Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Rock
The name Jerry Samuels may elude even hardcore comedy fans, but his nom de plume Napoleon XIV was inescapable in 1966, when his novelty classic, "They're Coming To Take Me Away," swept the country. The infectious ditty, wa... more »
The name Jerry Samuels may elude even hardcore comedy fans, but his nom de plume Napoleon XIV was inescapable in 1966, when his novelty classic, "They're Coming To Take Me Away," swept the country. The infectious ditty, warbled by a refugee from an insane asylum, benefited from ingenious effects and production that made it popular on radio stations across the nation. The record became a million-seller almost overnight and spawned several knock-off's, as well as an album that soon became a valuable collector's item. Rhino was weened on novelty records-in response to popular demand, we reissued the Napoleon XIV album on vinyl back in the '80s-so it's a natural home for The Second Coming. This CD includes the legendary LP in its entirety, plus three tracks from a lost follow-up album and recent recordings, all of which demonstrate how thin the line between genius and madness really is...plus, newly penned liner notes from novelty expert Dr. Demento!
Second Coming is first rate.
Jon Kreisler | New York City, NY USA | 06/12/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jerry Samuels has put together the definitive collection of Napoleon XIV classics and previously unreleased hits. If you are a fan of off-beat humor, the music and lyrics on this album are a must for your collection. The unlisted 21st track was a wonderful surprise (hint: it was on the flip side of the original "They're Coming To Take Me Away, HA HAAA!" single.) All the selections were ahead of their time with special effects. The results were well worth the effort that obviously went into recording this technical masterpiece. This album was intended as a parody and not to offend anyone. It does poke fun at mental illness, so the buyer should be aware of this."
Disappointing but still worthwhile
Lee Hartsfeld | Central Ohio, United States | 12/17/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Pop songwriter and studio wizard Jerry Samuel's 1966 novelty masterpiece "They're Coming To Take Me Away" was perhaps the toughest act to follow in the history of pop music. And, unfortunately for those of us spoiled by this work of Top 40 brilliance--a wonderful combination of Dolly Kay's 1949 "Hooray! Hooray! I'm Going Away" and Edgar Varese siren effects--Samuels never concocted anything remotely in the same league.So, is this collection a waste of money? Not at all. There are amusing, if fairly ordinary novelties; there are ingenious productions... and we're talking about Jerry (Napoleon XIV) Samuels, the man who gave us the greatest novelty track of all time. So, if nothing else, purchasing this CD is a way of saying "Thank you" in the best possible way--from the wallet.Samuels addicts may want to track down his two big pop hits--1954's "To Ev'ry Girl, To Ev'ry Boy" by Johnny Ray, and the considerably better "In the Shelter of Your Arms" (1966) for Sammy Davis, Jr. The Dolly Kay track mentioned above is also essential Samuels-history listening. Too bad they weren't included on this collection!"
Still crazy after all these years
Johnny Heering | Bethel, CT United States | 11/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1966, Napoleon XIV (Jerry Samuels) had a hit with one of the greatest novelty songs of all time, "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!". This CD includes all the material from the subsequent "They're Coming To Take Me Away" album, plus three tracks from his unreleased second album, the 1990 sequel to his hit, and four newly recorded songs. Although Samuels has dismissed the "They're Coming" album as a quick cash in product, most of the material is actually quite funny. You wouldn't think a whole album of novelty songs about mental illness would work, but somehow it does. The three tracks from his second album are very ambitious and well produced, but they aren't actually all that funny. Samuels apparently feels that "The Explorer" from that album is the greatest thing he ever recorded, but I have to respectfully disagree. "They're Coming To Get Me Again, Ha-Haaa!" is a worthy sequel to his hit. As for the four new songs, only one of them, "I Owe a Lot To Iowa Pot", is actually a full length song. The others are brief, rather silly, song fragment jokes. The hidden bonus track is the original b-side of "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!", "!aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC er'yehT", which is the a-side played backwards. This CD is a worthwhile purchase for all fans of novelty records."