B. Bumble & the Stingers

Nut Rocker

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Producer-entrepreneur Kim Fowley not only understands the true hustle of show business, but has participated in one great rock & roll swindle after another, cutting hits out of spit, shoelaces, and nothing, and giving the unsuspecting world at one point or another, "Alley Oop," the Runaways' "Popsicles & Icicles," and his finest hour as a solo artist, "Animal Man," in the bargain. Not to mention B. Bumble & the Stingers. The scam this time around? Rocked-up arrangements of classical material. With the best Los Angeles rhythm section money could buy (Ernie Freeman on piano, Rene Hall on guitar and Danelectro six-string bass, and Earl Palmer on drums) and thumbtacks shoved into the hammers on the piano -- when double tracked it sounded a bit like an out-of-tune harpsichord -- Fowley and Co. cranked 'em out like sausage for a couple of years until all possible sales from the idea had been sucked dry, also a major part of the scam and, still to this day, one of pop music's easiest way to gauge public taste. Anyway, think of this as the classical-piano version of the Bill Black Combo minus a horn player and you're beginning to get the big picture. Nothing manic, but politely rocking all the way. Everything arrangement-wise here is built on the sturdy wheels of their first release, "Bumble Boogie," itself being a rocked-up version of Jack Fina's boogie-woogie '40s adaption of "Flight of the Bumble Bee." There are four unissued tracks here out of 24 total, with all the singles being present and accounted for with master-tape quality throughout.