Spike Jones

Spike Jones Is Murdering the Classics

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Although Spike Jones was known as the "King of Corn," another more appropriate title may have been the "King of Cacophony." On this, one of the best collections of Jones' music, the listener is treated to such trademark sounds as gunshots, gurgling, cowbells, belches, and car horns. Jones and his band of like-minded men and women lampoon the most "serious" of all music: the classics. This album contains what is usually considered two of the all-time Jones masterpieces, Rossini's "William Tell Overture" and Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours," each containing dubious commentary by Doodles Weaver. Country humorists Homer and Jethro, of all people, make a guest appearance on Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci," ("Pal-Yat-Chee") and somehow manage to insert Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance" into the proceedings. Arditi's "Il Bacio" becomes "Ill Barkio" with a singing dog trying hard to emulate the very high notes of the operatic singer, until he finally yelps helplessly and seemingly disappears into the distance. Bizet's "Carmen" is assaulted for nearly 13 minutes, as the "messy-soprano" (Jones' term) frightens off three bulls during her first aria. "The Jones Laughing Record," which contains portions of Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Flight of the Bumblebee," also includes a technically superior trombone solo until it is overrun by a chorus of hysterically laughing people who can't contain themselves. Suffice to say, Spike Jones entirely lets the inhibitions run wild on this collection of musical madness. Let's be thankful he did, too, for this is one of the most delightful albums of hysteria ever put to print.

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