Can You Remember How Good “Super Bon Bon” Was by Soul Coughing?


Back in the 1990s, a unique musical fusion emerged that combined elements of alternative rock, jazz, hip-hop, and electronic music. One of the defining bands of this era was Soul Coughing, led by the enigmatic frontman M. Doughty. While the band had several memorable tracks, none captured their experimental essence quite like “Super Bon Bon.” Released in 1996 as part of their critically acclaimed album “Irresistible Bliss,” this song has left an indelible mark on the alternative music scene. Let’s take a closer look at why “Super Bon Bon” still resonates with listeners today.

With its catchy hooks, intricate lyrics, and infectious beat, “Super Bon Bon” instantly captivates listeners. The track starts with a sample from a vintage recording of a preacher’s sermon, creating an eerie atmosphere that immediately pulls you in. As the song kicks into high gear, the infectious bassline takes over, driving the rhythm forward. The bass serves as the backbone for the entire composition, providing a solid foundation for the eclectic mix of instrumental and vocal elements that follow.

The lyrics of “Super Bon Bon” are as distinctive as its musical arrangement. M. Doughty’s poetic, stream-of-consciousness style creates a collage of images and wordplay that demands attention and interpretation. Lines like “Move aside, and let the man go through / Let the man go through” resonate with a sense of determination and defiance, urging the listener to break free from the expectations of others. The evocative imagery and wordplay allow listeners to derive their own meaning from the song, making it a deeply personal experience for each individual.

Soul Coughing’s unique sound led them to be categorized under various genres, from alternative rock to trip-hop, yet they defied easy classification. “Super Bon Bon” embodies this fusion of styles, with elements of jazz and hip-hop effortlessly blending in. The band’s use of sampling and electronic effects, coupled with Doughty’s distinctive vocal delivery, pushed the boundaries of what could be considered alternative music at the time. The result was a sound that was both accessible and experimental, capturing the attention of a wide-ranging audience.

“Super Bon Bon” was not only musically innovative but also socially conscious. The lyrics convey a continued struggle against societal norms and the tension between individuality and conformity. Lines such as “When will you know that you’re right, I guess it just depends on the Ouija board / On the shelf, collecting dust” serve as a reminder of the ways in which people are often trapped by societal expectations and prescribed paths. By addressing these themes in their music, Soul Coughing created a connection with their audience that went beyond merely enjoying the music.

The lasting impact of “Super Bon Bon” is evident in its influence on subsequent artists and its enduring popularity among fans. Its unique blend of genres and unconventional structure paved the way for many experimental musicians who followed. The song’s infectious energy and intelligent lyrics continue to resonate with listeners, proving it to be a timeless piece of alternative music.

In conclusion, “Super Bon Bon” remains a standout track in Soul Coughing’s catalog and in the alternative music scene as a whole. Its combination of catchy melodies, intricate lyrics, and innovative blend of musical styles makes it a memorable and compelling composition. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or someone discovering the band for the first time, “Super Bon Bon” is a song that demands attention and appreciation for its originality and influence.