Allan Sherman

Allan In Wonderland

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Allan Sherman's first three albums were so consistently strong that many folks wondered when or if the funnyman would ever run out of steam, and while 1964's Allan in Wonderland was hardly an artistic disaster, it certainly indicated that he'd finally peaked (while Sherman's first three albums were all million-sellers, Allan in Wonderland struggled to peak at 25 on the Billboard charts). The greatest flaw on Allan in Wonderland is that his material simply isn't as strong as that on his previous albums; "Lotsa Luck," "Green Stamps," and "Night and Day (With Punctuation Marks)" sound like throwaways, with the in-studio audience mustering up precious few laughs for these numbers. And while "You Need an Analyst" and "The Drop-Outs March" are amusing social satire, they haven't worn the test of time especially well, with the latter just a touch mean-spirited. The album does rally to a solid conclusion with the eight-minute "Good Advice," easily the album's most upbeat number and the one that displays a joie de vivre absent from much of the rest of the session. It's worth noting that Allan in Wonderland was Sherman's first album recorded and released after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and Sherman was hardly the only comic who found it hard to crack jokes in the wake of this national tragedy (it was recorded on January 20, 1964, less than two months later); while his career didn't suffer the fate of Vaughn Meader, it never regained the momentum it enjoyed in 1962 and 1963, and Allan in Wonderland isn't the disaster it's often purported to be, but it did mark the beginning of the end of Sherman's salad days.

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