Sunday, January 24, 2010

V.A.: [1997] Show & Tell - A Stormy Remembrance of TV Themes [Gammon Recs.]

Many tribute albums are as boring as watching bowling, but this is not one of them. Instead of a pack of punchless, nondescript underachievers ineptly stumbling through the works of giants, why not assemble 34 irreverent punk bands to blast off on 35 familiar, silly themes from popular TV shows? The results are mostly as fun as the concept is funny. Even without hearing those scathing lampoon-sters the Meatmen skewer "Green Acres" and "Mission Impossible" or drunk-punks Murphy's Law roast "Zoom," you just know it's going to be hoot city. The true godfathers of this goofy game, the Dickies (who released memorable punk versions of "Gigantor" and "The Banana Splits" in the '70s), just have to zip through "Secret Agent Man," while fellow L.A. vets Agent Orange -- who covered "Secret Agent Man" on a 7" previously -- give the appropriate spy-movie surf punk sound to "Get Smart." There's one amusing moment after another as the crappy cream of TV cheese is decimated, including such indelibly corny themes as "Beretta" (Trick Babys), "Laverne and Shirley" (No Use for a Name), "Mary Tyler Moore" (Clowns for Progress), "Beverly Hillbillies" (Butt Trumpet), and, of course, "Gilligan's Island" (Manic Hispanic). Special mention must go to Todd Bridges ("Willis") having a go at his own show, "Different Strokes." But where's the Batman theme? After all, covers of that smoker by Neal Hefti's Orchestra go all the way back to the '60s Who and '60s Kinks.
--by Jack Rabid, AMG

tRaCkS
.paid programming [brutal juice]
.green acres [meatmen]
.zoom [murphy's law]
.where in the world is carmen san diego ? [tilt]
.rodarunner [boris the sprinkler]
.mission impossible [meatmen]
.baretta [trick babys]
.different strokes [bridges, todd and the whatchu talkin]
.cops [h20]
.get smart [agent orange]
.secret agent man [dickies]
.hawaii five-0 [fu]
.stingray [hi fives]
.out of limits [laika & the cosmonauts]
.laverne and shirley [no use for a name]
.mary tyler moore [clowns for progress]
.the monkees [furious george]
.the partridge family [horace pinker]
.welcome back kotter [squirtgun]
.saved by the bell [the cretins]
.paid programming - slinky [joyride]
.cheers [felix frump]
.WKRP in Cincinnati [weston]
.i's gary shandling's show [thirsty]
.bewitched [brutal juice]
.the munsters [no use for a name]
.all in the family [the grabbers]
.the jeffersons [latex generation]
.gilligan's island [manic hispanic]
.dukes of hazzard [hot water]
.hee haw [jesus christ superfly]
.beverly hillbillies [butt trumpet]
.good times [bollweevils]
.charles in charge [corn'mo]

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