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Anna RUSSELL Anna Russell - Again? More musical spoofs SONY SFK 60317 [77:43]




Anna Russell, the female equivalent of Gerard Hoffnung, here gives us a hilarious send-up of many types of music, pop as well as classical - and the advertising industry.

Her programme begins with 'A Practical Banana Promotion.' Anna is engaged to give a recital to delegates at a fruit promotion conference - but then decides her recital should enter into the spirit of the conference which has the theme 88 - 88 being the number of calories in a medium sized banana! Well, what she does with her bananas… is for your delectation! We are told that marketing should make the banana over to suit us or if that is not possible we should be made over to suit the banana. After a dissertation on the history of advertising including the tale of the ancient advertising agency, J Walter Belshazzar who put the 'Writing on the Wall,' she sings some typical commercial jingles. For the concert-goer, for example, she suggests the soft sell with the image of a grand piano because it has a connection with the product - the banana has 88 calories and the piano keyboard has 88 keys. So, when the audience hears a piano duo they will have a craving for babana splits! For those who resist advertising, she recommends subliminal advertising - by inserting commercials between each line of a lieder so that when the listener hears - 'I knew you loved me…' they also hear subliminally - 'in my Maidenform bra!'

We then proceed to the section A Square Talk on Popular Music or The Decline and Fall of the Popular Song. Anna begins: 'People in the Pop world take an interest in classical music - for instance they have taken Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and made it into 'Tonight We Love' … so I don't see why I shouldn't, from my point of view, louse up popular singing. After all, we mustn't be chauvenistic must we? First of all, you have to use a microphone because the popular singer does not believe in developing the voice because that in turn develops other things and you have to be, above all, a dish if you're a popular singer. And then it distorts the sound and the more your vice sounds anything but human the more popular it's liable to become.' Anna then proceeds, with relish to demolish eight forms of popular song.

Finally, she also manages to deflate the mannerisms of singing from Madrigals to Modern opera. A hilarious 77 minutes and warmly recommended.


Ian Lace .


Ian Lace .

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