Napoleon XIV

Genres: Pop / Rock
Tags: comedy british funny novelty weird Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1960s 1990s
Links: discogs VIAF wikidata wikipedia


The pseudonym of US songwriter, performer and recording engineer Jerry Samuels, Napoleon XIV burst into the US/UK Top 10 in the summer of 1966 with the bizarre ‘They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!’. Although clearly a novelty song, its subject matter, mental illness (brought on by the loss of the singer’s dog), prompted a ban on many American radio stations. An attempted follow-up, ‘I’m In Love With My Little Red Tricycle’ failed to capture the public’s imagination and Napoleon’s credibility was further dented when it was revealed that the performer undertaking personal appearances to promote the record was not Samuels but a certain Richard Stern. The presence of Napoleon imitator Kim Fowley hardly helped matters. An album based round the hit with lyrics by comedy writer Jim Lehrer was rushed out but in spite of such amusing titles as ‘Photogenic, Schizophrenic You’, ‘The Nuts In My Family Tree’...

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