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|Songs & More Songs By Tom Lehrer
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Back in print at last, here are the two 10" LPs that Tom Lehrer put out on his own label during the '50s! Mind you-these are not the live albums that came out on Reprise during the '60s these are Tom's original studio recordings, 28 of 'em to be exact, with notes and a new Lehrer interview!
In the wake of the '80s comedy boom that made casual obscenity and bodily functions safe for TV, a listen to these '50s classics from a piano-playing Harvard grad student with a thin singing voice sounds tame if not quaint. Yet Lehrer's first two self-produced albums, among the first generation of comedy LPs, remain beloved gems of musical parody, and noteworthy for their original success in an era when their topics were strictly taboo for broadcast media. He kids cold war paranoia ("We Will All Go Together When We Go"), sends up then-hip folk revivalists with a cheerful murder ballad ("The Irish Ballad"), and gets laughs out of incest ("Oedipus Rex"), drugs ("The Old Dope Peddler"), and racism ("I Wanna Go Back to Dixie"). Closer to Gilbert & Sullivan (whom he in fact raids for one melody) than Def Comedy Jams, Lehrer can still raise a modern frisson when he plays necrophilia as romance ("I hold your hand in mine dear, I press it to my lips/ I take a healthy bite from your dainty fingertips..."). --Sam Sutherland
|That Was the Year That Was
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1965, to be exact, when the Hah-vahd Professor issued such belly-laughin' broadsides as Pollution; Send in the Marines; National Brotherhood Week; The Vatican Rag, and more.
Harvard-educated mathematician by trade and sociopolitical humorist and satirist by avocation, ivory tickler Tom Lehrer sang irreverent ditties that both outraged and delighted listeners during his on-again, off-again heyday of public performance in the late 1950s through the 1970s. Perhaps best known for his "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," Lehrer combined razor-sharp wit with dry delivery inspired by everything from vaudeville and ragtime to whimsical show tunes and faux folk. Though a tad dated, Lehrer's wickedly pointed That Was the Year That Was is as good a representation of the mid-'60s American social and political climate as any. Recorded live in 1965 and composed largely of songs from the contemporaneous NBC series That Was the Week That Was, the album takes on boho Americana ("The Folk Song Army"), censorship ("Smut"), and the atomic bomb ("Who's Next"). Devilishly funny as well are the outstanding "Vatican Rag" and the puzzle that is "New Math." --Paige La Grone
|Ray Stevens' Box Set
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Not 1, not 2, but 3 CDs for the price of one, featuring Ray's favorite and funniest songs! Includes The Streak; Ahab the Arab; Gitarzan; Everything Is Beautiful; Santa Claus Is Watching You; The Haircut Song; Freddie Feelgood (and His Funky Little Five Piece); The Mississippi Squirrel Revival; Shriner's Convention; The Ballad of the Blue Cyclone (The End) , and more.
|The Essential Weird Al Yankovic
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2009 two CD career-spanning collection of tracks hand-picked by Weird Al himself. Yankovic is a true artistic genius in the classic sense of the word. No other artist can parody a song or a music video without being directly compared to the maestro. Throughout his career, Al has offered up an alternate reality of sorts to the history of pop music, lovingly re-casting hits of all genres into bizarre and hilarious songs and videos that themselves have become hits. Al's work became so synonymous with the hits they parodied that Michael Jackson gave Al access to the 'Bad' video set to make his classic 'Fat' video! This is to say nothing of Al's original songs which are as witty and endearing as his parody work. 40 tracks.
- Record Label: Sony
- Catalog#: 88697 585432
- Country Of Release: NLD
- Year Of Release: 2010
- Notes: .. Yankovic
|My Son, The Greatest: The Best Of Allan Sherman
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Oy vay ! It's a 19-track "best-of" from the one and only Allan Sherman, featuring the immortal Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh ! Also here are Allan's twisted version of Downtown (entitled Crazy Downtown ), plus Pop Hates the Beatles; Shticks of One, Half a Dozen of the Other; Hail to Thee , and more.
This collection gathers 19 of Sherman's humorous story-songs. The comic uses original lyrics and pre-existing tunes to poke fun at television shows and consumer items, to send-up the kids and generally riff on early and mid-'60s American pop culture. On tracks like "Pop Hates the Beatles" and "Crazy Downtown," his subject is the generation gap. "Al 'n Yetta" portrays a TV-dependent couple while "Lotsa Luck" describes the complicated hassles of dealing with faulty TVs and new-fangled tape recorders. Sherman assumed his audience had a little knowledge of history, too. On "Good Advice" and "You Went the Wrong Way, Old King Louie," he sings about inventors and French history, respectively. It's hard to imagine contemporary comedians working the historical beat. "One Hippopatami" is a delightfully goofy festival of wordplay that requires only a love of language and a tolerance for schmaltz. --Fred Cisterna
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- Record Label: Universal
- Catalog#: 06025 1796904
- Country Of Release: NLD
- Year Of Release: 2009
- Notes: Guests:Justin Timberlake/Natalie Portman/Norah Jones/E-
|An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer
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Setting his bitterly caustic lyrics against nice bouncy piano, Tom's recordings spread like wildfire in the mid-to-late-'50s. Recorded live at Harvard, this musical-comedy classic from '59 includes We Will All Go Together When We Go; Poisoning Pigeons in the Park; The Masochism Tango; In Old Mexico , and more!
"If, after hearing my songs," Lehrer says in this disc's liner notes, "just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend, or perhaps strike a loved one, it will all have been worth the while." Makes him sound like a modern punk, eh? Not so, though. Lehrer, ever the king of jolly vitriol, recorded these still potent parodies in the '50s--and the best of them, "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," "The Masochism Tango," and "The Elements" (which joins science with Gilbert & Sullivan) remain both nasty and striking. Musically, Lehrer comes across like a demented Cole Porter, wrapping sophisticated, showy tunes around his acerbic jokes. Lyrically, he's a clear forebear to folks like Phil Ochs and Barry Crimmins, who also cloak their commentary in comedy. --Michael Ruby
|The Best of Spike Jones
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Spike and his City Slickers' musical madness distilled down to an essential 12 tracks: Cocktails for Two; William Tell Overture; Der Fuehrer's Face; Laura; Dance Of The Hours , and more.
|Ron White: You Can't Fix Stupid
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Brand: Image Entertainment
This is Ron White's first release since he broke out as a comedy superstar. He has performed as part of the multi platinum selling "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" with Jeff Foxworthy and Larry The Cable Guy. Image. 2006.
|Weird Al Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection
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List price: $18.54
If you're only hearing Al's inspired song parodies, you're missing half the gags! His long-awaited classic-video collection boasts 24 of his best including Bob from his recent album Poodle Hat ; that joins Ricky; Eat It; I Lost on Jeopardy; Like a Surgeon; Fat; Smells Like Nirvana; Amish Paradise; Dare to Be Stupid; Living with a Hernia; I Love Rocky Road , and more.
- Brand Name: SONY MUSIC Mfg#: 828765372794
- Shipping Weight: 0.17 lbs
- Genre: MUSIC VIDEO/PERFORMANCE
- All music products are properly licensed and guaranteed authentic.
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