Written by GE 138.
FEAR has been on a tear as as of late, raiding the vaults and letting some rare and tasty stuff finally see the light of day. The Paradise Studios Sessions, Vol. 1 and The Paradise Studio Sessions, Vol. 2 have been a godsend, but this, this 7" release, simply called Neighbors, is like a Holy Grail of sorts. This is the stuff of Legend, Ark Of The Covenant type stuff. This isn't supposed to exist, but yet it does. How?
Well, it's a well known fact that John Belushi was an early supporter of the band. It's an odd coupling for sure, but how that came about, and why they were hanging out together, well, that's for a different discussion than this one. When John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were set to star together in the 1981 comedy Neighbors, it only seemed natural that Belushi would try to get FEAR the gig doing the theme song to the movie. Sessions were booked, the legendary Steve Cropper was producing and mixing the project, tracks were recorded, and then that was pretty much it. No one seems to know what happened after that. The original soundtrack was rejected and replaced with some safe corporate FM lite elevator music, and to make up for it, Belushi got FEAR their legendary gig on Saturday Night Live. No one knew what happened to the original tapes, and after Belushi's death, no one felt right about doing anything with the song, and so it got lost for a while, until Mr. Ving found an old beat up cassette with the song on it recently while putting together a reissue project for the More Beer release (about time, too!), and after a bit of detective work, he found out that the Belushi Estate had the original 2" tapes the song was recorded on, and with their blessing, he decided to remix / release this stunning piece of musical history to the masses.
Remixed and remastered at Dave Grohl's studio, what you get with this release is, on side A, is the 2015 remix / remaster of the song, featuring John Belushi on lead vocals doing a spot on impression of Lee Ving's shouted out scattershot lyrics, with Lee Ving on back up vocals, and on side B you get the 2015 mix of the song with Lee Ving on lead vocals, and John Belushi on back up vocals. Confusing, I know. The version with Lee Ving on lead vocals was never meant to be released. And just to keep things interesting, they included a cleaned up version of the original Steve Cropper mix, which includes some dialogue from the movie as an intro and is a mix of Belushi and Lee Ving doing lead vocals. Very interesting stuff indeed. And as for how the song sounds? Well, it sounds like something that should of been on the first record; it's got that Spit Stix angry, military precision gallop to it, with Philo Cramer's twisted, bending musical shrieks and climbing / descending guitar riffs, and it's even got Derf Scratch honking and caterwauling away on the saxophone!! It's the classic fucking FEAR sound, for Christ's sake!! While not essential, it certainly is a must listen, even if just for the novelty of hearing John Belushi all coked up and singing lead vocals for one of the nastiest, sharpest, hard hitting, most amazing Punk bands to ever be, the almighty FEAR. Color me a believer. This song is the shit!
It was available directly from Atom Age Industries, the ones responsible for putting out this classic and instantly collectible slab of wax, but that shit sold out almost immediately when it was first issued. You can still get it digitally via iTunes by clicking here, and you can listen to it on Rhapsody by clicking here, and you can buy it via Amazon by clicking here, but other than that, better scour Ebay or Discogs or something.