Don Adams

Get Smart

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This 45-minute CD, assembled from Don Adams' 1960s-vintage United Artists recordings, is only intermittently funny. The basic problem is that Adams' humor, although verbal in nature, is also distinctly visual -- it needs that image of his fidgety, angular presence to make the jokes really work. Moreover, his voice in the wraparounds for the segments lifted from the program itself gets tiresome very fast, and although the sections from the program are chosen for their distinctly verbal humor, without the images to support them, they seem pale and anemic. Perhaps the CD's shortcomings are also reflective of a certain obsolescence; in the 1960s, before anyone thought of home video and before it was even clear that a major, steady marketplace for reruns of sitcoms existed, the original LP release of this material was the only conceivable way that audiences could preserve and enjoy anew the best segments of the show -- stacked syndicated reruns and the VCR have altered that equation. As an added bonus on this disc, Raven Records has included a pair of songs recorded by series co-star Barbara Feldon, "Max" and "99," referring to the two lead characters from the series (though they seem to have gotten their order wrong on the CD track listing). Both songs were produced by Elliot Mazer, whose other credits include Janis Joplin, Mike Bloomfield, the Byrds, and Barclay James Harvest. Neither track is anything to write home about musically, although they are funny artifacts of the era. And the notes by Adams' longtime friend Bill Dana are entertaining.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 05:10 SpotifyAmazon
2 02:18 SpotifyAmazon
3 03:53 SpotifyAmazon
4 01:16 SpotifyAmazon
5 02:40 SpotifyAmazon
6 03:00 SpotifyAmazon
7 02:36 SpotifyAmazon
8 06:57 SpotifyAmazon
9 02:47 SpotifyAmazon
10 01:40 SpotifyAmazon
11 02:47 SpotifyAmazon
12 02:23 SpotifyAmazon
13 03:17 SpotifyAmazon
14 01:09 SpotifyAmazon
17 00:57
blue highlight denotes track pick