ALVINSTITUTIONALIZED: GOOF BAND CHIPMUNK-PUNKS SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
Just so it’s clear, there really was a Chipmunk Punk, a 1980 project of Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., the namesake son of the Chipmunks’ creator. It was not particularly “punk”—it contained Alvin and the Chipmunks’ cover versions of songs by opposite-of-punk artists like Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Linda Ronstadt, Queen, and for some reason THREE SONGS by the Knack. The entirety of the LP’s New Wave representation was supplied by Blondie’s “Call Me” and the Cars’ “Let’s Go.” It was stupid as hell, but I liked it. Because I was 10 years old. Bagdasarian followed the successful cash-in with Urban Chipmunk, a collection of squeaky-voiced pop country covers, and Chipmunk Rock, which at least had a version of “Whip It” going for it, but by then, I was like 12, and much too sophisticated for such juvenilia.
And again, so it’s clear, what follows was NOT actually on Chipmunk Punk, so if you go buying that album expecting to hear it, well, something’s possibly wrong with you anyway. California’s smartassy theatrical comedy band Radioactive Chicken Heads recorded an amusing-as-far-as-this-sort-of-thing-goes Chipmunkified version of Suicidal Tendencies’ definitive song, 1983’s “Institutionalized.” I’d hope it should go without saying that the possibility of this actually being a product of anyone officially connected with the evidently deathless Chipmunks franchise is a few leagues beneath unlikely. Whether it’s better or worse than Ice-T’s recent effort at updating the song is a debate I’ll leave to others.
As a palate-cleanser, here’s the original.