The Best of Spike Jones
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First off you are getting three wonderful discs here.Disc one gives us two entries:"The Best of Spike Jones" volumes one and two,released on VHS in 1985 and 1987.Both are culled from a myriad of his shows in the 50s,some you will have already seen on the first release of Spike Jones material over a year ago,the excellent "Spike Jones-the Legend".Spike Jones Jr.put the culled clips together to simulate what one of Spike Sr.'s shows would have looked like,and done a nice job I might add.
Volume One,like two and three to follow all open with the same sketch of music down through the ages:Cave men,to Mozart,to WC Handy,To Benny Goodman and back to the cave men.The first number is Farandole while the second takes on William Tell's Overture with Doodles Weaver at the helm.Here as in other volumes Jad Paul and Freddy Morgan doing a scorching job on the banjo's(you will also see Freddy play with his brother Dick ).Later we find Spike and boys depreciating "I'm in the Mood For Love" with it being capped off by a memorable performance from Billy Barty as Liberace and Earl Bennett as his brother George.Still farther on there is a great moment when we find George Rock on trumpet and Spike on the drums(a rare occurrence)playing Minka;a throw back to "the Other Orchestra" days.Read more ›
Spike hired a select group of accomplished musicians who were also great comedians, whom he called The City Slickers, and they and Spike performed inventive visual comedy with their zany music in live performances around the country. With the advent of early television, they were enormously popular for years with their own national weekly broadcasts.
Spike Jones had a true passion and genius for his creative work, and it is unlikely that he and his band will ever be equalled. It is indeed fortunate that his performances on television were recorded and are available today on DVD. Don't miss this inspired work.
To be honest, this is a pretty bare-bones release that merely duplicates some VHS cassettes released in the 1980s, with a bonus disc of two pilot shows. And the material could easily fit on two DVDs. A printed listing of content (like song titles) would have been nice too. Also, there are lot of "ghost" type images and other minor visual issues -- I don't have the technical know-how to know if that could have been fixed. But flaws and all, this is a five-star release simply for the huge entertainment value. Sound quality is fine, considering the vintage -- for example, you can hear the nuances in the incredible banjo playing on Holiday for Strings.
Percussionist,who's legitimate Other Orchestra suffered,due to the fact that most People couldn't see past the City Slickers.The Musical Depreciation Revue is not only as Fresh today as it was during it's heyday ,but an Alternative
to some of the Dribble that is called Music today.The City Slickers actually came from the Feather Merchant's led by
Clarinetist and Singer Del-Porter.Spike even played on Bing Crosby's White Christmas,I must admit I have always been a Jones Fan ,this DVD set is a Must have if You enjoy the Zaniness and Musicality of the Group,if you've never heard of Spike or Songs like Cocktails for two,Chloe,The William Tell Overture,or Der Fuehrers Face,or seen Billy Barty run
around the Stage as the bottom half of a pair of Pants ,then You are in for a treat, I am sure that Spike Jones Jr.
the Executive Producer made this a Labor of Love,though You might think it Corny,to me it's a Superb display of Talent
and Comedy as well as Great Nostalgia.I hope You enjoy it as much as I did.You have to be pretty good to be this Bad.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Outstanding! It not only shows the talent of one of the funniest men in the entertainment arena, but also the talent of his band members and the supporting cast of characters. Read morePublished 8 months ago by T C
Disc 1 was great. Disc 2 was full of skips & hesitations, not very enjoyable at all. Haven't watched Disc 3 yet and I many not. I intend to return the set for replacement.Published 11 months ago by Cagey Buyer
My father loved this guy when he was a kid. Bought it as a Christmas present and he clearly was overjoyed. Read morePublished 12 months ago by G. Jernigan
Spike Jones is a relic of the Big Band era. It is completely silly stuff but fun as well. It was a part of my development in my adolescent years of the late thirties and early... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Robert H. Boyer