Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chubby Checker - Limbo Party (1962)

Dee Dee Sharp - It's Mashed Potato Time & Do The Bird

I'm looking for
Dee Dee Sharp - It's Mashed Potato Time & Do The Bird
(or separately...)

Thanks for the your help!


Abandoning for a moment his obsession with "The Twist," Chubby Checker branches out into new territory on this 1962 epic entitled Limbo Party. The half-tacky/half-serious liner notes are unusual -- and uncredited -- in fact, the only credit is to singer Chubby Checker, with a rare mention of his birth name, Ernest Evans, and the statement that he was barely 20 when releasing this. He was actually four days away from turning 21 when the Sheldon/Strange composition shot to Number Two on the charts, the singer's third biggest hit behind "Pony Time" and "The Twist." Where other Checker albums beat the same formula into the ground, all songs sounding like the production of his double-Number One-hit, "The Twist," here the producers explore salsa, soft rock, and other styles. "The Bossa Nova" is not "Blame It on the Bossa Nova," and pre-dated Eydie Gorme's hit by a half-a-year or so. It also has that cabaret feel which would be embraced by contemporary Chris Montez four years later -- though Montez was rocking harder than this with "Let's Dance" the same month "Limbo Rock" hit. "When the Saints Go Limbo In," instead of 'marching in' is a bit of a stretch, while "Jamaica Farewell" is a chance for Chubby to sing an island tune. Sing it he does, taking advantage of the opportunity, though the powers that be do slip the word "limbo" into the tender reading, keeping in line with the formula which couldn't be argued with. Checker had a home on the Top 40 charts that eluded other artists, so when he has a "Banana Boat Limbo Song" concocted for him, it is an indulgence the singer is allowed -- and has earned. "Desafinado (Slightly Out of Tune)" is slightly out of tune music designed for playing on a cruise ship: truly a different arena for the twister. Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba" gets re-designed with obligatory nods to samba and limbo, and is a fun conclusion to this respectable disc whose hit is its highlight.

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