Various Artists

Flashbacks, Vol. 2: Novelty Songs 1914-1946 Crazy & Obscure

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Now here's just the thing that will have everybody at your next bash laughing their asses off and slurping up the punch claiming what a great host you are, or will cause them to head for the door in droves after the first 15 minutes. Either way, it's worth the investment. Those crazy compilers at Trikont have dug deep into the American nutso file and ferreted out tracks both well known and obscure for their supposed novelty value. The set opens innocently enough with the Andrew Sisters' classic "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," but immediately begins its slide into good-timey dementia with the Hoosier Hot Shots' "We Like Bananas (Because They Have No Bones)" -- we'll let you all figure out what the Freudian implications are. But it gets far funnier and far stranger by well-known performers that include Groucho Marx, Spike Jones (of course, but the selections from him, "The Hawaiian Fight Song" and "Der Führer's Face," are the least imaginative inclusions here), Danny Kaye, the Ink Spots, Laurel and Hardy, Slim and Slam, and Cab Calloway. And while most of these selections are worthy and funny as hell, it's the stuff from the lesser-known acts that make the set truly worthwhile. There's Lonzo and Oscar's "I'm My Own Grandpa," Ross & Sargent's demented "Nellie the Nudist Queen," De Ford Bailey's "Pan American Blues," and the most insane thing here, the Viennese Seven Singing Sisters doing the "William Tell Overture." There are 27 cuts in all, making the proceeding so excessive it will have even the most stalwart novelty fans shaking their heads in disbelief at what terror and hilarity has been wrought here in the name of humor -- but what a gas to put off this insanity on your friends and neighbors and (perhaps future) enemies.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:46
3 3:03
5 3:09
6 3:06
8 2:45
9 0:54
10 3:08
11 2:57
12 2:28
14 2:46
15 3:04
16 2:13
17 2:20
18 2:38
19 2:54
22 2:49
23 2:38
24 3:07
25 1:27
26 2:40
blue highlight denotes track pick