Many of the conductors/arrangers from the big-band and traditional pop fields tried their hand at rock & roll in the '50s and '60s, often with kitschy results. The transition from sophisticated orchestral pop to stripped-down, youth-oriented rock seems drastic until you consider that many of the elder bandleaders were in the business of providing dance music, which was also a function of instrumental rock & roll. Dance the Bop! is Ray Conniff's lone attempt at rock, and is also unique in that he wrote or co-wrote all of the material. Some of the cuts are blatantly patterned after big instrumental rock hits, such as the "Honky Tonk, Pts. 1-2" rewrite, "Honky-Tonk Rock-Around." Conniff is definitely in on the joke, and the collision of his slick, pure pop style with '50s rock is highly entertaining for Conniff's followers, as well as for oldies rock fans with an absurd sense of humor. The original album included a booklet instructing listeners on how to dance the bop.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Greg Adams