The Story Behind "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals

Fine Young Can­ni­bals released “She Dri­ves Me Crazy” on Jan­u­ary 1, 1989. It peaked at #5 on the U.K. Sin­gles Chart and went to #1 on the U.S. Bill­board Hot 100. It was the first sin­gle released from their sec­ond album, The Raw and the Cooked.

After The Beat broke up, gui­tarist Andy Cox and bassist David Steele formed Fine Young Can­ni­bals with vocal­ist Roland Gift, for­merly of British ska band Akry­lykz in 1984. They took the name from the 1960 Robert Wag­ner & Natalie Wood film, All the Fine Young Can­ni­bals.

The band had orig­i­nally wanted Prince to pro­duce some tracks to com­plete the album, but MCA Records sug­gested pro­ducer David Z, who had worked with Prince and is the older brother of Bobby Z of the Rev­o­lu­tion. Together, they recorded “She Dri­ves Me Crazy,” “I’m Not Sat­is­fied,” and “It’s OK (It’s Alright)” at Pais­ley Park Studios.

Sup­pos­edly, the song was orig­i­nally titled “She’s My Baby” and Gift sang the song in his reg­u­lar voice, before tweak­ing the lyrics and singing in falsetto.

She Dri­ves Me Crazy [Sin­gle Ver­sion] 3’35
She Dri­ves Me Crazy [Sin­gle Remix] 3’48
She Dri­ves Me Crazy [Radio Edit] 5’20
She Dri­ves Me Crazy [Radio Rap Ver­sion] 5’44
She Dri­ves Me Crazy [Remix/David Z Remix] 7’05
She Dri­ves Me Crazy [U.S. Mix/The Justin Strauss Remix] 7’39
She Dri­ves Me Crazy [Extended Ver­sion] 8’25
She Dri­ves Me Crazy [Louil Silas Jr. Remix] 4’53
She Dri­ves Me Crazy [The Monie Love Remix] 5’56

Music Video
The music video for “She Dri­ves Me Crazy” was directed by Philippe Decou­flé, a French chore­o­g­ra­pher, dancer, and the­ater direc­tor, who had pre­vi­ously directed the music video for “True Faith” by New Order. The video fea­tures Fine Young Can­ni­bals per­form­ing the song, inter­cut with footage of peo­ple danc­ing in col­or­ful and unusual cos­tumes. The music video was nom­i­nated for Best Video at the 1989 MTV Music Awards and

The sin­gu­lar per­cus­sion cap­tured my atten­tion the first time I heard this song. I went to Sound Ware­house on S. Hulen Street in Forth Worth and bought the 7″ vinyl the next day. Shortly after, I caught the music video on MTV. At first, “She Dri­ves Me Crazy” was my lit­tle secret, and then it was all over Top 40 radio and the Fine Young Can­ni­bals were main­stream and I lost inter­est in them. Still, when­ever I hear this song, it takes me back to the Spring of 1989 and work­ing in the PBX at Tar­get. One night, we had a bad thun­der­storm with flash flood­ing, and our Store Man­ager, Mrs. Hahn sent me home early. I lived out in the coun­try and at one point I hit a patch of road where the water was run­ning across the road and it swept 1971 VW Super­bee­tle away a few feet. This song was play­ing on my mix tape at the time.

What are your mem­o­ries of “She Dri­ves Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals?

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