Elvis Was A Hero To Most (3x)

PEI've always loved Public Enemy. I'm still infatuated with the first four Public Enemy albums. Those samples, those hardcore drum beats, Chuck D's rhymes... PE remains the greatest hip-hop band of all-time.

"Fight the Power", the last track on their third album, Fear of a Black Planet, recently turned 20. My favourite line in the song is probably the most repeated line after the title phrase.

Elvis was a hero to most
but he never meant shit to me you see
straight up racist that sucker was
simple and plain
mother fuck him and John Wayne

I've got several versions of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" and most of them have the lyrics I posted above. The album cut, however, has Chuck D repeating "Elvis was a hero to most" three times. That's my favourite version of "Fight the Power" and I get very angry when I hear a version with Chuck saying "Elvis was a hero to most" once.

Back in '91, I rushed to Sam the Record Man at Yonge and Dundas to buy a copy of the Barenaked Ladies' Yellow Tape. Yes kids, the yellow tape was actually a cassette tape drenched in yellow. I actually ended up buying it twice I loved it so much.

The final track on BNL's yellow tape was a fun cover of PE's "Fight the Power". It was only 1:33 long, but it included a great spin on the repeat of "Elvis was a hero to most".

Elvis was a hero to most
Buddy Elvis was a hero to most
Buddy Ebsen was a hero to most
Buddy Rich was a hero to most
Buddy Hackett was a hero to most
Nutty Buddy was a hero to most

If anyone out there has BNL's cover of "Fight the Power", I'd love the MP3. My yellow tapes now live only in the confines of my mind.


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Hey, Mike: were you ever a fan of Moxy Fruvous? Their first album (the cassette, not Bargainville) was awesome, and it's damn near impossible to find.

January 26, 2010 @ 10:21 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

It's funny, but you can't talk about early BNL with mentioning Moxy Fruvous.

I liked the stuff I heard on CFNY, but I never owned the tape. Just Bargainville.


January 26, 2010 @ 10:35 AM


never a fan of m.f or bnl. to me they seemed like a notch above weird al yankovic. novelty acts in my mind. i generally don't turn to music for comedy, and white guys rapping, even in an ironic way, just wasn't appealing to me. they do seem like good musicians though.

January 26, 2010 @ 10:40 AM

Buster Hyman

Ever think that Chuck D was the real racist.... Could you imagine a song by someone like Metallica blasting someone like Chuck Berry or James Brown ?!

January 26, 2010 @ 10:45 AM


Dude, I have that same Barenaked Ladies Yellow Tape and I absolutely LOVE their Fight The Power cover!! At the time I got it I had no idea what a rare find that I had received and I cherish it now!! :)

January 26, 2010 @ 10:51 AM


The BNL track was recorded and on the soundtrack to the movie, Coneheads.

January 26, 2010 @ 12:39 PM


Wikipedia: As of June of 2009, [Clyde] Stubblefield is in need of a kidney transplant and undergoes dialysis treatments[1]. Bands throughout Madison are making a strong effort to organize and play fundraiser events, donating the event proceeds to go toward supplementing Stubblefield's dialysis treatment and subsequent medical bills.

As a session drummer, Stubblefield received no further compensation for the many samples that were taken from the recording.[6] He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin.

List of songs that sample Funky Drummer found here:

January 26, 2010 @ 12:53 PM


Mike You can get the Yellow Tape from this site for a mere $63 or so

January 26, 2010 @ 1:36 PM


Elvis is a hero to most.

January 26, 2010 @ 1:58 PM


Elvis or elvis? :) Which one is the hero?

January 26, 2010 @ 4:31 PM


There is a reason why I don't capitalise the E...there is only ONE King.

January 26, 2010 @ 7:50 PM


I have the yellow tape, all signed by the band at their first Intimate and Interactive on Much. I'll dig it out and see how to do a recording.

January 26, 2010 @ 10:15 PM


As Horonymous once posted.

"Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps"

Hard to believe the song is over 20 years old.

What did John Wayne do to Flavour Flav?

January 27, 2010 @ 12:15 AM


You can go to www.bnlhttp.com for rare BNL songs such as "Fight the Power". =)

January 27, 2010 @ 12:45 AM

Neville A. Ross
What did John Wayne do to Flavour Flav?

What did John Wayne do for anybody except not fight in WWII when his country needed him, then rail against Vietnam War resisters 20 years later? Not to mention make a crappy movie about said war that was filmed in North Carolina?

January 28, 2010 @ 7:05 AM

Mike from Lowville

Got mine at the Pig and Whistle in Burlington!

January 29, 2010 @ 9:57 AM

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