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Baby Jump - The Definitive Collection

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Album Review

Hmmm, "definitive," you say? Well, let's see. The need for a truly all-encompassing Mungo Jerry collection has been evident ever since the early '90s brought the first in the long line of CD compilations that simply followed the same laws as the LPs that preceded them — here are the hits, here's the odd B-side, here are a couple of randomly selected album tracks. Mungo Jerry meant so much more than that, even if that brief does sum up most listeners' total knowledge of the band's output. With 60 tracks at its disposal, Baby Jump certainly comes close to the ideal. Concentrating on their years with the Dawn subsidiary of Pye Records, it travels from the debut chart-topper "In the Summertime" through the surprisingly peerless run of hits that were spread over the next four years, before winding up with the final gasp of glory that was "Wild Love," an insanely contagious number that really should have been a bigger hit than it was. In between times, each of the band's studio albums is cherry-picked for highlights, with the group's practice of unleashing non-LP B-sides flavored by the inclusion of numbers that are almost as well known in their own right as the hits that accompanied them — the banned-by-the-BBC "Have a Whiff on Me," some genuinely exciting live performances, and more. Of course, it's no substitute for picking up the original albums (and singles), and a full-scale Mungo Jerry reissue campaign remains a promise for which listeners should all be hoping. In the meantime, this anthology certainly allows the collector to finally shed all those repetitive compilations, and offers a much-needed tribute to a band that really was worth a lot more than "In the Summertime."


Formed: 1970 in England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Mungo Jerry are one of rock's great one-hit successes. Outside of England, they're known for exactly one song, but that song, "In the Summertime," is a seasonal anthem known by listeners who weren't even born when it was released. Mungo Jerry was a solid blues outfit as well -- in fact, one suspects they were the kind of blues band that purists Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies would have loved, had they ever intersected -- and knew how to get the most out of their jug band sound, which helped them...
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Baby Jump - The Definitive Collection, Mungo Jerry
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