Mungo Jerry - Rewind album review

Much more than alright, alright, alright.

Mungo Jerry Rewind album review

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People of a certain age will always have a soft spot for Mungo Jerry. Their biggest and best-known song, In The Summertime, was the soundtrack to the summer of 1970; the fact that it landed in the shops in 33 13 rpm ‘maxi-single’ format was tremendously hi-tech for the time. We felt particularly proud of its chart-topping success at our local school, where MJ mainman Ray Dorset’s mother worked as a dinner lady.

It’s tempting to call Mungo Jerry one-hit wonders but as the first disc of this two-CD set proves, this is absolutely not the case. Kicking off with a vibrant retake of In The Summertime, it contains freshened-up versions of forgotten goodies that immediately sound comfortingly familiar: Lady Rose; Alright, Alright, Alright and Baby Jump, to name but three.

This revisiting-past-glories malarkey is fraught with pitfalls but Dorset is on skiffle-tastic form. He tackles his old work with a lively relish, his trademark utterances (‘Chi-chi-chi… uhh! Choo-choo-choo… ahh!’) and comb-and-paper Don Partridge-isms remaining blissfully intact.

The second CD comprises nine all-new tracks and is no slouch either. I’ll Be A Hippy ‘Til I Die offers a serious dose of mutant ZZ Top rocking; the jittery I Only Had A Dollar is prime-time junkshop Elvis; the loose-limbed Going Down To Mexico evokes visions of Lonnie Donegan in a sombrero. All of which are good things indeed.

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.