592. ‘Star Trekkin”, by The Firm

Oh. Oh no. Oh God, no…

(Just in case you missed that: Oh. No.)

Star Trekkin’, by The Firm (their 1st and only #1)

2 weeks, from 14th – 28th June 1987

I’m an open-minded type. When it comes to this blog, I try my best to find something to appreciate in every song we meet. I managed to tolerate ‘Shaddap You Face’, and I made my peace with ‘Save Your Love’. There are very few #1s that I’ve found utterly irredeemable…

To the ‘Irredeemable Club’, though, we can add this truly heinous number. Just…why? Why take a bunch of lines from ‘Star Trek’ and stitch them into an irritating playground chant? Why the ever-increasing tempo? Why the funny voices? Why the potatoes?? WHY??

I suppose the fact that I’m asking ‘why’ means the joke is lost on me. I’m not a Trekkie; but then again I’m not sure many Trekkies would find this particularly funny. (And, apparently, not all the lines from the song ever featured in the show. It’s life Jim, But not as we know it… for example was invented just for this moment.)

The Firm were a novelty act, helmed by a man called John O’Connor. They’d had minor hits before, but every label they approached was, unsurprisingly, reluctant to release ‘Star Trekkin’. So they went it alone, pressed five-hundred copies, and before they knew it their song was getting pushed by Radio 1. The animated video was rush-released, as the band didn’t want to appear live and lose their mystique…

So on the one hand, I want to applaud this home-made, go-it-alone attitude. Some classic chart-toppers have been made in bedrooms and garages. This, however, is not a classic chart-topper. It’s truly rotten. Not funny. Unlistenable. The end.

Looking back, the obvious comparison to make is with ‘The Chicken Song’, which made #1 a year before this. I gave that a pass as, while it was also annoying crap, it was meant to be annoying crap. Perhaps The Firm also knew ‘Star Trekkin’ was terrible, and released it as a joke, as a prank on an unsuspecting nation. But maybe, just maybe, they thought it was good…

When I was twelve, my brother bought me ‘Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh’ as a Christmas present. Not because he liked the song, or because he thought I liked the song, but because he knew it would annoy me. As a joke. He bought the song, and helped it to #1, with malicious intent. I think the same sentiment probably explains ‘Star Trekkin’s success. People bought it to annoy siblings, flatmates, friends… Nobody bought it with the intention of ever actually enjoying it as a piece of music. Post-‘Star Trekkin’, The Firm had one further song chart at #99: ‘Superheroes’. It follows an ‘if it ain’t broke’ approach and may be – which is a huge achievement, if you think about it – even worse than their sole chart-topper.

22 thoughts on “592. ‘Star Trekkin”, by The Firm

  1. Oooooh? Paul Rodgers, Jimmy Page & Co? No, I thought not. I knew people who professed to find this funny. I had to play this at my discos (thankfully the punters got tired of it after a while and I could retire it). Sigh. And no, I’ve never been a Star Trek person either.

  2. I thought of the Rodgers Page band…WHAT? Although I would pay good money to see THEM do this!
    Yea I’m a huge original series ST fan….but no to this!

  3. Shame there’s not a ‘Love’ button for this! It’s brilliant!
    “There’s Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow …..” Priceless!

    This is even better than Joe Dolce. Seriously.

    (I know what you’re thinking … is dude for real or is he taking the proverbial? Actually I AM for real.I DO love this. Way superior anything Whitney Houston or her cronies around that time did. )
    Truth.
    🙂 :–D

  4. Actually, NO, on the quote from Spock. There is an episode where Spock does, indeed tell the Captain “it’s life but, not as we know it.” That line was not invented by The Firm.

    I am really surprised that this came out of the UK, as Star Trek is so very American. Star Trek debuted nine days after I was born. I am a lifelong Trekkie, as was my father.

    There has been a lot of crazy shit like this over the years. Ray Stevens did Hen House Five Plus Too in 1976. I am sure you have heard of Guitarzan & The Streak? How about Rick Dees’ Disco Duck? Then, there is Weird Al and his warped catalog. I nearly peed myself the first time I heard Another One Rides The Bus.

    Even in my late 50s, I still think Star Trekkin’ is funny. I wouldn’t want to hear it everyday (or any song everyday) but, I am giggling right, now, typing.

    • Oh Ok, quite a few sources claim that the Spock line was invented for this song… As I’ve never seen amn episode of ‘Star Trek’ I will bow to your superior Trekkie knowledge (I know Trekkies are sticklers for consistency : )

      It is American, but it was, and still is, very popular in the UK. My parents are rewatching the original series on Netflix. I’ve never really seen the appeal…

      • I retract my earlier statement. The wording in The Firm parody was created by them. The actual quote from Spock is “It is not life as we know or understand it.” The wording IS different.

        Apologies for the crazy part of the video.

        The Star Trekkin’ Wiki page also picks up on a similar phrase from Devil In The Dark…”No life as we know it.”

        The Devil in the Dark (1967)

        Capt. Kirk: Mr. Spock, give us a report on life beneath the surface.

        Spock: Within range of our sensors, there is no life other than the accountable human residents of this colony beneath the surface. Eh, at least, no life as we know it.

        https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708460/quotes?item=qt0559676

        So, yeah. The Firm invented their own phrase but, as far as I am concerned, it is based on actual dialog.

        The one one thing about Star Trek is, you are either a Trekkie or you are not. There is no in between.

        I am a hopeless sci-fi geek…period. 😁

      • Oh wow, I like the scuzzy remix : ) I guess it was misquoted then, rather than intentionally made up.

        I’m not a huge sci-fi fan at all… Star Wars (the originals) is my limit, which I’d say was more fantasy than hardcore science fiction

      • I should make a distinction, though. I love Sci-Fi but, I am not fond of gore. As an example, I’d rather see Stargate, as opposed to Event Horizon, both of which have wormholes involved). Just sayin’…😁

  5. Pingback: 593. ‘It’s a Sin’, by Pet Shop Boys | The UK Number Ones Blog

  6. Hmmm. I AM a massive Star Trek fan, have been from the moment I saw Star Trek aged 11, and then was denied it for 2 years (we moved to Singapore who didnt broadcast it, so I had to make do with book novelisations till we got back to the UK). I love Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the fab new Star Trek series, and I’m 53 years older. I’d wanted the Star Trek disco theme revamp by Charles Randolph Sound in 1976, which I charted if no-one else did (I’m going VERY obscure there). So, a fan. I draw the line at this, though I can at least find Klingons on the starboard bow as slightly more good natured ribbing and more amusing than The Chicken Song. Force me to listen to one or the other and it’s The Firm every time. Think they’d had a hit with Arthur Daley, a Minder TV series spin-off, I recall correctly (I may not as I didnt watch Minder, and hated the record) so this was at least a step up. Everything’s relative though! People started to believe the comedy record was a fair representation of the show!

    Re Hinoema suggestions i defy anyone to make a funnier record than Ray Stevens aka henhouse In The Mood. Cant be done! All the voices are Ray, if you can call them that. Gitarzan is also funny… 🙂

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