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Music / Fun Lovin' Criminals

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Fun Lovin' Criminals are an Alternative Rock band from New York City, and proud of it. They play a fusion of Rap Rock, Pop, Jazz, Blues and Latin influences. The band's members are Hugh "Huey" Morgan, Brian "Fast" Leiser and Mark "Frank" Reid. Steve Borgovini is a former member.

They have long been more popular in the United Kingdom than in the United States. Their singer, Huey, is an Anglophile who lives in the United Kingdom and has made many TV and radio appearances not connected to the band. Another of their current members, Frank, is English.

Whilst they have not really had a hit since Loco in 2000, they have a loyal worldwide fanbase and Huey has kept in the public eye in the United Kingdom ever since.

Huey left the group in 2021 due to his various commitments, but Fast and Frank have stated the band is continuing as a duo. It is as yet unknown who their vocalist will be.

Fun Lovin' Tropes:

  • Approval of God: According to the booklet for the 20th Anniversary reissue of "Come Find Yourself", Quentin Tarantino approved their samples in 'Scooby Snacks' as he liked the group's style. He and his wife reportedly loved the album and listened to it regularly, which the group were very proud of.
  • Bruce Lee: Sampled in "My Style", which is why the song didn't appear on an album.
  • Cover Version: So many that they were able to release a covers album, Mimosa, with some alternate versions as filler. There are also a few in their later career.
  • Cult Soundtrack: Maui Homicide 2000's tracks "Kill The Bad Guy", "Special Dedication", "The Beach", "Searching For Clues", "Battle On The Golf Course", and a few untitled tracks have given it a cult status.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: An instrumental version of "Big Night Out" appears on their 1995 demo. "Big Night Out" was completed with lyrics in 1998.
    • The 1995 demo of "King of New York" contains the line "I'm the firehose and everybody knows" which would appear in Mini Bar Blues in 1998.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The 1995 demo of "King of New York" bears no resemblance to the album version besides the chorus.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Huey is half Puerto Rican, so throws in Spanish on occasion:
    • Passive/Aggressive mentions "Mucho Grande" style.
    • "Sleepyhead" has "Un Poquito Mas"
    • "Mi Corazon", apparently an attempt to court the Latin American market in the US as the band hadn't had much success in America for years. It wasn't particularly successful.
  • Greatest Hits Albums: Bag of Hits, Scooby Snacks : The Collection and A's B's and Rarities.
  • Leitmotif: In Maui Homicide 2000, "Special Dedication" will play during regular car scenes but "Kill The Bad Guy" will play if they are about to kill someone.
  • The Mafia: Their first album, Come Find Yourself, presents them as a criminal gang who don't want to hurt people but have been known to do so on occasion. Downplayed later, but the trope makes a return on Classic Fantastic.
  • The Movie: Maui Homicide 2000, which is a very Pulp Fiction-esque movie set in Hawaii. The band also recorded the soundtrack, a few songs of which were released on CD, but not all.
  • Mood Whiplash: 100% Columbian was particularly prone to this due to varying between chillout jazz-pop and guitar-based rock songs. Most egregrious example is how the tranquil and relaxing "Sugar" goes straight into the loud and raucous "Southside". The former song was about being so in love you don't have any worries, and the latter was about a murder case which couldn't be solved because the victim "had no face".
  • Put on a Bus: The band's original drummer Steve Borgovini was dismissed from the band before Loco due to issues with Huey, and replaced first by a guy called Mackie, and then by Frank Benbini, who is the band's drummer to this day. The band have almost acted like it didn't happen, but it was strong enough for them not to be on speaking terms until the 20th Anniversary edition of Come Find Yourself, with which Steve appears to be cooperating. To the band's fans, Steve's tight snare sound was a distinctive part of the band's early sound and they have never been quite the same since.
  • Rearrange the Song: A prominent feature of their early career was the Schmoove version. This involved recording a Lighter and Softer version of a song. Mimosa collects a number of these. An example not on Mimosa is "Blues For Suckers" which was released on their first EP - it is a blues version of 'Bear Hug'.
  • Retraux: Huey's rapping style on "Kill The Bad Guy" is very reminiscent of 80s rapper Kurtis Blow, which is fitting as it is the theme song of the group's movie 'Maui Homicide 2000' - which despite the year in the title, is very much set in The '80s.
  • New York City
  • Shout-Out: To John Gotti in "King of New York" and to Bruce Lee's film The Big Boss in "My Style".
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Methadonia", "We Are All Very Worried About You", "Friday Night" and all of the Schmoove versions of songs.
    • The band openly cited 'Rewind' as one of the 'stoner jams we always have to put on an album', so they deliberately invoke this trope.
    • The very cool "Special Dedication", recorded for the Maui Homicide 2000 soundtrack is this too.
  • The Band Minus the Face: Huey left the band in 2021 due to his various other commitments. Surprisingly, Fast and Frank said they were going to continue as a duo.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The group's music fits into two particular mid 90s tropes - that of Quentin Tarantino movies and that of the lounge music revival.
  • Wasted Song: The band feel this way about their B-Side "Live Have Love", so they brought it back live. Many fans feel this way about the B-Sides "Sleepyhead" and "Highroad" as well.
  • Working Title: Early promos of Welcome To Poppys list two track names that were changed on the final: "Bottle Of Wine" for "Steak Knife" and "Party Dress" for "Baby". The cover design is slightly different too.