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Remains of Tom Lehrer
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The Remains of Tom Lehrer

5.0 2
by Tom Lehrer
 
An autopsy of the three-CD set The Remains of Tom Lehrer shows that beneath the buttoned-down exterior of this present-day UC Santa Cruz mathematics teacher beats the heart of one of the greatest wits of the 20th century. Sure, Sir Noël Coward was literate and clever, but he never wrote rhymes that produced cackles of laughter like Lehrer's Catholic lampoon

Overview

An autopsy of the three-CD set The Remains of Tom Lehrer shows that beneath the buttoned-down exterior of this present-day UC Santa Cruz mathematics teacher beats the heart of one of the greatest wits of the 20th century. Sure, Sir Noël Coward was literate and clever, but he never wrote rhymes that produced cackles of laughter like Lehrer's Catholic lampoon "The Vatican Rag": "Do whatever steps you want if/you have cleared them with the Pontiff." Writing primarily in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Lehrer came from a school of comedy that couldn't rely on four-letter words to get a laugh, but Lehrer was more fond of funny-sounding nine-letter words anyway. For the censorship-skewering song "Smut," he ingeniously rhymed "philately" with "Lady Chatterley," which winds up loads funnier than any profane take on the subject could ever be. Bolstered by copious liner notes and text from Lehrer and Dr. Demento, this potent box set culls all of the master satirist's popular tunes, including many live recordings spotlighting his turns of phrase and his jolly piano style. Also collected are some recent and unreleased recordings, including some that Lehrer did for the children's television show "The Electric Company." Although the full orchestration on some of the children’s songs occasionally dulls their sparkle, nothing can strip them of the genius Lehrer buried in their words and tunes. As The Remains of Tom Lehrer makes plain, it doesn't take a math whiz to see that the sum of his work adds up to a comic American masterpiece.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Rhino's three-disc box set The Remains of Tom Lehrer presents 75 tracks from the satirist's four decade career. The first disc concentrates on Lehrer's studio output, including pieces from his 1953 debut Songs by Tom Lehrer and his 1959 album More of Tom Lehrer, as well as a 1996 version of "I Got It from Agnes" and "That's Mathematics," a previously unreleased track from 1993. Disc two gathers his '59 performances at MIT and Harvard, captured on the albums Tom Lehrer Revisited and An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer (which offered many of the same selections as their studio predecessors). The third disc is a mix of live and studio tracks, including the material from the album That Was the Year That Was, songs written for PBS's The Electric Company in 1971-72, orchestral versions of songs conducted by Richard Hayman in 1960, and four new songs, including "Selling Out" and "(I'm Spending Hanukkah) In Santa Monica." Song-by-song notes by Lehrer, rare photos, and an essay by Dr. Demento add an extra depth to The Remains of Tom Lehrer making it the ultimate collection of his irreverent social commentary.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/23/2000
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227983123
catalogNumber:
79831

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Fight Fiercely, Harvard
  2. The Old Dope Peddler
  3. Be Prepared
  4. The Wild West Is Where I Want to Be
  5. I Wanna Go Back to Dixie
  6. Lobachevsky
  7. The Irish Ballad
  8. The Hunting Song
  9. My Home Town
  10. When You Are Old and Gray
  11. I Hold Your Hand in Mine
  12. The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz
  13. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
  14. Bright College Days
  15. A Christmas Carol
  16. The Elements
  17. Oedipus Rex
  18. In Old Mexico
  19. Clementine
  20. It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier
  21. She's My Girl
  22. The Masochism Tango
  23. We Will All Go Together When We Go
  24. I Got It from Agnes
  25. That's Mathematics

Disc 2

  1. Introduction
  2. I Wanna Go Back to Dixie
  3. The Wild West Is Where I Want to Be
  4. The Old Dope Peddler
  5. Fight Fiercely, Harvard
  6. Lobachevsky
  7. The Irish Ballad
  8. The Hunting Song
  9. My Home Town
  10. When You Are Old and Gray
  11. The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz
  12. I Hold Your Hand in Mine
  13. Be Prepared
  14. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
  15. Bright College Days
  16. A Christmas Carol
  17. The Elements
  18. Oedipus Rex
  19. In Old Mexico
  20. Clementine
  21. It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier
  22. She's My Girl
  23. The Masochism Tango
  24. We Will All Go Together When We Go

Disc 3

  1. National Brotherhood Week
  2. MLF Lullaby
  3. George Murphy
  4. The Folk Song Army
  5. Smut
  6. Send the Marines
  7. Pollution
  8. So Long, Mom (A Song for World War III)
  9. Whatever Became of Hubert?
  10. New Math
  11. Alma
  12. Who's Next?
  13. Wernher Von Braun
  14. The Vatican Rag
  15. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park
  16. The Masochism Tango
  17. The Hunting Song
  18. We Will All Go Together When We Go
  19. L-Y
  20. Silent E
  21. O-U (The Hound Song)
  22. S-N (Snore, Sniff, and Sneeze)
  23. N Apostrophe T
  24. Selling Out
  25. (I'm Spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tom Lehrer   Primary Artist
Klink   Tenor Saxophone
Richard Hayman   Conductor
Ray Alonge   French Horn
Seymour Barab   Cello
Mac Ceppos   Violin
Alex Cores   Violin
Lawrence Feldman   Clarinet
John Frosk   Trumpet
Jack Gale   Trombone
Seymour Red Press   Clarinet,Flute
Joe Raposo   Conductor
George Shaw   Bass
Ralph Silverman   Violin
Thomas Parshley   Clarinet,Flute
Morris Wechsler   Piano
Arcadie Birkenholz   Violin
Richard Sarpola   Bass

Technical Credits

Tom Lehrer   Producer
Richard Hayman   Arranger
Don Geis   Engineer
Ray Hall   Engineer
Jimmy Hilliard   Producer
Joe Raposo   Arranger,Producer
Russell Warner   Arranger
Fred Christie   Engineer
Cynthia Daniels   Engineer
Stephen Fassett   Engineer
James Stagliano   Producer

Customer Reviews

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The Remains of Tom Lehrer 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Does anyone else fantasize that one day he'll pop up again in pop culture (on The Daily Show perhaps?) with an updated version of "George Murphy" rewritten for the Governator? I agree with the above reviewer... for intelligent comedy I'll just have to continue to turn to Eddie Izzard.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You think you know funny? I'll tell you funny. Tom Lehrer. That's funny OK? Still. And he's been dead since Mozart was a boy.