Extending their kitschy Ultra-Lounge series to its logical conclusion, Capitol Records prepared its own variation of Rhino's Golden Throats discs with the two volumes of On the Rocks. The idea is to gather a number of '60s rock & roll staples -- "Light My Fire," "Mellow Yellow," "A Hard Day's Night," etc. -- as they were covered by mainstream pop and easy listening acts, from Mel Torme, Martin Denny, and Julie London to the Lettermen, Buddy Morrow, and Zacharias. In short, it's supposed to be a laugh riot, since these artists are so, you know, square. However, the concept reads better than it plays -- ten tracks of this stuff is entertaining, 22 winds up being an endurance test. A handful of cuts are quite funny -- after all, it's hard not to be amused at London's "Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)," Wayne Newton's "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)," and the Lettermen's unbelievable Doors medley, "Hello, I Love You/Touch Me" -- and the song selection on whole is more entertaining than Pt. 2, yet On the Rocks remains a disc that can only be enjoyed in moderation.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine