Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - Gorilla (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:51 AM

If you aren't afraid to plunge head first into the cheerful insanity that was the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (they were the unquestioned musical bridge from Peter Sellers' Goon Squad routines to the hydradimensional Monty Python), their first album is also their best. Generously endowed with horn players as brassy as they were witty (leader/trumpeter/tubist Vivian Stanshall and saxophonists Rodney Slater and Roger Ruksin Spear, both of whom doubled on assorted madcap sound devices), the Bonzos mashed old-time radio music and British music hall verve into a modern pop casserole that was so far ahead of its time - partly because, unlike other music satirists, the Bonzos never suggested they held their sources in contempt; they genuinely loved those sources and weren't ashamed to let it show - you wonder whether anyone even thinking of musical satire these days could possibly catch up.
The sleeper of the set: "Death Cab for Cutie," which millions have heard without knowing it for what it was: that was Stanshall warbling the slow grinder in the tent, behind the stripper, as the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band played for the Beatles' amusement in "Magical Mystery Tour". (Imagine Raymond Chandler having written "All Shook Up" for Elvis Presley, and that's "Death Cab For Cutie," Stanshall's basso warble, Neil Innes's loping, ether-boogie piano, and all.) And if you can listen to "The Intro and the Outro" and not appreciate that the Bonzos accomplished in barely over two minutes what Frank Zappa couldn't in most of a career (the Bonzos, unlike Zappa and the Mothers, knew when the in-jokes and the topicalities had hit their limits), sounding just as fresh now as in 1967-68, more is the pity. This troupe was a gift to contemporary music. And though you'll never see them reunite for even a one-off shot anymore (Stanshall's tragic death almost a decade ago - he died in a fire - makes it impossible for it to be anything close to the same, anyway), this and damn near the entire Bonzo catalogue need no reunion gigs to affirm its significance or its entertainment. Or, its art. by bluesduke
Tracks
01. Cool Britannia - 1:00
02. The Equestrian Statue - 2:49
03. Jollity Farm - 2:29
04. I Left My Heart in San Francisco - 1:04
05. Look Out There's a Monster Coming - 2:55
06. Jazz (Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold) - 3:11
07. Death Cab for Cutie - 2:56
08. Narcissus - 0:27
09. The Intro and the Outro - 3:04
10. Mickey's Son and Daughter - 2:43
11. Big Shot - 3:31
12. Music for the Head Ballet - 1:45
13. Piggy Bank Love - 3:04
14. I'm Bored - 3:06
15. The Sound of Music - 1:21
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