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Various Artists: Songs the Bonzo Dog Band Taught Us: A Prehistory of the Bonzos

Track List

>Jollity Farm - Leslie Sarony
>Mickey's Son and Daughter - The BBC Dance Orchestra
>I'm Gonna Bring a Watermelon to My Girl Tonight - The Savoy Havana Band
>Button Up Your Overcoat - Jack Hylton & His Orchestra
>On Her Doorstep Last Night - Percival Mackey & His Band
>Ali Baba's Camel - The Rhythmic Troubadours
>By a Waterfall - Jack Hylton & His Orchestra
>Hunting Tigers Out in India (Yah) - Hal Swain & His Band
>My Brother Makes the Noises for the Talkies - Albert Whelan
>Laughing Waltz - Jack Hylton's Jazz Band
>All by Yourself in the Moonlight - Whispering Jack Smith
>Room With a View, A - Noël Coward
>Little Sir Echo - Ben Lyon/Bebe Daniels
>Make Yourself a Happiness Pie - Jack Payne & His BBC Dance Orchestra
>We'll All Go Riding on a Rainbow - Jay Wilbur & His Band
>Skirts - Billy Cotton & His Band
>Sheik of Araby, The - The Continental Five
>Bell Bottom Trousers - Jack Hylton & His Orchestra
>Dr. Jazz Stomp - Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers
>Flies Crawled Up the Window, The - Ray Starita and His Ambassadors' Club Band
>I Lift Up My Finger and I Say 'Tweet Tweet' - Jay Whidden Band
>Masculine Women! Feminine Men! - The Savoy Havana Band
>Misery Farm - Leslie Sarony
>Omar Khayyam's Cave - Roy Leslie
>Everything Is Fresh Today - Jack Hodges
>Last Night on the Back Porch - The Savoy Havana Band
>I Love to Bumpity Bump (On a Bumpy Road With You) - Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians

Album Notes

Liner Note Authors: "Legs" Larry Smith; Richard Allen .

It's often said that "they don't write songs like they used to," a lament that is usually accompanied by much gnashing of the teeth, and a disparaging glance at the top pop confectionaries of the day. But it's not so frequent that a compilation comes along to prove that contention once and for all and, simultaneously, transport us back to a time when they did. Songs the Bonzo Dog Band Taught Us comprises no less than 27 largely pre-World War II jazz and dance band numbers that inspired, influenced, and, in many cases, entered the repertoire of the Bonzos, during that band's 1966-1967 prime. Fans know that songs like "Jollity Farm" "Mickey's Son and Daughter," "Hunting Tigers Out in India," "Little Sir Echo" and "I'm Gonna Bring a Watermelon to My Girl Tonight" were anarchic stuff in the Bonzos' hands. This collection proves that they weren't exactly conventional in the '20s either, and Legs Larry Smith's liner notes capture the sheer joy and amazement with which the Bonzos themselves regarded these songs, as they trawled the second-hand stores in search of forgotten 78s, then rushed back to the rehearsal studio bearing a worn-out copy of "Lift Up My Finger and I Say 'Tweet Tweet'," or "My Brother Makes the Noises for the Talkies." Considering the age of the songs, and the fragile shellac medium on which they were preserved, the sound quality here is spectacular. Collectors are, after all, painfully accustomed to having the crackles, hiss and clicks preserved, along with (and sometimes instead of) the music. But Songs is hauntingly blemish free, and the end result, should you have even the remotest interest in the music that made your grandparents smirk, is one of the most delightful compilations you'll hear in years. ~ Dave Thompson


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