8.Perfect Present Residents / Ronald "R" Superstar
9.Meet the Press
13.Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Yuppies
16.We Arm the World (Live Grenade)
The Capitol Steps, a musical political satire group, was still a fairly new concept at the time this LP was released in 1986. This live recording was made in what is evidently a nightclub (the Artist's Room in Washington, D.C.). The vocals are fairly good, while the accompaniment consists of just a single pianist, without the electric keyboards and expanded rhythm section added for later albums. The Soviets are a major target, as President Ronald Reagan seemed to be sending Vice President George Bush overseas on a regular basis, as leaders Leonid Breshnev and Yuri Andropov died in quick succession, in "Get Me to the Dirge" (sung to "Get Me to the Church on Time"). Gorbachev laments the excessive attention paid by the American press to his outspoken spouse in the hilarious "You Write Up My Wife" (borrowing the tune from the lame hit "You Light Up My Life").
Of course, Reagan gets his fair share of attention, with "Dutch the Magic Reagan" (sung to "Puff the Magic Dragon"), and he fumbles with history in "Meet the Press" and duets with controversial budget director David Stockman in "Stock Man," sung to a Harry Belafonte tune. The whole cast lampoons the insipid, overblown pop hit "We Are the World" in the side-splitting finale, "We Arm the World." Although this LP isn't nearly as polished as later releases by the Capitol Steps, who are still recording and touring over two decades after they were founded by a group of Capitol Hill staffers, it is well worth acquiring. ~ Ken Dryden