Spike Jones Spike Jones in Hi-Fi (Spike Jones in Stereo)
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- Released: October 13, 2003
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Collector's Choice
- 1.I Only Have Eyes For You
- 2.Poison To Poison
- 3.Teenage Brain Surgeon
- 4.My Heart Sings, (All Of A Sudden)
- 5.Everything Happens To Me
- 6.Monster Movie Ball
- 8.My Old Flame
- 9.This Is Your Death / Two Heads Are Better Than One
- 10.Spooktacular Finale
Personnel includes: Spike Jones, Paul Frees, Loulie Jean Norman, George Rock, Thurl Ravenscroft.
Originally released on Warner Brothers.
Personnel: Spike Jones (vocals, drums); George Rock (vocals, trumpet); Ken Stevens, Loulie Jean Norman, Paul Frees, Thurl Ravenscroft (vocals).
Audio Mixer: Thorne Nogar.
Liner Note Author: Joseph F. Laredo.
Recording information: 1959.
Editor: Thorne Nogar.
Arrangers: Carl Brandt; Spike Jones.
Spike Jones in Hi-Fi (Spike Jones in Stereo) (1959) is among the musical satirist's most effuse efforts during his post-City Slickers era. Unlike contemporaries such as Stan Freeberg, Jones' seeming dismissal of rock & roll -- or perhaps inability to embrace change -- would ultimately result in the decline of his career. However, the artist's ear for the unusual as well as his quick wit and practically flamboyant sense of the macabre are central to the unmitigated success of this long-player. It certainly didn't hurt that Jones surrounded himself with the all-star support of the legendary and instantly recognizable vocalists Paul Frees, Loulie Jean Norman, Thurl Ravenscroft, Ken Stevens, and George Rock -- each of whom is prominently featured throughout. Thematically, the platter works well as a sort of kiddie Halloween-type offering. The real payoff is for those old enough to get the inferences and parodies of pop standards "I Only Have Eyes for You," "My Old Flame," and "Everything Happens to Me," which are uniformly brilliant. The primarily dialogue-driven "Poison to Poison" is a spoof of the Person to Person interview program hosted by news journalist Edward R. Murrow. Frees adopts the roles of both interviewer "Ed Burrow" and the interviewee, who is simply referred to as "Alfred" -- aka Alfred Hitchcock. The entire premise sets up a series of rapid-fire jokes, executed with the adept timing and pacing of Abbott & Costello, Allen & Rossi, or Rowan & Martin. "Teenage Brain Surgeon" is a doo wop-style ballad sung by Ravenscroft, whose throaty bass is best remembered as the original voice of Tony the Tiger in the Kellogg's Frosted Flakes adverts or as the singer of "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" on the animated adaptation of the seasonal Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The most in-depth sendup is "This Is Your Death," a takeoff of the TV show This Is Your Life, which segues into another unmitigated highlight, "Two Heads Are Better Than One." The track features a multi-noggin beatnik and fully utilizes stereophonics for maximum effect. In 2003 the boys and ghouls at Collectors' Choice Music sent Spike Jones in Hi-Fi (Spike Jones in Stereo) kicking and screaming into the digital domain, releasing this luminous bit of nostalgic novelty onto CD for the first time. ~ Lindsay Planer
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