"Nostalgia is big today. Look at all the mini-series going back decades or the popularity of the Antiques Road Show. But the group Jive Bunny (and the Mastermixers) was ahead of its time back in 1989. Using the newest technology of the day, Jive Bunny innovated and reinvigorated classic "oldies" by merging different classics together to make new, cohesive, yet still recognizable mix songs that will have you dancing, singing, and becoming nostalgic at the same time. Taking "classics" to a new level, Jive Bunny introduced a fun style of creating music that can fill dance floors across the nation with people of all ages who just want to have fun and enjoy great music. "Swing the Mood" sets up the album, and this was the single that stormed America. Blending a variety of rock and swing songs (from Glenn Miller, to Little Richard, to Elvis) with flawless mixing and awesome sampling, this song is sure to make kids of all ages swing their stuff out on the dance floor. I remember the video was awesome, featuring a variety of old lifestyle movie clips interspersed with cartoon Jive Bunny floating throughout. Still dancing and kickin' it up a notch, "Rock and Roll Party Mix" brings back poodle skirts and greased back pompadours with classics from pioneering artists such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Chubby Checker. Slowing down for the couples in the audience, the "Lover's Mix" features a medley of crooning classics (such as "All I have to Do is Dream," "Rhythm of the Rain," and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow") that conjure dreams of days gone by as you hold that special someone close. While a bit more contemporary, "Do You Wanna Rock" pumps up the tempo and the volume again. The great attitude and danceability of the tunes mixed here ("Do You Wanna Dance," "Get it On," and "I'm the Leader of the Gang" to name just a few) defy you to stay off the dance floor. You'll be wanting to play Beach Blanket Bingo while you're twisting and frugueing away to "That's What I Like." With songs like "Hawaii 5-0," "Wipe Out," "Good Golly Miss Molly," "The Twist," and "Great Balls of Fire" (and that's only a partial listing!) in this mix, you'll be dancing away with visions of the beach and those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Absolute classics from the 40s, "Glenn Miller Medley" brings back the days of the Great War and the prosperity and many changes that followed this trying time. Swinging right along with that theme is the "Swing Sisters Swing" mix featuring all female artists with songs such as "Hold Tight," "Lullabye of Broadway," and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" that will have your toes tapping and your husbands looking for their old pin-up calendars. The release marches to a close with "Hopping Mad." With songs such as "Da Doo Ron Ron," "March of the Mods," "Lucille," and "I'm Into Something Good" driving the danceable beat, you're guaranteed to keep a smile on your face long after the release is done playing. Listening to this entire release always puts a smile on my face and gets a strong 5 star rating, being one of my top 50 releases of all time. While I would probably never buy an album by Elvis or Little Richard, this release places a ton of classics automatically into my collection, as well as gives them a facelift for the current generation so we can enjoy them once again. Is it brilliant and groundbreaking? Well, yes it was, a bit. And no one else has really done it. But that's not the key here. The fact is that this is a fun, happy release that puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I can't help but be in a good mood after listening to Jive Bunny. Unless you are an absolute musical purist or a flat out cynic, I think everyone should have this album. Young and old will be able to appreciate these classics without much argument. The songs are sentimental and help bring back happy memories, even for us youngsters! And, gosh, it's just such a fun and happy release, how can you NOT like it! This album is a must have for anyone that experiences music, either through memories, through dancing, or through sheer enjoyment. It's nice to know that when I'm having a lousy and down day, I can just pop in Jive Bunny and in minutes be invigorated, have a smile on my face, and have a positive outlook on life. There's nothing like a nostalgia pick-me-up to put you back in that positive perspective!"
Not A Patch On What Mastermix Can Do
Jon | United Kingdom | 01/28/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Let it be known, the production team behind Jive Bunny -Mastermix- are among the best in their field at this type of music making. Their DJ-only mixes are fantastic, and rival anything the big players in the game produce (namely DMC & Ultimix). So why are Jive Bunny albums so terrible? Well, that can be put down to the fact strict licensing laws prevent Mastermix from using the original artists to create these megamixes for commercial release. Mastermix may get away with using Elvis Presley samples for DJ-only mixes, but not for Jive Bunny's chart releases. That's when they use the dreaded "sound-a-likes" which, more often than not, spoil the overall production quality of what's normally fantastic mixes. Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers was the brainchild of John and Andy Pickles way back in 1988 when 'Mastermix' produced their first rock n' roll medley - a track which, surprisingly, went down well with British clubbers. Popularity was so great, a commercial release was planned and "Jive Bunny" was born. This debut album -mixed by top DJ's Andy Pickles, Ian Morgan, Les Hemstock, Rob Adlin, Martin Smith, Darren Ash, Rick Stuart and Dave Roarthy- followed suit. The first single taken from the album - a total reworking of the original club smash "Swing The Mood" - became a worldwide best-selling single because of it's unique and revolutionary production. Not a patch on the club mix, it has to be said, but this type of Megamix had never been heard before on a commercial release (DMC had scored hits with several "Sixties Mix" albums prior to this, but no-one had ever gained chart success with a 'single' mix of this quality). Sampling and mixing classic 50s rock n roll tracks, backed with a catchy drum beat, "Swing The Mood" not only brought "Mastermix" to the attention of the masses, the mix also brought rock n roll back to a new generation of music buyers (sales of rock n roll CDs greatly increased after this mix was released). The follow-up mix -Jive Bunny's second number one hit single- "That's What I Like" used the same tried and tested formula as "Swing The Mood" to create a near identical mix - with the exception of using a "Hawaii 5-0" sample to replace the 'Big Band' samples from it's predecessor. No other megamixes from this album were used for chart releases. However, "Rock N Roll Party Mix" would later be revamped and remixed as "That Sounds Good To Me" - Jive Bunny's fourth chart single. (The Christmas Megamix "Lets Party" -their third and final number one doesn't feature on this or any Jive Bunny album). The only other megamix on this album worth mentioning is one titled "Hopping Mad". Why this was never released as a single is unclear because it's one of their best mixes under the "Jive Bunny" banner. The rest of this 45 minute album is more of a 'miss' than a 'hit' - and no better phrase than "album fillers" can be used to describe the four other mixes. "Lover's Mix" - dedicated to the schmaltzy and innocent love songs of the 1950s is a very fundamental piece of work (it gives you the impression this was 'rush' produced to cash-in on Jive Bunny's surprising popularity and get this album released in time for the Christmas market). "Do You Wanna Rock" - a Megamix dedicated to the 1970s Glam Rock scene sounds so out of place on what's really a rock n roll appreciation album. To prove Mastermix's versatility in the field of creating mixes, there's two on this album dedicated to the Big Band sounds of the 1940s. First up is the "Glenn Miller Medley" - an elongated instrumental mix that provided the backing beat for the "Swing The Mood" Megamix. Trouble gaining the rights to use authentic Glenn Miller tracks resulted in Mastermix turning to The John Anderson Band for the Big Band arrangements (Mastermix would repay the compliment by producing an album for them the following year). "Swing Sisters Swing" is another World War II based Megamix featuring tracks -which I believe are the originals - by The Beverly and Andrews Sisters. Not worthy enough to deserve a single release, these two 1940s megamixes are a classic slice of nostalgia nonetheless and received quite a lot of airplay at many 50th Anniversary of VE/VJ Day parties back in 1995. This is without a doubt the best Jive Bunny album available to date, but it's no where near as good as what Mastermix are better known for producing. Later Jive Bunny albums were pale in comparison to this debut effort (some were just downright awful), but it should be known "Jive Bunny" are *not* `one' band. Instead, the Mastermixers are a group of DJ's which might go as far as explaining the decline in quality. But this is the original production team who would return nine years later for the "Hop Around The Clock" compilation - the only other Jive Bunny album worth mentioning."
Jive Bunny keeps things hopping with this album
Jon | 09/16/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A fun mix of classic toe-tapping hits with just a dash of slow-jam, belly-rubbing music, makes this a wonderful party album...Anybody familiar with big band will appreciate the liberal use of Glenn Miller's music...The Everly Brothers, Chubby Checker, Bill Haley & His Comets, and Little Richard also make welcome appearances...This album is definitely a keeper, no matter what age you are!!"
Not perfect by any means, but this is a 'must-have' CD
Jon | Scotland | 03/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1987, club DJs Andy Pickles and Ian Morgan from Rotherham, England began releasing DJ-only mixes on their newly launched 'Music Factory' record label. Mixing hits of the day proved very worthwhile as the two budding DJs became highly respected within the music industry. Still only 'small time', Andy and Ian began experimenting with different types of music. In 1988, with a project none of them took seriously, they produced a megamix titled "Swing The Club" - a collection of classic rock n' roll tracks accompanied by the original sounds of the Glen Miller band. Not expecting anyone to take notice of this, it soon became a favourite in British night clubs. Early the following year, the duo was approached by another record label with the intent of releasing it as a single. But fearing they'd lose control of their project, the duo - with the help of Andy's dad, John Pickles - decided to release the single by themselves. The Jive Bunny phenomenon was born!The single, which had to be re-recorded due to licensing difficulties - was re-titled as "Swing The Mood" and initially took the British charts by storm. Featuring a collection of classic oldies megamixed in such a way to give it a modern dance feel, the single went to number one (in the UK) on August 5th, 1989 and stayed there for five weeks. Because no-one expected this to be a hit, the Master Mixers had to frantically work on a follow-up single. And they did that with "Swing The Club Volume 2" which was remixed and re-titled, "That's What I Like". Similar to the previous hit in style and production, "That's What I Like" stormed into the charts on October 14th, 1989, reached number one the following week and stayed there for three weeks. With such a large interest in the Jive Bunny phenomenon sparking a new craze, an album was rush-released in time for the Christmas market. And this is that album."The Album" begins with the 12" extended version of "Swing The Mood". This is THE definitive version - the radio edit ruined it in my opinion. Featuring contributions from the likes of Chubby Checker, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Eddie Cochrane, The Everly Brothers, Elvis (the only sound-a-like on this megamix) and of course, Glen Miller, "Swing The Mood" is probably Jive Bunny's best-loved track. "Rock N Roll Party Mix" is basically a Chuck Berry/Little Richard tribute track that is pale in comparison to "Swing The Mood". This track, which was later remixed and repackaged as "That Sounds Good To Me", was the final megamix from this album to be released as a single (in February 1990)."The Album" slows down with the third megamix - a beautifully compiled romantic track simply called, "Lover's Mix". Featuring classic love songs from the 50s & 60s such as, 'All I Have To Do Is Dream', 'Rhythmn Of The Rain', 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' and 'Diana', "Lover's Mix" is truly a hidden gem. "Do You Wanna Rock", a megamix concentrating on the British Glam Rock days of the 70s follows. This was meant to be released as a single too, but difficulties in obtaining clearance prevented the Master Mixers from doing so (a problem that would forever haunt the producers)."That's What I Like" also appears in the extended version, and unlike "Swing The Mood", the radio edit of this song is better. Even so, it's a brilliant dance megamix featuring most of the artists that appeared on "Swing The Mood". "The Glen Miller Medley" - which was the original b-side of the aforementioned megamix - is also included on the album. There's no denying it's an enjoyable track, but you can't help but think this was an album filler. "Swing Sisters Swing" is another megamix devoted to the 1940s. This time, the Glen Miller band is accompanied by two of the world's biggest 'girl' groups of the WWII era: The Andrews Sisters and The Beverley Sisters, both performing such favourites as 'Chattanooga Choo Choo', 'Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree', 'Hold Tight' and 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'. It is enjoyable, but at 7-minutes long, it does become a tad boring after a while. "The Album" ends with "Hopping Mad", a megamix that should've been released as a single. Focusing on the 60s more than the 50s, this track is my own favourite from the album.There is a noteable ommission from "The Album" and that's the Christmas single "Lets Party" which also made number one in the UK. Funny, because both were released at the same time - and both reached the top of their respective charts. Still, this is a fantastic party album, and one you should own.Jon."
Jive Bunny rocks all ages, from 1 to 80!
Gregory Hoffa (email@example.com) | Valley Forge, Pennsylvania | 11/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jive Bunny will get everyone on the dance floor regardless of their age! This is an excellent mix of music from several era's. This is a definite "must have" for any disc jockey!"