Rolf Harris

All Together Now

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The idea of this goofy Australian singer doing a cover of "All Together Now" from the Beatles' Yellow Submarine is a good one, and it really ought to happen on an album entitled All Together Now in which the live recordings of Harris were supervised by none other than George Martin, the Beatles' producer. Unfortunately, the Beatles hadn't written the song in question yet when this project came out. It is hard to understand what exactly the album title is in reference to, as this is not exactly a singalong album, although the recordings are live and the audience does chime in on a few moments. Mostly the audience laughs, although these aren't really recordings in which the reactions of the people sitting in the crowd are thrust back out the speakers in some exaggerated form. While there are other live Harris recordings in his discography, this is the most lavish and well conceived. There is backing from an anonymous but impressive nightclub band, with several conductors, including Mort Garson, keeping everything under control. The recording takes advantage of the live atmosphere to underscore the mirth of the proceedings, but this seems to be a bit more extravagant a musical show than Harris normally put on in the course of his continent-hopping as a solo artist. This collection does not contain his biggest hit, but has a nice "Waltzing Matilda," along with some other fine material, including an "I've Lost My Mummy" which is on the level of Spike Jones, the dark "I'll Be Hanged," and the musically delirious "Six White Boomers."

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