The Bonzo Dog Band

Urban Spaceman

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The band's second release, while perhaps not as delightful as their debut disc Gorilla, is still an enormously worthy listen. Songs here are still wonderfully bizarre and funny, clearly hinting at such over-the-top parody-minded acts as Monty Python's Flying Circus, R. Stevie Moore, and They Might Be Giants. There are no covers here as there were on their prior album, but many well-recognized styles are successfully burlesqued on this record. "Trouser Press" is an intentionally wimpy soul takeoff. The brief "Kama Sutra" is a funny parody of the Jimmy Jones hit "Handy Man." "Rockalizer," which savages psychedelic-era Beatles and related bands, is also a plausible precursor in spots for Blood, Sweat & Tears' "Spinning Wheel." Television background music provides some of the inspiration for "Rhinocratic Oaths." "We are Normal" begins as a fragmented nonsense number redolent of free jazz and collage-style tape pieces and morphs into a fast garage-psychedelic rock song. "Hello Mabel" hearkens back to the smooth days of Rudy Vallee. "Can Blue Men Sing the Whites?" spoofs 1960s electric blues numbers. "Postcard" is primarily a lounge mood-music selection. And "My Pink Half of the Drain" betrays a cornucopia of influences, including vaudeville and urbane French movie music. Note that the Bonzos album entitled The Doughnuts in Granny's Greenhouse is for all practical purposes the same release as this one, lacking only the track "I'm the Urban Spaceman."

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