Irving Taylor

The Garbage Collector in Beverly Hills

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AllMusic Review by

Think of Irving Taylor as Spike Jones for the middle-brow set. He is the word man behind Edd "Kookie" Byrnes and other Warner Bros. personality classics. The music is straightforwardly melodic and only slightly madcap, but the concepts, lyrics, and singing are "off." As is to be expected with musical comedy, some of the material is timeless, while some was never very smart or funny. What really distinguishes this album is the quality of the music. The best spoofs are exotic, where all the right instruments and playing are tweaked just enough to make the absurdity succeed. "Hawaiian Worm Raiser" and "Marriage Counselor in a Turkish Harem" are sheer joys. "Prison Interior Decorator," performed with heart-warming banjo, would seem, in hindsight, to have pushed the envelope for its time. Everything else really is in the vein of Spike Jones or Spike-vet Mickey Katz but with fewer musical gags. The liner notes are modestly funny as well. Anyone with a penchant for parody and a strong tolerance for cheese would find these "work songs for the odd job holder" amusing. Note that four titles are repeated on The Whimsical World of Irving Taylor (Warner Bros. WS-1352) from later the same year.

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