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Greatest Hits [RCA]
     

Greatest Hits [RCA]

by Spike Jones
 

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There are a lot of ways to make fun of music that takes itself too seriously. Weird Al Yankovic changes the words. Stan Freberg added sarcastic dialogue. Spike Jones punctured its pomp with sirens and gunshots, and generally overwhelmed it with mayhem. Mayhem is rather popular these days, which may

Overview

There are a lot of ways to make fun of music that takes itself too seriously. Weird Al Yankovic changes the words. Stan Freberg added sarcastic dialogue. Spike Jones punctured its pomp with sirens and gunshots, and generally overwhelmed it with mayhem. Mayhem is rather popular these days, which may explain why these half-century-old recordings have attracted a lot of fans far too young to remember hearing them in the '40s on shellac 78s or on Spike's popular CBS radio show (or at his live performances, which were veritable traveling circuses with casts of 50 or more). What seemed like mayhem, however, was very well organized chaos: Spike hired the best musicians money could buy, and drove them relentlessly -- much like Frank Zappa was to do later on. Much of the playing is still awe-inspiring after all these years, as is the totally over-the-top clowning of Spike's henchmen Doodles Weaver, George Rock, Red Ingle, and Sir Frederic Gas. RCA has had a 12-song best-of in its catalog since 1960(!), but this is a new package, bursting with 20 terrific tracks. "Cocktails for Two," "Der Fuehrer's Face," "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)," and other all-time smasholas are joined by lesser-known gems like "Clink Clink, Another Drink" (Mel Blanc's disc debut in 1942), "Ya Wanna Buy a Bunny?" (an Eastertime perennial on the Dr. Demento Show), and the rather non-PC "Chinese Mule Train." All in all, a fine single-disc collection and a great introduction. (For a stronger dose, go for Rhino's 2-CD MUSICAL DEPRECIATION REVUE.)

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There have been many compilations of Spike Jones' music, but few have been better than RCA's 1999 collection, Greatest Hits. Over the course of 20 tracks, all of Jones' best-known songs are presented in their best-known versions, including "Leave the Dishes in the Sink, Ma," "My Old Flame," "Der Fuehrer's Face," "The Sheik of Araby, " "William Tell Overture," and "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)." For the curious and dedicated alike, this is very useful indeed, since never before have so many of Jones' classics been presented on one disc, complete with strong liner notes and good fidelity.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/24/1999
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886977023026
catalogNumber:
770230
Rank:
43480

Tracks

  1. Clink Clink, Another Drink
  2. Leave the Dishes in the Sink, Ma
  3. My Old Flame
  4. Holiday for Strings
  5. Chloe
  6. Chinese Mule Train
  7. Der Fuehrer's Face
  8. The Sheik of Ar
  9. Dance of the Hours
  10. Hawaiian War Chant (Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai)
  11. William Tell Overture
  12. I Went to Your Wedding
  13. Ya Wanna Buy a Bunny?
  14. Cocktails for Two
  15. Winter
  16. The Tennessee Waltz
  17. Oh! by Jingo
  18. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  19. All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)
  20. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

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