Go Crazy With Spike Jones (World Record Club T409) (1960)

There have been many things I’ve appropriated from my family home over the years, but one of my favourites and certainly one of the longest lived is my Spike Jones 3 x 7″ box set (see below). I say “my” because I’ve felt a sense of proprietorship over it since I was seven or eight and it certainly has lived in my collection since around that time (possession being nine-tenths of the law), though strictly speaking it was and remains my father’s.

Interestingly, Jones represents a specific, though obscure area of musical overlap between me and Thrifty Vinyl’s own esteemed Ekolad.

What sets Jones and his City Slickers apart from other artists (and in common with other geniuses, e.g. Picasso, Miles Davis and the entire 1940s-1950s Warner Brother Loony Tunes production teams) is an absolute mastery of form and a compulsion to challenge form. The performances on Go Crazy (credited to Spike Jones and the Band That Plays For Fun) are 1960 recreations of some earlier glories and feature many of the same bike horns, tin pans, .22 Smith & Wesson revolvers and sneezes as before with added bluesy piano flourishes and latter-day cultural references. There’s even a “Tequila” pastiche called “Pimples and Braces”. However, there’s something dated and less anarchic about this particular collection (as compared to my singles compilation, music which dates from the 1940s), for Jones tried to shoehorn his earlier style into a culture that has moved on; unlike, Picasso, et al., drummer and bandleader Jones was still mining the same vein.

The anonymous liner note writer got into the act, too with amusing send ups of the kind scholarly explications usually found on the back classical and jazz Lps, ultimately advising the reader/listener to “let us know which of these songs you hate best. [NB: The album was issued in the US as 60 Years of Music America Hates Best a parody of Jones’ former label RCA’s series 50 Years of Music America Loves Best–note the Nipper visual gag on the cover.] No prizes are offered, your entry will not be printed or acknowledged and we shall dislike you intensely for bother us.”

Published in: on October 10, 2011 at 11:42 am  Leave a Comment  

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