One of my favorite album covers of all time is Millie Jackson’s Back To The Shit, featuring the hit single “Muffle That Fart.” It’s true artistry, touching on so many timeless issues. Feminism, relationships, digestive issues. And it’s rare – who ever mentions toilets or farting in popular music nowadays? This isn’t exactly the same thing but sort of related. The Backstreet Boys spoke to Billboard about the 20th anniversary of their debut, Backstreet Boys. Did you know their song “The Call” was built around the sound of a fart? I didn’t know that. I didn’t really need to.
AJ McLean told the magazine this story about how pop icon producer Max Martin used one of their fanny burps in his mixing efforts. Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough’s gas was gold. (There are worse things than spending your Sunday posting about the Backstreet Boys’ flatulence. I don’t know what they are, but I’m sure they exist.)
“So when we were in the studio with Max making the song “The Call,” Howie [Dorough] was in the booth and we were doing that vocal break down, [sings] ‘dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun.’ Max gave Howie his harmony, and I think he was just putting so much air into the vocal that as he was singing, he went ‘dun, dun’ and he farted — but he farted not only on the beat, but in key. So Max tweaked it and made it sound like one of his patented bass sounds, and it stayed on the record.”
You can hear the offensive yet lucrative sound below (at the :57 mark). This is what a low-level singer like Rita Ora should do to land a hit single. Hey, nothing else has worked.