|According to dictionary.com, zeitgeist is a German noun defined as: "the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time." Literally, it means "time ghost." Guess that four years of high school German and that B.A. in German are really payin' off!
Anyways, the primary function of this page is to provide you, the reader, with a bit of insight into this site and where it sits in history, whether that history is its own, our collective history, or histories of the past.
And don't forget about the rules. Rules, regulations, ordinances, decorum, axioms, whatever the hell you want to call them. There will be rules, because a wise man once said, "Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is cowbell. There are rules." I do believe I was paraphrasing there, but I digress. The point is moot.
First, a history lesson...
The origins of this site come from the year 2002. I was aware of the infamous Saturday Night Live skit involving the legendary Christopher Walken, et. al. While listening to the thunderous cowbell in Pantera's "Drag the Waters," I mused that someone should create a website dedicated to cowbell. I did a quick Google search and discovered someone had already done so. The fellas over at Geek Speak Weekly had started a database of cowbell songs. The site is now defunct. I was disappointed at first that there was a site with a list, but I decided to take it one step further than anyone would ever want it taken...I was going to make the most comprehensive website dedicated to the cowbell.
In the ensuing years, I have dedicated thousands of hours to refining the design, collecting media, discovering songs, and just waiting for the stars and planets align in order to unleash this beast upon the masses. With the programming of Dennis Toboggan and Rad Social Networks LLC in my utility belt, there will be no stopping us from world domination and riches beyond belief.
Second, The Rules...
- Artists will be alphabetically sorted in ascending order according to the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) table (here).
- This means that artists like "!!!" will be first alphabetically, because the value for "!" is 33 and the value for "1" is 49.
- The only exception to this is when artists such as "blink-182," "dredg," and "nine inch nails" have lower-case first letters. Following the ASCII convention, these artists would be filed after the Z's, because their ASCII values are greater than those of capital letters. For the sake of continuity, non-exclusion, and artistic integrity, they are sorted as if their names began with capital letters.
- Artists will be properly sorted.
- Solo artists like Kurtis Blow and Frank Zappa would be sorted by "B" and "Z," respectively.
- Bands that contain the name of an individual in the group like Brian Auger's Oblivion Express and Dave Matthews Band will be sorted by the last name of that individual, which would be "A" and "M" in this instance.
- "The" bands like, The Beatles, The Guess Who, and The Rolling Stones are all sorted according to the word following the "The." Respectively, this would be "B," "G," and "R."
- "The" bands that contain an individual's name like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Edgar Winter Group will be sorted according to Rules 2.1 and 2.2. So, The Jimi Hendrix Experience will be sorted by "H" and The Edgar Winter Group will be sorted by "W."
- When titling songs and albums, proper grammar rules will be followed (here).
- The first and last words in the title shall be capitalized.
- The articles (a, an, and the) shall not be capitalized.
- Conjunctions and prepositions of less than four letters shall not be capitalized.
- Denoting songs and album titles shall follow proper grammar rules as well.
- Quotation marks shall be used to denote songs and television episodes, as they are parts of a larger work (an album and television series, respectively) (here).
- Album titles, movie titles, and names of television shows shall be italicized (here).
- If an item that should be italicized appears in a run of text that is already italicized, then it should be returned to the un-italicized format to denote this (here).
II. The Songs
- The counting of the songs
- Each song by a particular artist is counted only once.
- Remixes, live versions, and other alternate versions of the same song only count once.
- Foreign songs, especially Latin songs shall not be counted
- This particular rule is hard to deal with. I want to include Latin songs, but the sheer number of songs and artists in this category with cowbell would far out reach the scope of this project. Also, I don't speak Spanish. However, there may be a Cencerro Último on the horizon.
- Exceptions to this rule include, but aren't limited to Latin/foreign artists/bands that have crossed over into American culture. Two noted examples are Marc Anthony ("I Need to Know") and Buena Vista Social Club.
- The labeling of the songs
- Alternate versions of songs will be labeled by including that information in parentheses.
- (Live) - is defined as a version of the song performed live, recorded, and sold commercially by the artist as part of a live album, DVD, etc.
- (Bootleg) - is defined as a version of the song performed live, recorded by a member of the audience, and distributed via trading, B&P's, or downloading from the internet.
- The only bootleg songs that will be included in the list are covers of previously discovered cowbell songs that are done by an established artist/band. (e.g.Van Halen's version of Mountain's "Mississippi Queen")
- (Remix) - is defined as a version of the song that has been re-interpreted by someone else. Remixes shall not count double if the original version of the song has cowbell in it. Remixes can count if the original song doesn't have cowbell in it. (See Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix Single Version)")
- (Other) - This is a category to catch all those songs that fall through the previous filters. Songs in this category include demos that may not have contained cowbell in the final recorded version of the song (see: Cream's "SWABLR (Demo)"). Also included are alternate recordings of songs that aren't live, remixed, or demos. (see: Arctic Monkey's "Dancing Shoes (Rhythms del Mundo Version)").
- Cover versions of songs will be denoted by enclosing the original artist in square brackets ().
- The original artist will be determined to the best of my ability by consulting allmusic.com's information on release dates.
- The original artist will be determined to be the artist who commercially released the song first, not who necessarily popularized it. For example: Creedence Clearwater Revival's version of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" from 1970 has cowbell in it. It can be argued that Marvin Gaye popularized the song in 1968, but it was Gladys Knight & the Pips who commercially released the song first in 1967.
- Should the original song not have cowbell, the original artist/band will be displayed in red.
- Again, to the best of my ability and through consultation with allmusic.com (and other sites), artists who cover cowbell songs will be included in the "Covered by:" section of each song detail page.
- A studio band formed in order to re-record a song for inclusion on a compilation you may find in the bargain bin at your local convenience store. Examples include, but aren't limited to: Countdown Singers, Kids Bop Kids, Starlight Singers, BB Band, Latin All-Stars, Celebrity All Star Jam, etc.
- A composer of a song, who composed the song as part of a band, or vice versa, shall only be counted once.
- If a former member of a band covers a song, then it shall be counted only once. For example, Vince Neil, current and former lead singer of Mötley Crüe, has "covered" several Mötley Crüe songs that contain cowbell on his various solo albums.
- Artists/bands who have used cowbell in their cover version will be cross-linked to their page on Ultimate Cowbell.
- Artists/bands who have not used cowbell in their cover version will be displayed in red.
- Artists/bands who have yet to have their use of cowbell confirmed in their cover version shall be displayed in yellow.
III. The Content
- The following information will be provided for each song in the database:
- The band/artist performing the song
- The title of the song
- The release on which the song initially appears
- The release year of said release
- The label said release was initially released on
- The band/artist who originally recorded the song (see Section II.2.2 for further details)
- Any bands/artists who have "covered" the song (see Section II.2.2.2 for further details)
- Each song will be given a "Bell Score" out of 5 that is based upon professional ratings, user ratings, and plays/streams.
- The following images will be provided, whenever possible:
- The band/artist (see the disclaimer for further info)
- The album cover (see the disclaimer for further info)
- Whenever possible the following links shall be provided:
- An official website (if available)
- All Music Guide links for:
- The band/artist
- The album
- The song
- Wikipedia page for the band
- Any other pertinent links