A Little Bit More Daniels (and a lot less Wizbit).

 

It didn't turn out to be much of an adventure for them though as they made it to just Milton Keynes, Harrogate and Ashton Under Lyne before Daniels sent them back in a rage for what he would only describe as an "outrageous incident involving the lovely Debbie McGhee".

 

 

OSH Rating: 718

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Baboon Strength

by Charlie Hunter

 

Genre: Jazz/Funk

Taken from the album Baboon Strength

Nobody should be in any doubt about the strength of the Rhesus Park baboons, especially the family of the late mayor of Shrewsbury who fatally breezed into their enclosure one night because he thought it would be "a laugh" after several gin slings.

 

This experimental track, which strays dangerously close to prog-rock in places, would have provided the perfect soundtrack to that gory night as it takes the listener on an emotional journey before building to an explosive climax.

 

 

OSH Rating: 711

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Monkey Dead

by Sundhouse

 

Genre: Rock

Taken from the album Crazy On The Weekend

Another selection which highlights the importance of lyrics to our simians, as they can draw parallels between this song and the sad disappearance of our chimp Charlie.

 

A wistful look always appears on their little furry faces when Gavin Clark informs them “monkey vanish, monkey gone” and tears often well up when things take a darker turn and he breaks the devastating news “monkey underwater dead”. We can only pray Charlie’s adventure doesn’t come to a similarly heartbreaking end and that he steers clear of canals and babbling brook

 

OSH Rating: 704

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Macaque Attack

by Urban Barnyard

 

Genre: Indie

Taken from the album Scream Like Human Beings

 

Urban Barnyard provide a chilling warning about the harsh realties of life as a tourist at Rhesus Park as they sing "Macaque attack, little boy you better watch your back."

 

The song was released 20 years too late to save those schoolchildren who sadly perished on Black Thursday, a day that left an indelible stain on the reputation of this once proud park. Our simians share the shame of Rhesus Park's management and its no coincidence that this song just scrapes into our Top 50 as they appreciate that our dark history shapes both the present and the future.

 

OSH Rating: 700

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