Haven't done a sortie through the darker corners of Spotify for a while, which is timely as just in the last week or two a record approaching legendary status, one we've mentioned before in this feature, has appeared. (As has two albums and an EP short of the Half Man Half Biscuit back catalogue, come to mention it.) In the meantime...
Morecambe & Wise: EMI Comedy Classics
All the family favourites - Positive Thinking, Boom Oo Yata-Ta-Ta, a nascent Grieg's Piano Concerto, obviously Bring Me Sunshine - but also a lot of obscure silliness and music hall adaptation, not to mention sketches which involve Ern punching Eric's face in, a sketch in which much of Morecambe's sketch involves the phrase "I'll smash yer face in" and the ultra-meta song The B Side. And an answer song to Who Put The Bomp. Suspect much of this comes from their pre-Christmas colonising ITV phase, much like this triumph of improvised crosstalk:
Mary Schneider: Yodelling The Classics
Oh, and she does alright. Clarinet Polka Yodel may be her personal Mexican Whistler, but the last track Yodelling Comedians is worth your time for how it sees her start phrases in some remarkable octaves.
Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Crypt Kickers - The Original Monster Mash
Variations on a theme of Pickett's Halloween classic, mostly on how the success of his and the Crypt Kicker Five - make your mind up, Bobby - had affected various players in the extended story and on the whole idea of partying the crypt down.
St Winifred's School Choir - Children's Party Time
No idea whether this is the classic Grandma line-up - it's not on the album, St Winifred's were very much singles artists but contracts are contracts. They have a solo shot at the school's other vocal choir hit, Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs, as well as a miniature Yellow Submarine, an unnecessarily electro Zip A Dee Doo Dah, a fully emotive bordering on sickly in those numbers Bright Eyes and a spirited for their age Dancing Queen. If You're Happy And You Know It, Old McDonald, London Bridge and Simon Says restore the schoolkid equilibrium.
Chartbusters Go Pop!! 16 Legendary Covers From 1969/70 As Sung By Elton John
Elton was a staff songwriter and session pianist - he's on He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother, Back Home and a Barron Knights record - with a sideline in sub-Top Of The Pops albums PRS-avoiding 'recreation' compilations. In The Summertime (with raspberries), Yellow River, Spirit In The Sky and Signed Sealed And Delivered are among the few that have survived time's cruel mistress ways. Hearing him having a shot at Young, Gifted And Black is a proper eye-opener.
Van Morrison - Payin' Dues
It's the contractual obligation album! Fantastic! All you need to know is that in 1967 Morrison was contracted to a final session with Bang Recordings, the US label he hated, so he went in and made up 31 stupid songs on the spot with an out of tune guitar. The label still released them. Ring Worm is on there. Want A Danish ("no, I just ate") is on there. The Big Royalty Check is on there. The Wobble. Here Comes Dumb George. Blow In Your Nose. Nose In Your Blow. You Say France And I Whistle. The lot.