The Remains of Tom Lehrer
Audio CD | Remastered, Box Set
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Rarish set of archive recordings
This three-CD set collects many of Tom Lehrer's tunes, described by Time magazine as "brilliant and coruscating parodies," bringing back a bygone era when the "liberal consensus," as Lehrer calls them, knew who they were and could, therefore, laugh at both themselves and the well-defined enemy. Delivering clever, witty rhymes about topical subjects was Leher's strength. In "Wernher Von Braun" [the Nazi German scientist who later worked for NASA], Lerher sings: "I'll sing you a tale of Wernher Von Braun / A man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience / Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down / 'That's not my department,' says Wernher Von Braun." Using a rollicking piano as accompaniment, Lehrer will remind some of Mark Russell, the current political satirist, but Lehrer's more pointed humor and grating, nasal voice make him a much tougher listen. His Jimmy Durante-like delivery, however, doesn't completely trump his truly quick mind and clever use of language. --Wally Shoup
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Top customer reviews
Just to mention it - Lehrer did re-record a few songs from his debut album from 1953,Songs By Tom Lehrer. That album was a self funded effort an several of the songs were not recorded very well. As a result they have a flat, listless sound to them. Here he has revisited those songs with far, far better recordings.
This box set, The Remains of Tom Lehrer, achieves what it was meant to achieve. All of the elements used, from the look of the packaging, the commentaries in the booklet, to the sound of the discs themselves all add up to this being the definitive statement of his work.
That having been said, you owe it to your neurons to give Mr. Lehrer a listen, especially if you are old enough to get the wealth of cultural references in his songs. Quite simply, the man is a brilliant satirist; many of the songs remain relevant even 40 and 50 years after he wrote them, which is a testament to his grasp of the American condition. Truly funny stuff for those of us whose intellects have a sense of humor.
Songs By Tom Lehrer
More of Tom Lehrer
Tom Lehrer Revisited
An Evening Wasted with Tom lehrer
That was the Year that Was
Then they added the Richard Hayman Sessions from 1960 which are 4 songs from other albums, and they added 9 more recent songs that weren't on any of his albums.
So, it is about 4 albums worth of unique music. Plus 2 live albums playing the same music. Plus a cool book with lyrics and a case. Admittedly, I'd like to have the albums separated each on their own disks, but I wouldn't want to pay extra for it.
The amazing thing to me about Lehrer is that his work stands the test of time. 'That was the year that was' should have been dated after a decade, but the themes apply well to modern problems 40-50 years later.
It is perfect and really has the full collection of studio recordings and live performances.
With Tom Lehrer the live recordings are best because his texts in between the songs are true gems.
definitely a big MUST for Tom Lehrer fans!!
*I am very happy that I learned how to pronounce americium.