Mungo Jerry

Memoirs of a Stockbroker

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Titled for one of the most bittersweet songs in the group's entire repertoire, Memoirs of a Stockbroker is essentially the U.S. equivalent of the British Electronically Tested album, itself named after the legend found on certain brands of a British condom. Memoirs drops one song ("Black Bubonic Plague") from its U.K. counterpart, but adds two: "Daddies' Brew" and the lighthearted, lighter-headed "Have a Whiff on Me." Either version emerges as Mungo Jerry's masterpiece. First time around, after all, the band was little more than a retro jug band novelty, a hairier Lovin' Spoonful riding the shock waves of the hit "In the Summertime." Few people hearing that song for the umpteenth time could ever have believed the band could ever improve on -- or even deviate from -- its formula. But with the lasciviously snarling "Baby Jump," one of the most knowingly sexual hard rock songs of its age, Mungo Jerry not only grabbed a second British chart-topper, they also reinvented themselves without ever stepping beyond their own confines. "Baby Jump" opens side two here; the triumphant "Somebody Stole My Wife," a U.K. radio fave at the time, appears midway through side one, but neither comes close to dominating the LP. Rather, every track has its own growling majesty, whether it's the not-too-cautionary "You Better Leave That Whiskey Alone," the loosely jammed "She Rowed," or the plaintive "Follow Me Down." And then there are nine minutes of "I Just Wanna Make Love to You," an Appalachian blues boogie which is simply relentless, the closest you'll get to the Jerry live experience without catching "Baby Jump"'s in-concert B-side. That's served up among the five bonus tracks on Repertoire's reissue of Electronically Tested. But even without the added material, the experience is complete, and it isn't just stockbrokers whose memoirs wind up memorable.

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