(Debut Album : Released 1970)
BABY LET'S PLAY HOUSE/JOHNNY B.BADDE/SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES/SAD EYED JOE/MAGGIE/PEACE IN THE COUNTRY/SEE ME/MOVIN'ON/MY FRIEND/MOTHER!*!*!*BOOGIE/TRAMP/DADDIE'S BREW
MORE HAPPY SOUNDS FROM MUNGO JERRY...
"Mungo Jerry came to us 'In The Summertime', just like their great big hit. They brought a couple of new things along with them - a chart topping mini-LP and happy-go-lucky sound to put us in a holiday and festival mood. You can't put their sound into any particular bag - they bits of everything and mix it into infectious music anyone can enjoy.
Their LP, Mungo Jerry (Dawn DNLS3008) is a usual size album full of entertainment. With such instruments as the kazoo, six and twelve string acoustic and steel guitars plus banjo, violin, piano and harpsichord in evidence on various tracks, it's a winner. Titles are 'Baby Let's Play House', 'Johnny B. Badde', 'San Francisco Bay Blues', 'Sad Eyed Joe', 'Maggie', 'Peace In The Country', 'See Me', 'Movin' On', 'My Friend', 'MotherFuckerBoogie', 'Tramp' and 'Daddies Brew'.
Oh, and don't forget to take a look at the 3D picture inside the sleeve. It stands out like the jolly, happy music of Mungo Jerry".
The Star, October, 1970.
THAT GOOD-TIME MUNGO MUSIC...
"Despite their disappointing London debut at the Lyceum, Mungo Jerry might just be succeeding in bringing good time music back to prominence.
A spell of fine weather and the Hollywood Festival all helped but they'd have made it anyway, judging by the evidence of their first album. Most of it is better than their hit single, and there's a surprising amount of variety. They veer from rock'n roll parody (the classic 'Baby Let's Play House') to jug band blues (Jesse Fuller's, 'San Francisco Bay Blues') and the question of integrity and validity never comes into it, because they're so obviously enjoying themselves and that makes it much easier for the audience to enjoy it too.
With the exception of 'Daddies Brew', the songs are singer-guitarist Ray Dorset, who's rollicking and frequently amusingly bawdy, and Paul King whose things are rather more thoughtful. Colin Earl wrote 'Brew' and plays knockout piano on 'Sad Eyed Joe'. Possibly the most extraordinary track is 'See Me', which contains some horrifying screaming, not recommended for those with faint hearts. King's attractive 'Movin' On' contains some nice hoedown violin from guest Johnny Van Derrick and there's good rolling instrumental called, 'Mother*!*!*!Boogie'.
This isn't an album which requires analysis but I'm sure it will bear repeated listenings".
Melody Maker, July 25th, 1970.
"Backing up their fantastic hit single comes their first album, 'Mungo Jerry' on Dawn (DNLS3008) complete with 3D specs with which to view the open-out inside cover photo. Such a gimmick is really not necessary. The contents are a continuation of the kind of music on the maxi-single, warm, groovy stuff that's sure to please almost everyone. All new numbers on the LP,
Mungo Jerry are definitely here to stay"!
Music Press, 1970.
...THE BAND'S VIEW...
REVIEWS FROM THE INTERNET...
"This album is as much fun as a barrel of monkeys. Not only is it very unique and underrated, but it contains so many old-timey influences it's hard to count them all. I know I hear a lot of Kazoo, violin, piano, slide guitar, and harmonica. Pegging this album as "swamp rock" does the genre more justice than the band. Every song catches immediately, whether it's zydeco, blues, ragtime, folk, dixieland, or some kind of deranged, vaudeville back-alley show tune".
"A mix of good timey, beer swiggin' R&B, and jug band music, with many funky styled beats".
"In the summer time when the weather is high you can chase right up and touch the sky, when the weather's fine you got women, you got women on your mind. Have a drink, have a drive go out and see what you can find” – after it was released “In the Summertime” was in the air all over the world and this catchy upbeat song sounded quite different from the rest popular stuff of the time. To listen to the album was mostly fun then, and it is mostly fun now – 'though this set doesn’t offer much variety the music is pretty original".
"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 Fucker 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".
"Mungo Jerry's debut album, released hot on the heels of the mega-selling "In the Summertime," was more or less a straightforward recapitulation of what was already regarded as among the hottest live shows around. Although a handful of concert favorites ("Mighty Man," for one) were lacking, the kazoo-powered "Maggie," the pounding country-bop "Johnny B. Badde," and a barnstorming reworking of "Baby Let's Play House" were all present and dynamically correct, together with the unequivocally titled "Mother*!*!*! Boogie," a knock-'em-dead instrumental duet for piano and mouth organ that says as much about Mungo Jerry's sense of fun as any of the band's better-known numbers. Although Mungo Jerry is clearly the work of a band still finding its feet, all the hallmarks of the group's future career are already visible, both good and bad. In the latter category, the song writing conflict that would eventually see Paul King depart the band is painfully evident, as the haunting "Movin' On" and "Tramp" deliver melodies and arrangements far from the stamping, hooting, honking glee that was Ray Dorset's forte. Similarly, the somewhat samey style that would eventually scupper the band he left behind is mapped out by "See Me," a song that retrospect paints as a virtual medley of every great hit Mungo Jerry ever scored. At this stage, however, such fears and failings were far off in the future, and Mungo Jerry emerges triumphant, a mixed bag of jug-folk-blues that does indeed boogie like a mother*!*!*!"
RAY DORSET/MIKE COLE INTERVIEW
Click on the link to read a recent interview by Steve Elliott for SOMETHING ELSE with Ray Dorset and Mike Cole, where they chat, amongst other things, the making of that first album.
...AND THE FANS SAID...
"Surprisingly, the album that was rush released hot on the heels of 'In The Summertime' did not include the song as one of the tracks. The album was a kind of, 'This Is Mungo Jerry' feature which successfully explored all of the elements which made up the Mungo-sound. Interestingly, the opening number was Ray's tribute to the Rock'n Roll era, 'Baby Let's Play House'. It was an introduction to the hard rocking side which still dominates Mungo Jerry to this day. All aspects of the group's sound were examined in 'Johnny B.Badde', a happy-go-lucky, hippy-busker song, the trad.arranged 'San Francisco Bay Blues', the sleazy good times of 'Maggie', and another hippy anthem, 'Peace In The Country'.
Individual influences were expressed in Paul King's 'Sad Eyed Joe'. This was a charming little track driven by Paul with nice guitar work in the background by Ray. The little stop-start bit at the end makes you want to play it all over again. Paul also displayed his art and talent on 'Movin' On' and 'Tramp', a sad reflective little piece on the plight of a homeless old man.
Colin Earl took full advantage of his brief to turn up the ivories and he did so with gusto on almost every track. He even got to sing his own composition, 'Daddies Brew', which harked back to memories of 'The Killer', Jerry Lee Lewis'. I must interject however, that I actually know some real-life revenue men who could drink the hero of this song under the table!
When Paul King had time to think, he would consider grand themes and serious topics for expression in his song writing. Ray Dorset, on the other hand, would reflect upon the gravity of having been taken for a ride by a hooker who left him penniless and other important stuff like that. This was the kernel of the group's appeal; you had a band of accomplished musicians with a 'wild-man' as band leader. If anyone needs confirmation of the heights of lunacy which this group could scale, listen to 'See Me'. No-one, we're sure, needs reminding of the high degree of skilled musicianship which ranged from Mike Cole's suave double bass to Paul's jangling banjo. Just cop an earhole of Mungo Jerry's only instrumental, 'Mother*!*!*!Boogie'".
"I didn't really get right into Mungo Jerry until 'Baby Jump', so didn't buy the debut album probably until, the summer of 1971. I do remember buying it, walking home from town (a couple of miles) on a boiling hot day, with a can of fizzy orange and a Mars Bar. Funny the things you remember? I think that I played it over and over and loved it after the very first play. 'Baby Jump' had knocked me out! I had never heard anything so exciting, and this LP, although not really like 'Baby Jump' at all was just the same. Even now, I don't feel that there is one bad track on the album, my only regret is that Joe Rush didn't get to lay down some washboard on some of the numbers. Joe reckons he was at the recording sessions with his washboard taken out of the mix, but Ray doesn't think he was? The only evidence that basically proves that he was there is that he played on 'Dust Pneumonia Blues', the b-side of 'In The Summertime'. Oh, how I would love to re-mix the album with washboard on such things as, 'Johnny B. Badde', 'San Francisco Bay Blues', 'Maggie' and 'Peace In The Country'. Something struck me a few years ago when looking at some old Mungo photos, when it suddenly came to me..."doesn't Joe have sad eyes"? Of course, I then thought about 'Sad Eyed Joe', and asked Paul if he had written the song about Joe and him leaving the band before 'Summertime, etc, and he answered with one word, "Probably"!
A great album!!!
Alan Taylor, Mungomania!
"One sunny afternoon in early June 1970, I heard Alan 'Fluff' Freeman play 'In The Summertime'. I was hooked, this good-time, no-nonsense music was what I had been waiting for. I had to buy this record but it took two trips to the record shop because this new style maxi-single was more expensive.
At last someone wanted to have fun making music, and has there ever been a better summertime record? There were other treats in store when I bought Mungo's first album, this great music came in different styles. Mungo's music stands the test of time because the songs still appeal to people who like to have a good time...which I certainly do!
"When I first bought this album, at the tender age of 13, this was my favourite track. I defy anybody not to tap their feet along with this. Colin's piano at its very best".