Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire – One Hit Wonderland

You just don’t get enough pop songs about the complete and total annihilation of the human race, you know?

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  1. Not crazy about this one: too whiny and his voice is kind of annoying: I’ll be sticking with 99 Red Balloons and It’s The End Of The World (As We Know It).

    Also you mentioned you don’t get many recomendations for One Hit Wonderland. Well here’s one: this artist is so obscure I don’t know her name or any lyrics of the song, only that it was big enough to play on TV and that it came out around 2004.
    The music video opens with the artist (she had dark straight hair) burning personal documants (passport and such) before a car drives up and she spends the entire music video running from the two guys in the car: in the end she goes to a hotel room and writes something after puting a CD in a locker and taking out a backpack.
    And the beat on the chorus something like this: da-da-da-DE-EE-da, la-la-la-LE-EE-la, bum-bum-bum-BE-EE-bum, da-da, da-da, da-da. (that last part sounds like World at my command, but I can’t be sure)
    And the beat for another line goes: da da da da dedadeda AHHHH, lalalalala (the first sounds like tell me, tell me, ahhh but again, not sure).
    That’s all I know: if you can find it and do a video on it, that would be insane!!

    Also first, mere mortals!!

  2. I think my first real exposure to this song was that episode of Greatest American Hero.

  3. I really like this song but I also love early Dylan so I chalk it up to that. Oh, and I’m very familiar with the Grass Roots. Does that mean I’m not one of those young whipper snappers with their Justin Bieber and One Direction?

  4. It occurs to me that this song is a good example of the hippy influence on metal. Someone with long hair, horse voice and guitar singing about nuclear war.

    • I’d never thought of it before, but I could easily see Barry McGuire in an early proto-metal or metal band like Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath.

      • What tipped me off to that was Ozzy saying in an interview that he would have been a hippy if he wasn’t from an extremely depressing neighbourhood. Also Hawkwind (the band Lemmy was in before Motorhead) was essentially the bridge between psychedelic and punk rock “Let’s not talk about love and flowers / and things that don’t explode / we used up all our magic powers / trying to do it in the road”.

    • Steve the Pocket

      My only memory of this song is from this one time it came on the oldies station, and I remembered it as being a lot heavier than it was, musically. I accredit that to McGuire’s growling vocals, and to a lesser extent those booming bass drums. I’d argue it could have benefited from using electric guitars (just rhythm and bass, naturally) instead of the stereotypical folk-acoustic.

    • Steve the Pocket

      Christian rock didn’t start to get insufferably bland until… well, I’m not sure really. It depends on who you’re picking out to listen to. My parents have some ’70s “Jesus music” (that’s what it was called at the time) that’s plenty milquetoast, and conversely there have been heavier acts with legitimate messages in the ensuing decades like Petra, DC Talk, P.O.D… seriously, P.O.D. even had a mainstream top-40 hit with “Youth of the Nation” in 2001.

      And yeah, the idea that the world is doomed is a pretty common sentiment among young people with no perspective. I remember thinking about ten years ago that George W. Bush was going to declare himself dictator of the US, and fantasized about personally leading the rebellion against him. And now we’ve got people saying the same thing about Donald Trump, a guy who hasn’t even been elected yet and is looking less and less like he’s ever going to be at the rate things are going. Whatever. Anything that gets those 18-to-20-year-olds out to exercise the voting right their grandparents fought for.

      • Steve the Pocket

        And of course that got posted as a reply instead of at the bottom because my Internet went out and I tried refreshing and this site is a piece of shit.

  5. Phil Ochs is pronounced oaks not “awks” Like the trees

  6. I’ve never heard of this song before. It’s probably because I don’t listen to protest music most of the time. Oh, it’s funny how even you who reviews music found a way to kind of review Batman v. Superman. ^.^ LOL.

  7. If you’ve seen The Stand, this is the song that Larry plays on the edge of the city.

  8. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Oh my god he did a kidz pop Christian version of the song,jeez,that’s horrible. As for the original its OK. I definitely am surprised that Bob Dylan only hit number two though and love the superman review

  9. I don’t think I’d ever realized this wasn’t a Turtles song. Their version of it was the only one I’d ever heard.

  10. I’ve got a soft spot for “Doom” songs. And this is plenty doom-ey.

    The re-issue gets points for comedy though: “We’re still on the eve of destruction.” Hehe.

    50 year long evening.

    Ah… the world’s always coming to an end five minutes from now. If not from war, then from pestilence or weather or a meteor or bees.

  11. Let’s racism, problem in the Middle East, astronauts in space, and hatred…gee, sounds like 2016 to me.

  12. I’d like a cover on that song done in a very somber pre-Brostep dubstep way. Burial with a female singer and you’re done.

  13. I downloaded and burned this song on a DVD half a year ago, yeah this one.

  14. Somebody build me a new biggest Nuclear ICBM proved fallout bomb shelter where one could be safely locked away from the outside world because most of mankind or humanity is going to fucking destroy each other with Atomic annihilation in a world of race hatred and stuff, just kidding. By the way Barry McGuire was 29 or 30 in 1965 not 19 or 20, born in 1935 thank you Barry McGuire for just bringing this song in existence and thank you Todd for reviewing it, I though you’d be the last person to notice it.

  15. George Nori, host of Coast to Coat AM and frequent guest on Ancient Aliens, plays this very song often during his radio broadcast. Let that marinate.

  16. 50-year-old viewer here, Todd. Some of us out here DO remember the Grass Roots & know how to use the Internet. 😉

    Anyway, you want more non-1980s recommendations for OHW?

    “Sugar Sugar”, The Archies (I’m surprised you haven’t done this one already)
    “Welcome Back”, John Sebastian (not sure if this counts, since John was the former frontman for the Lovin’ Spoonful, but this was his only solo-career hit…yeah. Welcome Back Kotter. DO IT.)
    “One Tin Soldier”, Coven
    “Summertime Blues”, Blue Cheer (another one that I’m surprised you haven’t done!)
    “Harper Valley PTA”, Jeannie C. Riley
    “The Night The Lights Went out In Georgia”, Vicki Lawrence

  17. Oh please… Superman has always killed people…

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