Title - 'Mungo Jerry - The Albums: 1976-81'
Artist - Mungo Jerry
For those not in the know, Mungo Jerry are a British rock group who experienced their greatest success in the early 1970s, with a changing line-up that has always been fronted by Ray Dorset.
Indeed, the group's name was inspired by the poem "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer," from T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and the group's biggest hit was highly-infectious "In the Summertime" (which remains as their most successful song to this very day).
They had nine charting singles in the U.K., including two number ones, and five top 20 hits in South Africa and now, released June 29th, 2018 via 7T's / Cherry Red Records (UK), a simply stunning 80 track 5CD clam shell box set has been released.
Entitled Mungo Jerry - The Albums: 1976-81, it concentrates on those aforementioned years in the long lasting and highly successful career of Mungo Jerry.
CD 1 - IMPALA SAGA
1. HELLO NADINE; 2. NEVER MIND IíVE STILL GOT MY ROCK ĎNí ROLL; 3. AINíT TOO BAD; 4. TOO FAST; 5. AINíT GONNA WORK NO MORE; 6. IMPALA SAGA; 7. BOTTLE OF BEER; 8. GET DOWN ON YOUR BABY; 9. HIT ME; 10. QUIET MAN;
11. NEVER MIND IíVE STILL GOT MY ROCK ĎNí ROLL (REPRISE)
BONUS TRACKS: 12. LETíS GO; 13. DONíT LET GO; 14. GIVE ME BOP; 15. ENGLISH GIRLS; 16. HELLO NADINE (DEMO VERSION); 17. JUST WANNA DANCE WITH YOU.
Disc one features the Impala Saga album from 1976, now with six bonus cuts and, for the record, is also one of my own favorite MJ albums. In truth, Ray Dorset (aka Mr. Mungo Jerry) has an uncanny and rare knack when it comes to songwriting and seems to adapt to almost any style with consummate ease.
Always producing catchy tunes that instantly feel familiar, a dear friend of mine was amazed when he heard "Get Down On Your Baby" for the first time. Being a guitar player himself, he told me that an 8 minute or so song is not easy using only one chord without getting boring! High praise, indeed. Featuring the singles "Hello Nadine" and "Donít Let Go" plus now two rare demos, this is an underrated gem from MJ, trust me.
CD 2 - LOVINí IN THE ALLEYS FIGHTINí IN THE STREETS
1. ALL THAT A WOMAN SHOULD BE; 2. I COULD NEVER START LOVINí YOU; 3. LOVINí IN THE ALLEYS ANí FIGHTINí IN THE STREETS; 4. THE GREASE; 5. DRAGSTER QUEEN; 6. HEAVY FOOT STOMP; 7. GONE TO MALAYA; 8. CANíT KEEP IT DOWN; 9. LOVINí IN THE MORNINí; 10. JUST CANíT SAY GOODBYE.
BONUS TRACKS: 11. THATíS MY BABY; 12. SUR LE PONT DíAVIGNON (SINGLE VERSION); 13. DRAGSTER QUEEN (SINGLE VERSION); 14. WEíRE GONNA BOOGIE; 15. I DO WHAT I WANT.
Issued in the spring of 1977, the album with a tongue twister of a title was most definitely a tale of two musical halves. For one half was as you would musically expect from MJ, whereas the other half was noticeably much harder than one was used to hearing from the group.
Complete with a pounding electric rock sound throughout and screaming vocals, while the other half was more in keeping with the group's familiar low-wattage roots rock sound, the title track and "All That a Woman Should Be" represented the snarling, aggressive side of the music.
Whilst "Heavy Foot Stomp" showed off their more genial, skiffle-inspired sound (though still with a serious beat); the driving, hook-laden "Gone to Malaya" manages to recall any number of Bruce Springsteen tracks of the era; and the album closes on the heavy, electric rock 'n' roll singalong-style track, "Just Can't Say Goodbye." Now with five bonus cuts and featuring the singles "Sur Le Pont DíAvignon", "All That A Woman Should Be" and "Heavy Foot Stomp".
CD 3 - RAY DORSET & MUNGO JERRY
1. SUGAR MAMA; 2. HELLO ITíS YOU AGAIN; 3. LETíS MAKE IT; 4. HOORAY ITíS PARTY TIME; 5. GOODTIME GOODTIME; 6. BABY RIDE MY TRAIN; 7. WEíRE O.K.;
8. GIVE IT ALL YOUíVE GOT; 9. GET UP ANí DANCE; 10. CANíT GET TO YOU;
11. SHADOW OF THE TREES.
BONUS TRACKS: 12. WEíRE O.K. (DEMO); 13. SHADOW OF THE TREES (DEMO).
Mungo Jerry may seem like an ultimate one-hit wonder, since their big hit "In the Summertime" seems like the very definition of a novelty one-off, but the post-hippie, British jug band actually had a pretty varied, interesting body of work.
This Best of Ray Dorset / Mungo Jerry album, collects much of the very best of that work, and while there are some notable songs missing (such as "Motherf**ker Boogie"), this is a consistently entertaining collection that will satisfy the needs of most listeners.
The self-titled Ray Dorset & Mungo Jerry from 1978 can be found on Disc 3, again making its debut on CD. Two previously unreleased demos have been added to an album that features the singles "Hello Itís You Again", "Weíre O.K." and "Sugar Mama".
CD 4 - SIX A SIDE
1. CANíT GET OVER LOVINí YOU; 2. WHATíS HER NAME WHATíS HER NUMBER?; 3. HELLO NADINE; 4. ITíS A SECRET; 5. LANA; 6. SUR LE PONT DíAVIGNON; 7. FEELS LIKE IíM IN LOVE; 8. SUMMERTIME HOLIDAY; 9. HELLO ITíS YOU AGAIN; 10. ALL THAT A WOMAN SHOULD BE; 11. GONE TO MALAYA; 12. DANCING IN THE STREET.
BONUS TRACKS:13. WHY DíYA LIE TO ME; 14. SHE HAD TO GO Ė The Insiders; 15. ROLLINí AND STROLLINí Ė The Insiders; 16. FORGOTTEN LAND; 17. NEW WAY OF LIFE; 18. NIGHT ON THE TOWN; 19. REALLY HAD A GOOD TIME.
This compilation is as good as it gets for Ray Dorset and Mungo Jerry fans, as solo he's on top form here, but with MJ the full band format provides some thumping Glam Rock thrills. There are some really catchy flip side's to behold also, along with aspects of Soul Folk swing. Well, that along with the inevitable Bubblegum Pop with druggy lyrics interspersed with infectious nugget's of Soulful Pop/Rock, of course.
Disc 4 is the Six A Side compilation from 1980 which at the time collected a whole batch of non LP singles and B-sides and put them on an album! Seven bonus tracks have been added including rare solo 45ís by vocalist Ray Dorset.
CD 5 - TOGETHER AGAIN
1. TOGETHER AGAIN; 2. ROCKINí ON THE ROAD; 3. MARGUERITA; 4. HEART OF FIRE;
5. KNOCKING ON HEAVENS DOOR; 6. STAY WITH ME; 7. MISS YOU TONIGHT; 8. COME DEEPER; 9. SOMETHING ON MY MIND; 10. HOW CAN I LIVE A LIE.
BONUS TRACKS: 11. LETS GET STARTED; 12. HAZEL EYES; 13. HEY WHATS YOUR NAME; 14. KEEP ME UP ALL NIGHT; 15. 9 ĎTIL 5; 16. MY CHAIR.
Not my most favorite of MJ albums, it still manages to satisfy the whole MJ feel though, that's for sure. More of the same here re: Soul Folk swing and bouts of the inevitable Bubblegum Pop, which didn't hurt it, but made it more fitting for a European audience.
The final disc is 1981ís mainland Europe only Together Again album. This featured the singles "Stay With Me" and "Rockiní On The Road" and has now been joined by six rare bonus cuts.
The detailed booklet contains line notes by noted Rock historian Alan Clayson and is illustrated with numerous picture sleeves from across Europe of all the singles and albums from the time.
Official 5CD Box-Set Purchase Link