500 Greatest Songs of All Time

100

Gnarls Barkley, 'Crazy'

Writers: Brian Burton, Thomas Calloway, Gianfranco Reverberi, Gian Piero Reverberi
Producer: Danger Mouse
Released: May '06, Downtown
24 weeks; No. 2

"Crazy" was a rarity in the 2000s: a universal pop smash that was played on virtually every radio format — it went Top 10 on both the pop and the modern-rock charts — and was covered by singers from Nelly Furtado to Billy Idol. The lyrics, which celebrate risk-taking, came out of a conversation Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse had in the studio: The pair decided that their genre-smashing collaborations were indeed "crazy." With a haunting melody inspired by spaghetti Western soundtrack-composer Ennio Morricone, "Crazy" didn't feel like a hit. "It seemed too out there for urban radio and too urban for rock radio," Danger Mouse told Rolling Stone.

Appears on: St. Elsewhere (Downtown)

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