I remember getting a demo tape from a friend in high school. I used to cover "Lost It" and "He Said" in a ska cover band I was in my senior year of high school. I can't pop in Heads Are Gonna Roll without thinking of a time when life was innocent and fun, before it was violently shoved into the responsibilities of college and beyond. The Hippos not only hold a place in my music catalog, they are forever cemented in a great time in my life. Hailing from Los Angeles, the six piece (with only a minor line-up change for their final self-titled), combined synth, horns and pop into an all out blast of upbeat fun. If you're looking for some good tunes for good times, I highly recommend (re)discovering a piece of uplifting grandeur.
I firmly believe that if Heads Are Gonna Roll was released now that it would've done way better than it did originally. The band was ahead of their time.
They stayed at my house a few times in Jersey when they were touring in the area. Always such a great and appreciative bunch and they never forgot me or failed to hook me up with tickets or merch or whatever as a way of saying thanks. I miss those days!
As much as I enjoyed Heads Are Gonna Roll, it paled in comparison to Forget The World. As a ska-punk band these dudes were great, but as a synthpop band they were just above average. I can agree that if they put out HAGR today, it probably would have been much more popular than when it first came out. That last album was a pile of shit though.
It's kinda weird that I remember this, but one of the last updates on their website was made just after 9/11 and was about donating to the Red Cross or something and then they sorta dropped off the face of the earth until they announced their breakup. I always found that a bit odd.
Also, I could be wrong (it's been a long time since I've looked at the liner notes), but I swear they had more than 6 members for their first album. I almost want to say they had like 9 (they were a ska band, after all), but maybe they weren't all "official" members or something. I dunno.
Fun fact: Ariel (The Hippos' lead singer) played keyboards on "Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too."
Heads are gonna roll is and has always been my all time favorite album. I put that on and it's impossible to not happily sing along with each song. That being said Forget the World has so many great tracks as well that it's not even funny. I never got the 3rd album because it was highly recommended against doing so. I remember my friend's band used to cover "Please" by them all the time. God what a great fucking band. Awesome pick!