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In the Summertime

Mungo Jerry

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Album Review

The title-track is still one of the most beguiling (if casually sexist) hits of its era, but the other 14 songs are even more interesting: Jesse Fuller-influenced jug band ("San Francisco Bay Blues," "See Me") and Tampa Red-style kazoo blues ("Maggie"), as well as the influence of Piano Red ("Mighty Man") and credible instrumental blues-rock ("Mother F****r Boogie"). The hit "Johnny B. Badde" is here, and the band also covers rock & roll standards like "Baby Let's Play House," done in a surprisingly authentic manner for 1970. One of the CD reissue's two bonus tracks, "Tramp," busts up the mood a bit, with its fiddle accompaniment and a decidedly mournful tone, but the other, the hard-driving Howlin' Wolf-style "Mungo's Blues," which offers a tastefully lean Hubert Sumlin-influenced guitar solo, fits in perfectly with the existing album. The transfers are clean and bright, and the annotation is extensive.

Biography

Formed: 1970 in England

Genre: Pop

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

Mungo Jerry is 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...
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