Spike Jones

The Very Worst of Spike Jones

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Every home ought to have some Spike Jones. The operative term, however, is "some." More than an album's worth will probably be too much for anyone whose psyche hovers anywhere near the middle of the bell curve of normalcy, and for those, this hour-long best-of is perfect. It includes all the, er, hits -- everything from the brilliantly anarchic "Cocktails for Two" to the merely anarchic "Happy New Year," from a straightforward "Charleston" (which features a brilliant trombone solo by Arthur Most) to a thoroughly postmodern deconstruction of "Glow-Worm." In many ways, Spike Jones was to musical America what the Goon Show was to British radio and Monty Python was to British television -- either a refreshing dose of comedic mayhem or the very sound of the Philistines at the gates, depending on one's point of view (to some, it was both). As both music and comedy, this material is extremely dated, which is part of its charm -- though the brutal Ink Spots parody contained in "You Always Hurt the One You Love" is dated in perhaps a less charming way, and is not recommended to the racially sensitive. The exceptionally high sound quality on this disc is worth noting; all of the tracks are taken from 78 rpm originals, and despite the completely unnecessary imitation stereo renderings, they sound spectacular. Strongly recommended to all fans of musical comedy.

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