Tom Lehrer recorded rather sporadically starting in the 1950s then abruptly retired in the mid-'60s from his unique solo musical comedy act. He's a competent pianist with a voice that is perfect for his original material. This compilation combines both of his records that were originally pressed and sold privately on the Lehrer label, which he later re-recorded with improved sound for Reprise as Songs by Tom Lehrer and the live concert An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer. While the differences between this CD and the Reprise versions are minimal, other than a little more muffled piano sound on these earlier recordings, it's fun to hear hilarious works like "The Irish Ballad," the creative "Oedipus Rex," and his satire of military life in "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier." Several favorites, including "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" and "The Masochism Tango" are heard in orchestrated versions as well as by Lehrer alone. And Lehrer finally got around to recording "I Got It from Agnes," which implies how venereal disease is spread (in an amusing fashion, if that's possible) without ever coming out and saying it directly. This CD is a must for Lehrer fanatics.
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