Easy listening pianist Bent Fabric raised some eyebrows when he won the Grammy for Best Rock & Roll Recording in 1962 with "Alley Cat," a pop instrumental that consists -- like most of his recordings -- of simple one- or two-finger melodies played on a piano with lean accompaniment that prominently features an electric bass guitar. Fabric subsequently released a series of instrumental albums with colorful animal photos on the cover and whimsical song titles such as "The Happy Puppy," "The Drunken Penguin," and "The Pink Elephant," all of which adhered to his established formula. His only pop hit in the wake of "Alley Cat" was "Chicken Feed," a "Turkey in the Straw"-type of melody that reached the Top 20 on the adult contemporary charts. The Very Best of Bent Fabric collects all of Fabric's hits and more, including the A and B sides of every Atco single and a few album cuts, two of which are title tracks from the albums Never Tease Tigers and Operation Lovebirds. "Alley Cat Dance" is a reprise of Fabric's biggest hit sung by a chirpy girl group dubbed the Alley Kittens, with different lyrics from the ones heard on Peggy Lee and Bobby Rydell's vocal versions. All tracks except "Alley Cat Dance" appear in stereo. For those who love "Alley Cat" and would like to hear many more recordings in the same vein, The Very Best of Bent Fabric is the place to go.
AllMusic Review by Greg Adams
feat: The Alley Kittens