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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

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Album Review

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was one the key figures of the swing revival of the '90s, not just because they were one of the first bands in L.A. to play the style, but because they had the good fortune to be featured in Doug Liman's 1996 film Swingers, which helped usher the fad into the mainstream and, along with it, BBVD. In the wake of the success of Swingers, the group signed to Interscope, where they released two albums — 1998's eponymous major-label debut (their first indie album was also called Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, but it was a different record) and 1999's This Beautiful Life — before they shuffled off to Vanguard Records sometime after the turn of the millennium. Since the band had one sound — an ironic, party-hearty take on big-band swing, an amalgam of Cab Calloway jive and Rat Pack style — the two Interscope records were pretty much interchangeable, with the first having the lion's share of the good songs, since it drew from their entire repertoire up to that point while the second suffered from sophomore slump syndrome in terms of material, but that stylistic similarity means they can be condensed to one disc pretty effectively, as their first compilation, 20th Century Masters: The Best of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, proves. This concentrates just on the Interscope records, taking seven of the 12 songs from the debut, five of the 12 from This Beautiful Life, and the result is their most consistent album. True, it's still a bit samey — not only do all the songs have the same mood, but they all sound like they're in the same key — the songs aren't as distinctive as the songs they're mimicking, Scotty Morris' vocals are still flat, and ultimately the music is kitschy pastiche. But for those who are nostalgic for '90s nostalgia for the '20s, better to pick up this 20th Century Masters instead of a proper BBVD album, since it's more consistent and more fun than the full-length records.

Customer Reviews

great album

great album...i never have as much fun as going to an open field with my car, my girl and this album and swing dancin the night away. trust me, this album is a blast. lots of good swing bands out there, go find 'em and if you dig swing be sure to check out some new age jazz artists like stanton moore.


gotta love this music!!!! really fun to listen to, gets all my swing friends and i in the total mood to swing dance the night away...


well i pretty much only listen to metal... and this is one of the few exceptions. somehow, i like BBVD quite a bit, and my favorite songs are "Mr. Pinstripe Suit" and "You And Me And The Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)". so anyway... great band, listen to them.


Formed: 1990 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

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

Like Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy revived big-band music for the '90s and beyond. BBVD concentrated on the swinging days of the '40s and '50s, borrowing some of the Rat Pack lingo in addition to the zoot suits that cloaked each bandmate. Formed in Los Angeles in 1992, the group built up a following with regular gigs on the local lounge circuit, playing to Gen-Xers enamored with the kitschy charm of the cocktail nation. This burgeoning lounge scene was...
Full Bio

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