Tom Lehrer

The Tom Lehrer Collection

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Tom Lehrer, a Harvard math professor with an uncanny knack for writing satirical songs that were as memorable as they were oddly melodic, dabbled in a musical and performing career more than he depended on it for rent, which no doubt freed him to write and sing about whatever he wished. Some of his material, tied as it often was to whatever was politically current, doesn’t date well, but a surprising amount of it remains relevant in a 21st century world. This two-disc (one CD, one DVD) set collects highlights from Lehrer's 40-year performing career, including material from his live albums for Reprise Records (An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer and Revisited), early-'70s material recorded for the public-television kids' show The Electric Company, radio performances, a rare 1960 single, as well as video spots, including a 1967 concert in Oslo, animated clips from The Electric Company, and assorted other television performances. It all adds up to an expansive portrait of a singular artist, and makes for the perfect introduction to the sharp, skewed world of Tom Lehrer.

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