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Crash Test Dummies

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

folk/rock, mainstream pop


Most recent release, Demo-litions: Cast-off Recordings 1996–97 (compilation, 2011); most recent release of new material, Oooh La La! (2010)

See also:

The Official Crash Test Dummies site

Wikipedia's entry on Crash Test Dummies


Spirit of the West meet Leonard Cohen

Covers/own material:

Mostly own, but frequent covers

General comments:

Brad Robert's voice is gruff and appealing. Their songs are catchy and folky! (

I like their first album, though I have heard so much of them on the radio that they were pretty much spoiled for me, and I haven't been able to drum up any enthusiasm for their later albums. The lead singer, Brad Roberts, has a very deep voice. Some people don't like it, but I've liked it from the first song of his I heard. My favourite of the two discs I have is The Ghosts That Haunt Me, but the one that has been quite a big hit in the States, is God Shuffled His Feet.
     I would call their music folk rock. Their lyrics are quite witty, with the possible exception of their big hit, "Mmm Mmm Mmm" which is mostly just cryptic. (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

They are energetic and entertaining live, and the live sound is almost exactly like their studio versions. (Neile)

I recently saw Crash Test Dummies and they were great fun. If you like their new CD, don't miss them. (5/99,

Recommended first album:

The Ghosts That Haunt Me

Recordings include:

  • The Ghosts That Haunt Me (1991)
  • God Shuffled His Feet (1993)
  • A Worm's Life (1996)
  • Give Yourself A Hand (1999)
  • I Don't Care That You Don't Mind (2001)
  • Crash Test Dude (as Brad Roberts, 2001)
  • Jingle All The Way (seasonal, 2002)
  • Puss 'N' Boots (2003)
  • Songs Of The Unforgiven (2004)
  • Oooh La La! (2010)
  • Demo-litions: Cast-off Recordings 1996-97 (compilation, 2011)

The Ghosts That Haunt Me

Release info:

1991—Arista Canada—ARCD-8677


Wide in U.S. and Canada

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for folk/rock fans

Group members:

Brad Robert—vocals, electric and acoustic guitar
Ellen Reid—vocals, keyboards, accordion, penny whistle
Benjamin Darvill—harmonica, mandolin
Dan Roberts—bass

Produced by:

Steve Berlin


My favourite of their discs (I've only heard the first three and a single from the fourth, though). I can still remember how much I loved this disc when I first got it, and while in some ways I don't really care for it that much now as my tastes have changed some, it's the kind of disc that when I play it, it brings back how much I enjoyed it. I still like Brad Robert's voice and his combination of witty/depressing/fun songs. His Superman dirge on this album is a classic. (Neile)

God Shuffled His Feet

Release info:

1993—BMG (Canada), Arista (U.S.)—74321-16532-2 (Arista)



Ecto priority:

Recommended only if you're not utterly sick of "Mmm Mmm Mmm"

Group members:

Brad Robert—lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, piano
Ellen Reid—back-up vocals, piano, keyboards, accordion
Benjamin Darvill—mandolin, harmonica
Dan Roberts—bass guitars, synth bass
Michael Dorge—drums, percussion

Guest artists:

Larry Beers—drums on 3 tracks
Adrian Belew—synthesized guitars on one track
Kerry Nationa—back-up vocals on one song

Produced by:

Jerry Harrison and Crash Test Dummies


Ok, it's overplayed (and we heard it on Muzak at the Chinese restaurant in DC last night—isn't that a scary thought?), but that guy's voice still makes me shiver. (neal)

Not as infectiously fun as their first album, but still infectiously fun. Brad Roberts has got to have the lowest lead vocal outside of the death-metal genre, and the oddest vocals. Who *can't* love a song about "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"? One thing's for sure, they ain't no dummies. (dixon@physics.Berkeley.EDU)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2017-04-29 20:51:23.
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