Songs I like- by Artists I Don’t- Crazy Horses by The Osmonds. Yes you read it right- Crazy Horses by The Osmonds. I don’t know if the boys stumbled across Keith Richards medicine box and sampled the good or what- this is unlike any of the other hits they did. When I first heard this I thought for sure the song was misidentified- this isn’t The Osmonds! This isn’t a great song but for The Osmonds it is. This is the only hit by The Osmonds that featured Jay Osmond as the lead vocalist. Maybe they should have done this more often. Much to my surprise The Osmonds wrote this song- Alan, Merrill and Wayne Osmond were the writers. To quote Merrill- “Before that, my brothers and I had been what’s now called a boyband: all our songs were chosen for us by the record company. But now, having been successful, we wanted to freak out and make our own music. We were rehearsing in a basement one day when Wayne started playing this heavy rock riff. I came up with a melody and Alan got the chords. Within an hour, we had the song. I had always been the lead singer, but I sang Crazy Horses with Jay. The line “What a show, there they go, smoking up the sky” had to be sung higher, so I did that and Jay did the verses because his voice was growlier, and this track was heavier than anything we’d ever done.”
What makes the song even greater is- it was banned in South Africa because censors thought ‘horses’ was referring to heroin. It was banned in France-because they thought ‘smoking up the sky’- was a drug reference. Imagine The Osmonds being banned! Renegades! Crazy Horses peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972.