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The Bobs


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San Francisco, United States

The Bobs are a “new wave” a cappella group founded in San Francisco, California. The group is known for humorous original songs and avant-garde arrangement techniques. Instead of covering more traditional doo-wop songs, The Bobs started out with songs like “Helter Skelter” (The Beatles) and “Psycho Killer” (Talking Heads). Although two of their albums are dominated by covers, the overwhelming majority of their repertoire is original , with songs discussing diverse subjects like lunar cattle farming, sleepy bus drivers, bumper stickers, laundry, hurricane-related flooding, graffiti, Oliver North, shopping-mall security guards, celebrity autographs, synaesthesia, post office violence, heart transplants, Heaven’s Gate, spontaneous human combustion, turtles, rebellious footwear, tattoos, nicknames for genitalia, and felines intent on ruling the world. They are currently based in Seattle.

The Bobs have broken with a cappella tradition several times by including instruments. The majority of the 1995 album Plugged is backed by toy drums. Plugged also made heavy use of studio equipment to make the voices sound more like guitars and bass guitars. Coaster includes a rock rhythm section on one song. But this original “band without instruments” usually uses just their mouths, hands, feet and “other body parts” to fill a room with a sound as big as an orchestra.

Members of the group are always credited with “Bob” as their middle name. The name is often described as an acronym for “Best of Breed,” an award given out at dog shows.


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  • JJ77777

    I really want to love these guys, but sometimes it really just sounds like they're whining when they reach for the high end of their range. Don't get me wrong, a few individual tracks like 'Spontaneous Human Combustion' are awesomesauce, but it's a case of what's good is good, and what's not good is instead painful to my ears.

    9 Mar 2010 Reply
  • elpiza


    9 Dec 2009 Reply
  • ashdinosaur

    God they're brilliant!

    2 Dec 2009 Reply
  • LauHendrix

    Where is March & Fanfare??? What a pity, just 26 seconds! xD

    26 Jan 2009 Reply

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