Morecambe & Wise

Songs & Sketches

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Comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise released a string of records during the '60s and '70s, but of course they are best regarded as one of the most successful television double acts Britain (and the Commonwealth) ever saw. It seems odd, therefore, to be sampling their magic in audio only, but only until you listen to them -- among the duo's greatest strengths was their ability to transfer their humor to any medium, and even without the often slapstick and usually physical activity that made them such a visual success, their jokes and routines remain hilarious. With 26 performances drawn from throughout their repertoire, split between musical and spoken word numbers, it is hard to play favorites here. But their signature version of "Bring Me Sunshine" is a gem, while fans of a certain age will certainly rejoice in the rediscovery of "Boom Oo Tata Ta Ta," a madcap pastiche of doo wop-style balladeering that is as funny as it is, strangely, singable. "Ton Up Boy," "The Tape Recorder," and "The Ambassador of Khasiland" rank among the duo's other finest moments, but really, this entire collection is a jewel.

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