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Spike Jones: The Legend

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Oct 30, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Spike Jones, referred to by many as the "god father of music video mayhem," brought his special brand of notes and nuts to '50s network television. Sneezes, belches, coughs, razberries, tuned cowbells, auto horns, and gun-shots - along with the finest musicianship - made up Spike Jones' "Musical Depreciation Revue." The original bad boys of music directly influenced such musical iconoclasts as Stan Freberg, Ernie Kovacs, Frank Zappa and Weird Al Yankovic. Enjoy the zany antics of Spike Jones (who passed away in 1965) and the City Slickers in four of their most hilarious and memorable NBC television shows in this special four DVD collector's set. Includes the holiday favorite, "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth," and Jones' million-selling version of "Cocktails for Two."

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Spike Jones and the City Slickers, Doodles Weaver, Liberace, Helen Grayco
  • Format: Black & White, Collector's Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Infinity Entertainment Group & SJ2 Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 340 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000V9KEHE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,994 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Spike Jones: The Legend" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

It was a shock when I first saw this item suddenly come up for sale.This DVD set is what every Spiker(Spike Jones fan) has been waiting to see and I am sure will watch over and over again.It is to Spike Jones' son Spike Jones Jr. that we owe much of our gratitude for this most welcome release.He dug into the families' holdings and came up with some pretty impressive treasures in this set.
The "product description" above is a little misleading so let me please clarify what exactly this set contains.This set contains THREE DVDs and ONE CD ,FOUR discs in all.It contains four shows with Spike Jones(on two DVDs),one disc with extras and an audio CD containing two rare /40s radio pilot shows.
Let's look at the shows.
The first is A Colgate-Comedy Hour Show from Feb.1/51.It clocks in at about 59 mins. and includes the entire show with commercials.
Highlights:
"Laura"-Spike chases down a lady wielding a nasty "scimitar" while screaming the songs' title-
Spike and crew during one number completely go wild and demolish their own"instruments" then attack a cameraman and destroy his "camera"-
Announcer Mike Wallace,future TV newsman and journalist,makes an appearance-
"The Poet and Peasant Overture"-Includes some hilarious moments with super mugger Freddie Morgan-
Mrs.Laverne Pearson and her twiddling belt buckle!(got to see it to believe it)-She also sings "Glo-Worm" accompanied by Dick Morgan,with the band giving it it's typical special treatment!-
*A Classic Spike Jones quote from this show,which defines everything Spike Jones to a "T"*:
Spike tells Mrs.Pearson that in order to sing with them she would have to have some music.Much to his chagrin she quickly produces same and hands it to him.
"This is your music?
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It's about time! There's been precious little available on DVD of Spike Jones and his City Slickers. Now, four hours of his 1951 and 1952 TV specials are available in this box set.

Spike toured America with his "Musical Depreciation Revue" in the 1940s and 50s. Those days are gone, of course. But these shows -- particularly the Feburary 1951 "Colgate Comedy Hour" -- is basically the one surviving documentation of what Spike's two hour stage show was like.

These shows were broadcast live. No editing or overdubbing was possible. Bloopers abound, as well as many spontanious moments. But that's not a bad thing. In fact, it's great fun -- a ride in a time machine back to early television and unique musical theatrics.

The original commercials (many featuring Spike and the gang) are left intact. (Yes, that's the voice of Jackson "Bluto" Beck on the Fab detergent commercial!) The original title cards and NBC network signoffs are here, too.

Keep in mind, the picture quality varies a lot from scene to scene. There was no videotape in those days, and the surviving film was made by pointing a 16mm camera at a black and white television monitor! Still, the transfers from film have been made with tender loving care, and are really quite watchable. I should add that if you were watching the show live, the picture was probably no better. Those out of focus shots were broadcast that way! This was 1950 technology, but it was "cutting edge" at the time!
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I remember a lot of these shows from when I was a kid and seeing them again sure was wonderful. Spike Jones and his wacky band did some crazy things back then and this set has the best. The video quality is not as good as today's are, but then again this was recorded by placing a 16mm camera at a TV set and shooting as the show went out live. Kineoscope was recorded on a wire as tape recording had not been invented yet. But it's still very enjoyable watching. Package arrived in perfect shape and on time as well.
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There is NO WAY I'll ever convince you to like Spike Jones unless you have an open mind, a well developed sense of humor, and are willing to appreciate absolute mayhem as entertainment. The Jones band didn't bill themselves as a "Music Depreciation Review" for nothing. They systematically "destroyed" all music that came their way by playing it in a totally unexpected fashion. However, if you listen carefully, you hear an extremely clever and talented rendition of music that might otherwise be considered as banal. The renditions are never "polite" or even reasonably truthful to the original. However, all are truly "howlers" due to their devilish reconstruction.

If you are a music purist don't even consider buying this CD. If your tastes are in the more eclectic range and you enjoy a good laugh, buy this CD NOW!

Note: Spike Jones was a product of the 1940's and his music reflects that era. If you're a fan of that era, Spike's stuff belongs in your collection. If for no other reason than as a reminder that we used to have a sense of humor.
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