The Bonzo Dog Band

Let's Make Up and Be Friendly

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While not up to the high standards set by the band's earlier work, this contractual obligation album does offer a few glimpses of the skewed brilliance for which the Bonzos were so rightly famous. Highlighting the LP is "Rawlinson End," and perhaps Viv Stanshall's finest narrative. A spoken word tour de force, this intricately surreal English soap opera is a worthy successor to the earlier "Rhinocratic Oaths," and offers a preview of Stanshall's full-length solo effort, Sir Henry at Rawlinson End. With some exceptions, the rest of the LP replaces the previous Bonzo albums' affectionate throwbacks to the music of earlier eras with broad rock parodies and defiantly tasteless humor. The band lets loose with "The Strain," Stanshall's scatological tribute to constipation (it's funnier than it sounds). "Turkeys," a Neil Innes instrumental, achieves a strange cinematic beauty. Legs Larry Smith's contribution, "Rusty," is a lugubrious lament about the end of a rather kinky relationship. Another clever Stanshall parody, "Bad Blood" presents a Western revenge saga with a surprise ending. Winding up the album and the group's career, the Bonzos literally get the last laugh with the horror comedy of "Slush."

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