2020 UK

Beat Goes On Records Compilation 2020





Rating 75/100


A really big hats off to BGO for assembling this glorious 2020 ‘Mungo Gerry’ compilation a collection of their singles and extended play tracks from the 1970;s . Once again regurgitating (as is their specialty) a slice of musical documentary that would otherwise be lost forever in the annals of history. A project so beautifully researched and lavishly packaged with detailed booklet, indeed a joy to behold. Certainly too replacing in one helping a huge slice of the  “Mungo Gerry” recorded output that you might bet could otherwise be laying abandoned  scratched and wrecked in the corner of somebodies suburban attic.

In a sense just like the Skiffle baron ‘Lonnie Donnegan’ some twenty years previous Mungo Gerry traded in an ‘all American music form’ albeit heavily laundered for a mainly British audience.

Surprisingly enough the name ‘Mungo Jerry’ was not at all music related or even somehow connected to American culture or geography as you might presume. No believe it or not the group’s name was inspired by the poem “Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer“, from T. S. Eliot‘s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

The origins of ‘Mungo Gerry’ first came to fruition in 1969 with ‘The Good Earth Band ’. Included within their line- up both ‘Ray Dorset’ composer, guitarist, blues harp, kazoo player, frontman and singer and ‘Colin Earl’ keyboardist. Both these guys wanted to pursue a banjo, guitar and harp led blues and Skiffle musical direction and they subsequently started recording for ‘Pye Dawn Label’ as ‘Mungo Jerry’.

And so this bountiful package containing 43 tracks covers the A&B Sides and EP. Tracks 1970 to 1975 including their mega hit ‘In the Summertime. It is however a ‘warts and all’ collection that reaches the height’s and scoops down to the troughs of the bands output. The good time jug band musical style, although fun, is somewhat limiting and the mega hit ‘In the summertime’ in this stylisation set the bar too high and although some decent songs followed such unique quality was never really again attained. Seemingly such artistic frustrations can be detected especially on CD2 of this pairing where the direction of the music becomes uncertain and somewhat unstable exploring other elements of rock and roll and blues which, in my opinion, does not have the same husky charm that Ray Dorset’s voice carries with the pure jug band sound.

Never-the less this two CD set offers outstanding value for money even if you pick and choose only those tracks you wish to play and sway to from a selection of excellent ‘honky-tonk’ piano, banjo riddled, kazoo flavored good time music tracks. Otherwise it is in itself an interesting historical music compendium.



Disc One:

  1. In The Summertime
  2. Mighty Man
  3. Dust Pneumonia Blues
  4. See Me
  5. Mother ”!”!”! Boogie
  6. Johnny B. Badde
  7. My Friend
  8. Baby Jump
  9. The Man Behind The Piano
  10. Live from Hollywood: Maggie / Midnight Special / Mighty Man (medley)
  11. Santo Antonio, Santo Francisco
  12. Peace In The Country
  13. Somebody Stole My Wife
  14. Follow Me Down
  15. Lady Rose
  16. Have A Whiff On Me
  17. Milk Cow Blues
  18. Little Louis

Disc Two:

  1. You Don’t Have To Be In The Army To Fight In The War
  2. The Sun Is Shining
  3. O’Reilly
  4. We Shall Be Free
  5. On A Sunday
  6. There’s A Man Going Round Taking Names
  7. Open Up
  8. Going Back Home
  9. I Don’t Wanna Go Back To School
  10. No Girl Reaction
  11. My Girl And Me
  12. Summer’s Gone
  13. 46 And On
  14. It’s A Goodie Boogie Woogie
  15. Alright, Alright, Alright
  16. Little Miss Hipshake
  17. Wild Love
  18. Glad I’m A Rocker
  19. Long Legged Woman Dressed In Black
  20. Gonna Bop ’Til I Drop
  21. All Dressed Up And No Place To Go
  22. Shake ’Til I Break
  23. Too Fast To Live And Too Young To Die
  24. Burnin’ Up
  25. She Rowed
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