Imagine that it’s the 90s and you’ve just arrived home. The first thing you do is press PLAY on your answering machine. Then you find out that your son is currently in jail. Not only that but he’s gone nuts. He claims to love it there.
Was (Not Was) wrote a song about it. The track features a mix of acoustic and electronic instruments. I would classify it as experimental jazz. It’s weird as hell and certainly not a traditional pop song. “Dad, I’m in Jail” was the final track on their 1988 album What Up, Dog?.
I got my first CD player in 1989 or 1990. I quickly joined both Columbia House and BMG music services. I got What Up, Dog? on CD from one of those two. I checked to see if I still have it in my collection and sadly I do not.
The video here is not the official video for the song. The band itself never made one. This is actually an animation piece made for MTV’s Liquid Television. It first aired on October 1, 1992, part of season two.
At the time animation was not as ubiquitous as it is today. The technology to create animation was nothing like what we have now. Liquid Television was one of the only places that a casual viewer could see animated works of art. It also is where future popular shows like Beavis and Butthead were first tested out on an audience.
This upload looks like a VHS recording from live TV. As a result it is in mono and does not sound very good, so for your reference, I found a better sounding recording of the track here.