Hi there. Today we have another look at a fan favorite Russian Funskool GI Joe figure. We also have some songs, some of which are more unsettling than others.
Your regularly scheduled review will be posted on Thursday. It’s not GI Joe-related, though, so I suggest you get your fill today so you don’t go hungry for the rest of the week.
Russian Funskool Barbecue
No, I’m not talking about a company-wide picnic for the entire Funskool corporation, complete with shirtless volleyball and burned hot dogs. Instead, I’m talking about the Russian Funskool version of everyone’s favorite GI Joe firefighter– Barbecue!
This is an oddball figure, and it’s the epitome of what fans usually think of when they think of “Funskool.” It’s wild, wacky, and fun. And also has some problems. So click the link below to learn everything you ever wanted to know about Russian Funskool GI Joe Barbecue.
I didn’t want you to leave you with just that figure profile this week (even though there’s plenty to read and see over on that page), so I decided I’d put together a list of songs for you, too.
5 Songs that Mention GI Joe
There are way more than five songs containing the words “GI Joe.” Many and/or most of them are probably on Kid Rhino releases of old Sunbow cartoon and movie soundtracks, though. I decided to avoid those.
Surprisingly, some big names have mentioned GI Joe! And some not so big names. Country icon Waylon Jennings released a song called “GI Joe” in 1988, which is a total banger. Trap/hip hop powerhouse Migos also released “Crown the Kings” in 2018, which is probably somewhat expected, but the line works pretty well within the song.
Instead of the big and obvious songs, though, I wanted to talk about a few songs that are a little smaller and a little less obvious. Of course my knowledge only runs so deep (my head is full of the names of Japanese Beast Wars characters instead of any trivia that would be interesting in an actual conversation with a human person), so none of these are too obscure, either.
1. Limp – Bug Dance (1997)
Limp was a band that was popular at my high school. The jocks liked them. But I thought they were okay, too. They are also not Limp Bizkit. Instead, they’re a San Francisco pop punk band that was signed to Honest Don’s Records. I heard this very song, “Bug Dance,” on a cheap Honest Don’s compilation CD I bought in the late 90s. It always kind of stuck with me.
It’s ostensibly about the transition into adulthood and how you’re not prepared to deal with that reality, especially as the days of playing with GI Joes and Lego don’t seem all that far behind you. This song hit me a little hard back then, as I was a teenager and I knew I was supposed to move beyond playing with plastic army dolls. I never did move beyond it, though.
2. Ministry – Hero (1992)
“Hero” by Ministry features much heavier subject matter than Limp’s “Bug Dance,” but you pretty much expect that from Ministry. The song is from what’s probably their biggest album, Psalm 69, and it is a total rager.
It’s an anti-war, industrial speed metal spectacle. I feel like the lyrics and themes are pretty self explanatory on this one, so I’ll just move on to the next song.
3. Dog Fashion Disco – G. Eye Joe (1997)
This one might technically be cheating, since only the title (kind of) mentions GI Joe. And I’m honestly not 100% sure what the song is about– it could be about a veteran returning from combat, or it could be about a currently-enlisted person.
Dog Fashion Disco was (is?) mostly a nu metal-type band with an experimental bent. Their first album, though, had some oddball ska and punk elements, as if they were trying to be a budget Mr. Bungle. It’s actually a great record.
This song is from that album, and it’s probably one of the more harsh and grating tracks on it. This is maybe the most “metal” song on Erotic Massage, although it’s certainly not Bolt Thrower or even Korn.
It’s possible this whole article was an excuse to listen to this album again and skip over this particular song after the first 30 seconds were up.
4. The Clash – Ivan Meets GI Joe (1980)
You were probably expecting this song. So how could I disappoint? Legend has it “Ivan Meets GI Joe” originated from the band joking that “people prefer to dance than to fight wars” in a Rolling Stone interview.
So this song is basically about a dance-off between GI Joe and the Oktober Guard (if you don’t think too hard about when this song was released) to determine Cold War victory. It’s a pretty fun little disco-type number from my favorite Clash album.
5. Melvins – GI Joe (2000)
I mentioned Mr. Bungle earlier, and it turns out that this weirdo track was co-written and produced by the Bungmaster himself, Mike Patton. Melvins are a strange band, but this is a bizarre song even for them. It kind of has some evil dancehall reggae vibes, and Patton never makes any song he’s involved with more comforting.
This is not my favorite Melvins track, but it is maybe my favorite Melvins track that mentions GI Joe. Because it’s the only one that mentions GI Joe.
Thanks for reading. And even more thanks if you actually read the part about the songs– or even listened to any of the songs!
Also be sure to check out RTG’s “GI Joe Moments in Punk History” over at Attica Gazette, which has even more songs. He beat me to it by over a year, too. Which is not unusual.
Did I miss your favorite GI Joe-related track? Would you have dinner with Mike Patton (I probably wouldn’t, for the record)? What’s your favorite oddball Funskool GI Joe repaint? Let me know in the comments!