Rod McKuen

Mr. Oliver Twist

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Rod McKuen rock & roll? 1961's Mr. Oliver Twist is McKuen's twist album, and it's a delightfully goofy and varied collection of novelties full of jokey references to literary figures, actors, and musicians (and constant self-references). "Steel Men" and "Have a Drink on Me" display commercial folk influences; "Twist Along" takes a Stan Freberg-esque turn when the background singers demonstrate minds of their own, and "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" receives a relatively straightforward treatment. Oliver Twist is completely different from McKuen's later pop and easy listening efforts, and is completely delightful. The only constant between the twistin' McKuen and his later sensitive-swinger persona is his raspy voice, which may be an acquired taste for some.

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