Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Various Artists - Hollywood Hi-Fi (1996)


"18 of the most outrageous celebrity recordings ever!"  I'm not sure about all that, but this CD succeeds in collecting celebrity releases from stars not generally know for their singing skills.  Like most novelty albums, it deserves and receives very little little playing time 'round here.  Mercifully, most tracks don't even reach the 3 minute mark.  It was marketed to accompany a book of the same title (sold separately) that features write ups of over 100 of these sort of tunes.  I have a copy of the book and can tell you the book is more entertaining than the CD.  Check out the dated website for the book/CD here.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart:  Did not chart

Tracks:
  1. Bette Davis - Turn Me Loose on Broadway.  Taken from the 1952 RCA cast album of the musical Two's Company.  Somebody thought that the movie star could sing, apparently.
  2. Robert Mitchum - What's This Generation Coming To.  From Mitchum's 1957 album, Calypso...Is Like So.  An attempt to cash in on the calypso craze started by Harry Belafonte.
  3. Ted Cassidy - The Lurch.  Released as a single in 1965, this was an attempt at starting a rigor mortis dance craze around the Lurch character from the TV show, The Addams Family.
  4. Raquel Welch - I'm Ready To Groove.  Taken from the soundtrack of the 1965 movie, A Swingin' Summer.  Sort of a combination R&B surf music heavy on organ.
  5. Joe Pesci - Got To Get You Into My Life.  A cover of the Beatles tune, taken from the misleadingly titled album, Little Joe Sure Can Sing (1968).  Released under the pseudonym Little Joe Ritchie.
  6. Jayne Mansfield - That Makes It.  A 1964 R&B single in which Mansfield uses her breathy voice as we hear one side of a phone conversation.
  7. Joe E. Ross - Ooh! Ooh!  A 1963 single that uses Ross saying catchphrases from his role as Officer Toody on Car 54, Where Are You?
  8. Jack Larson - Roaches.  Larson is best known as Jimmy Olson from the 50's Superman TV series.  He's actually got talent as a singer, but his choice of material was questionable as evidenced on this 1959 single.
  9. JFK - The Ask Not Waltz.  In 1963, some smart record producers and songwriters came up with the idea of clipping up recorded political speeches and writing songs around them.  
  10. Jerry Mathers - Wind Up Toy.  The Beav released a 1962 single, which sounds as nasally as you would expect.
  11. Danny Bonaduce - 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy).  The Partridge Family star's voice wavers throughout this butchering of the Simon and Garfunkel tune.  From Bonaduce's 1973 self-titled LP.
  12. The Brady Bunch - Love Me Do.  The six Brady kids take on The Beatles.  From the 1972 album, The Kids From The Brady Bunch.
  13. Sissy Spacek - John You Went Too Far This Time.  In which Spacek (using the pseudonym Rainbo) scolds John Lennon for posing nude on an album cover.  Rainbo's debut single from 1969.
  14. Mamie Van Doren & June Wilkinson - Bikini With No Top On Top.  I'd buy a poster of these buxom ladies before I'd ever buy this 1963 single.
  15. Steve Allen - How's Your Sister.  Allen composed over 5,000 songs and was a fantastic entertainer, so this 1964 single is better than most of the songs on this compilation (that's not saying much) despite its use of gimmicky silly words.
  16. Dennis Weaver - Chicken Mash.  When this single was released in 1963, Weaver was best known as Chester, the hick deputy on the TV show Gunsmoke.  He sings this in character, trying to start a new dance craze.
  17. Joey Bishop - Your Cheatin' Heart.  Hank Williams via Vegas on this song from the 1968 album, Joey Bishop Sings Country Western.
  18. Anthony Quinn - What Is Love? And they saved the worst for last.  Taken from the 1969 album, In My Own Way...I Love You.  Accurately described in the liner notes as a "hilarious glimpse into the mind of the ultimate self-centered, middle-aged, male chauvinist slob."
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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