My Sunday Song – “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider

For My Sunday Song #65, I chose “Lunatic Fringe” by Canadian rock band Red Rider.  The song is off their 1981 album ‘As Far as Siam” and is probably the band’s most famous song.  The song charted as high as #11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, but never cracked the Top 40 of the Bill board Hot 100.  Actually, they never had a song chart in the Top 40 so I guess you could categorize them as a No-Hit Wonder, at least here in the States.

But for me the song was a hit.  MTV surely played it a lot as that was the only place I ever heard it at the time.  The creepiness of the song was what drove me to liking it.  I like dark and creepy songs for some reason.  The song really starts out with a creepy keyboard sound, almost evil feel to it.  From the keyboard sounds, you then get a quick couple guitar notes that add a punch to it. And from there, the song kicks into full band mode and Tom Cochrane’s vocals.  The song ends with city street sounds including sirens and then ends with the guitar riff from the beginning.  The song worked form beginning to end.

According to Mike Bell of the Canadian Online Explorer, “Lunatic Fringe” was inspired by “what Cochrane saw as an alarming rise of anti-Semitism in the ’70s, and was also partially inspired by a book he read on Raoul Wallenberg, who helped thousands of Jews escape Nazi Germany”.  And per Wikipedia, “lunatic fringe” is a “term used to characterize members of a political or social movement as extremists with eccentric or fanatical views. The term was popularized by Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote in 1913 that, “Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.”” which is why he named the song as he did.

If you have never heard the song, then I hope you enjoy it.  It is one of the coolest sounding songs I have heard and have never tired of hearing it. I hope you enjoy it.  Happy Sunday.

“Lunatic Fringe”

Lunatic fringe
I know you’re out there
You’re in hiding
And you hold your meetings
I can hear you coming
I know what you’re after
We’re wise to you this time (wise to you this time)
We won’t let you kill the laughter

Lunatic fringe
In the twilight’s last gleaming
But this is open season
But you won’t get too far
‘Cause you’ve got to blame someone
For your own confusion
We’re on guard this time (on guard this time)
Against your final solution

We can hear you coming (we can hear you coming)
No, you’re not going to win this time (not gonna win)
We can hear the footsteps (we can hear the footsteps)
Hey, out along the walkway (out along the walkway)

Lunatic fringe
We all know you’re out there
Can you feel the resistance
Can you feel the thunder

Written by Tom Cochrane

14 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider

  1. Adding this forgotten song to my digital library! I don’t remember the ready-for-radio release having that long, strange intro, a characteristic amplified in many odd ways for nearly every song on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”

    Liked by 1 person

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