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The Best of Jona Lewie

Jona Lewie

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Album Review

Irrepressibly quirky or frankly eccentric? Either way, an hour-plus in the company of the best of Jona Lewie is sufficient to induce fits of gleeful air piano playing in the most discriminating listener — an hour-plus, that is, in the thrall of such offbeat pop classics as "Stop the Cavalry" and "Louise," the demented travelogue of "Hallelujah Europa," the wallflowering anthem of "You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties," then on and on for 22 tracks until you reach the closing cover of Devo's "Be Stiff" — and you thought the Mothersbaugh brothers were weird? Charting Lewie's entire Stiff label career from the opening single, "The Baby, She's on the Street" (later covered by Ian Matthews), and democratically dividing the tracks between each of the ensuing albums, The Best of Jona Lewie falters only in that democracy. Arguably, the collection would have been served had it absorbed his On the Other Hand There's a Fist debut album in its entirety (four tracks are missing), while the period B-side "Police Trap" is also conspicuous by its absence. There is great joy, however, in being reacquainted with later gems "I Think I'll Get My Hair Cut," "Rearranging the Deckchairs on the Titanic," and "The Seed That Always Died," and the upshot is, if you enjoy the first half of The Best of Jona Lewie, there's nothing to prevent you enjoying the rest.

Customer Reviews

my favourite xmas song-stop the cavalry

Number 1 and 3 you may have heard of if you dont know Jona Lewie

Biography

Born: 14 March 1947 in Southampton, Hampshire, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s

While he wasn't one of the biggest names on Stiff Records, Jona Lewie was one of those irrepressible characters who gave the pioneering British indie label its utterly unique flavor. Born John Lewis, Lewie got his start in the early-'70s pub rock scene, playing keyboards for the Sussex group Brett Marvin & the Thunderbolts. Bizarrely, the group enjoyed its greatest success under the Lewie-helmed alias Terry Dactyl & the Dinosaurs, scoring a U.K. Top Five hit in 1972 with "Seaside Shuffle."...
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The Best of Jona Lewie, Jona Lewie
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