Various Artists

By Jingo It's British Rubbish

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While the Bonzo Dog Band might have been the most famous British act of the 1960s to draw upon pre-World War II vaudeville and music hall styles for their brand of satire, they weren't the only ones. By Jingo It's British Rubbish compiles 26 tracks from the EMI vaults by the Alberts, the Temperance Seven, Spike Milligan, and the Bonzos themselves. (Peter Sellers makes an appearance with the Temperance Seven on "Ukelele Lady.") Although the Bonzos would evolve into the most adventurous, rock-influenced, and contemporary of the lot, it is a revelation -- to American listeners, at any rate -- how much they sounded, in their early days, like the Alberts and Temperance Seven in their updating/lampooning of circa-1920s pop. Those groups often sound like British counterparts to Spike Jones in their simultaneously fond and irreverent homage to the sounds of yesteryear, replete with silly percussion and vocal noises, but always musically accomplished. And, it should be stressed, these tracks are usually very funny, whether it's the Temperance Seven bewailing "Hard Hearted Hannah" ("making love to Hannah in a big armchair is like strolling through Alaska in your underwear"), or Spike Milligan & the Massed Alberts (represented by only one song) coughing and spluttering through "You Gotta Go Oow." As for the ten songs by the Bonzos, collectors will want to note the presence of one unreleased cut ("On Her Doorstep Last Night," from 1966). This also has their debut 1966 single "I'm Going to Bring a Watermelon to My Girl Tonight"/"My Brother Makes the Noises for the Talkies," although that appears on the Cornology box set. Liner notes by the Bonzos' Neil Innes top off a worthwhile collection.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:26
2
3:36
3 3:32
4 2:34
5
2:32
6 3:35
7
2:25
8 3:09
9
2:29
10
2:02
11
2:41
12 3:53
13 2:40
14 3:03
15 3:08
16
1:59
17
3:00
18 2:42
19
2:09
20 2:05
21 2:27
22
3:05
23
3:43
24
3:39
25
3:05
26
2:28
blue highlight denotes track pick