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Sing the Songs Of...

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Album Review

Depending on one's point of view, the Bobs are either a pretentious novelty item or a group that deserves a lot of credit for taking chances. They're certainly unique: how often do you hear a cappella versions of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" and Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire?" And not only are the Bobs unique — they know how to make the pieces of their quirky, eccentric puzzle fit together nicely. Despite what their detractors say, The Bobs Sing the Songs of... isn't a mere novelty item: it's an example of a group taking off-center ideas and making them successful. While other Bobs releases have included some original material, this 1991 collection gathers some of their best covers on a single CD. No one can accuse the Bobs of only liking one type of music; this collection finds them interpreting everything from heavy metal ("Purple Haze," Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love") and country (Cash's "Ring of Fire") to Motown soul (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "You Really Got a Hold on Me"), reggae (Jimmy Cliff's "Sittin' in Limbo"), and new wave (the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer"). Never mind what the Bobs' critics say. Sing the Songs of... is full of goofy ideas that work.

Biography

Formed: 1981

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

The concept is bizarre — four a cappella vocalists who call themselves "Bob" and cover rock & roll numbers — yet it somehow works for people, even people in high places; in addition to developing a loyal following, the Bobs received a Grammy nomination for their arrangement of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter." The band was founded in 1981, when Gunnar Bob Madsen and Matthew Bob Stull lost their jobs with a singing telegram company (one can only wonder why). Together with Richard Bob...
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Sing the Songs Of..., The Bobs
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