Don Was Reflects on 40th anniversary of the Was (Not Was) album ‘Born to Laugh at Tornadoes’

The second studio album from Was (Not Was) was released in 1983 to much critical acclaim.

Born to Laugh at Tornadoes

'Born to Laugh at Tornadoes'

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Born to Laugh at Tornadoes, the second studio album from legendary Detroit band Was (Not Was).

Don Was and David Was assembled an impressive list of guests to appear on the 1983 record, including metal icon Ozzy Osbourne, MC5 co-founder Wayne Kramer, and Hamtramck native Mitch Ryder just to name a few. Classics like “Shake Your Head (Let’s Go to Bed)” helped Was (Not Was) earn critical acclaim for Born to Laugh at Tornadoes.

I had a conversation with Don Was to look back on the legacy of Born to Laugh at Tornadoes.

Born to Laugh at Tornadoes, we knew just enough to be terrible,” Was jokes. “In some ways, I don’t like it as much as the first album [1981’s self-titled album], but I think the songwriting is better. Our singers were great. And we had a lot of guest singers on this record.”

Born to Laugh at Tornadoes track listing.

Was discusses the recording process, how they were able to assemble an all-star cast for the album and more. Listen to the interview using the media player above.

And listen to the Don Was Motor City Playlist Friday nights from 10 p.m. to midnight.

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  • Ann Delisi
    Ann Delisi hosts Essential Music, the Essential Conversations podcast series and the Essential Cooking broadcast and podcast. Born and raised in the Motor City, Ann is a broadcaster, interviewer, producer, music host, storyteller and proud Detroiter.