Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Great boogie-woogie band...very poor audio quality CD
Ryan Harvey | Los Angeles, CA USA | 02/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Five Red Caps were a top boogie-woogie vocal and rhythm group that formed in the 1940s (and continued until the early 60s), and were similar to the Mills Brothers and the Inkspots. They aren't anywhere as well known as these other two groups, but they should be. With their tight vocal singing, hard swingin' boogie-woogie beat, and tremendous sense of humor and fun in their original songs, they are the essence of vocal jazz and early R&B. They're infectious and fun. This album captures the band during their best period: their wartime recordings. The greatest tracks are: "Boogie Woogie on a Saturday Night," the band's signature piece and a fun piece of fast swing dancing; "It's Got a Hole in It," a very humorous song about doughnuts and manhole covers; "Get Off of That Kick," a good mid-tempo dance piece with great bounce; "Don't Fool with Me"; "Mama Put Your Britches On," a funny song of wartime patriotism calling for women to work on assembly lines to help the war effort; and "Boogie Beat'll Getcha if You Don't Watch Out," another great foot-stomper.Great as the Five Red Caps are, this CD doesn't do them much justice in the sound quality department. To put it mildly, this CD sounds wretched. According to the back of the album, no masters for these songs exist, so they were taken directly from old 78s, which were printed on inferior material. Even when new, the CD producers claim, these records had poor quality sound. The liner notes claim they enhanced them, but I don't believe it. It certainly doesn't sound enhanced: the hiss, crackle, and noise drowns out many of the tracks, especially the middle ones (starting with "Gabriel's Band," the sound quality drops immensely). Fortunately, the early tracks are in better condition, and these include most of the best songs. Still, even these are in poor shape. Considering that the CD was produced back in 1995 by a small company, I think modern digital sound technology could significantly improve the sound on these songs and clean up the noise, even if they have to come straight from on 78 rpm records. Maybe one day someone will take the time to give the Five Red Caps their proper due. Until then, you'll have to get by with this disk.But hey, even with hiss and crackle, the Five Red Caps manage to boogie woogie on through."