Various Artists

Off Your Box

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Off Your Box is a compilation of songs featured in various British television commercials. There's a wealth of music from the '60s here, with a couple tracks from the mambo king Perez Prado (and perhaps more excitingly, one featuring the outstanding vocal prowess of Beny More); the space-age bachelor pad pioneer Esquivel; Henry Mancini; and a bit from Quincy Jones -- thoroughly in the style of the era (and coincidentally featured in the Austin Powers movies). There's a bit of everything on the album, though. Some early reggae is represented by Desmond Dekker's early hit "The Israelites"; the Safaris main hit holds up the surf rock end; and Perry Como's family- friendly pop takes a turn as well. German '80s rockers Trio contribute "Da Da Da," made famous by the Volkswagen ads from the '90s, and the Chips perform "Rubber Biscuit": an interesting blues piece immortalized, perhaps, by the Blues Brothers more than the Chips. There is little to no coherence from song to song, but one wouldn't expect there to be, really, as the theme of the album is simply to recount some of the rarer works from commercial jingles. It's an interesting little romp through the archives of musical novelty. Pick it up for the experience maybe, but not as a single disc to listen to for the musical enjoyment alone.

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