Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Chipmunks Sing Beatles Hits
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Children's Music
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The great guilty pleasure record album of my misspent youth
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I rise to the defense of this album, which is one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasure albums. The first record album I ever owned was "The Beatles Second Album," although I never did pick up another Beatles record until "Abbey Road." But for some reason I picked up "The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits," and it became a personal favorite. My brother had the two Chipmunks Christmas albums, but if I was going to spend my allowance on a record album it was going to be something I could play more than one month of the year. I have no idea what finally happened to that record album, which is long gone, but decades later I won a gift certificate for having the high score for the week at Trivial Pursuit Interactive and was happily surprised to learn that the CD for this album was something I could pick up (appropriately the other CD I got was for George Harrison's "Greatest Hits").
It all began in 1958 when Ross Bagdasarian released his novelty song "The Witch Doctor," under his stage name of David Seville. His previous success had been co-writing with his cousin the novelist William Sayron the hit "Come on-a My House" for Rosemary Clooney. Bagdasarian recorded most of the song in his normal voice but when he got to the chorus the Witch Doctor's magic words were recorded in a sped-up voice that we know recognize as the Chipmunk sound. This was down by recording the "Oo-ee, oo-ah-ah, ting-tang, walla-walla, bing-bang" at half speed and then replaying it at normal speed, which made the voices sound a full octave higher. Later that year Bagdasarian released "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)," which also hit #1 on the Billboard chart. The next thing anybody knew CBS was airing "The Alvin Show" in prime time. You can laugh, but "The Chipmunk Song" also was #1 and won three Grammy Awards (for Best Children's Record, Best Comedy Record, and Best Engineered Record - Non-Classical), and was also up for Record of the Year (it lost to Domenico Modungo's "Nel Blue Dipinto di Blu (Volare)"). So, believe it or not, the Chipmunks had the bona fides to do a cover album of the Fab Four.
It is not surprising that on the cover art for this album Alvin is playing guitar and harmonica like John, Simon is the left-handed bass player like Paul, and Theodore is making like Ringo on the drums, leaving David Seville to be George. This album was released in 1964, which meant Bagdasarian could pick from the Beatles singles and albums through "A Hard Day's Night" to pick the dozen songs that make up this collection adding up to 28 minutes of music. The first two tracks, "All My Loving" and "Do You Want to Know a Secret," were actually released as a single and showed that the Chipmunk voices could work on slow tempo songs as well as the fast ones. For the most part the Chipmunks sing these songs straight, although in the mold of "The Chipmunk Song," David has to reign in Alvin a couple of times. Except for "Twist and Shout" all of the songs are Lennon & McCartney compositions and given that their distinctive harmonies were a large part of the charm of those early Beatles songs they are perfectly suited for the Chipmunks (Bagdasarian does all of the voices)."
What a treasure!
F. W. Allen | NJ | 05/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the ORIGINAL Liberty Records lp, in '65. Still love it. My buddies and I learned the harmonies to the Beatles songs from this album, plus had so much fun in the process. This was not an attempt to cash in. This was a serious musical venture-in fact, THE VENTURES played the music on this album!"