Nov 06

MUNGO JERRY – “Baby Jump”

FT + Popular68 comments • 7,674 views

#297, 6th March 1971


MUNGO JERRY – “Baby Jump”Mungo Jerry’s shot at the mutant blues suffers from its proximity to Hendrix on the one side and T Rex on the other. Those sci-fi and glitter visions make “Baby Jump” sound like a smirk, not a strut, a cartoon growl that’s too broad to be funny (despite its clever-clogs lyrics). The band try hard to sound like wild men – but only the piano man, making his instrument into a toy laser pistol, manages it. Worst mistake though is the horribly unnecessary false ending, a perfect case study in how to kill a song’s energy and make it outstay its welcome. .




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  1. 31
    fornetti on 31 Aug 2008 #

    I do not believe this

  2. 32
    angel70 on 30 Jun 2009 #

    First this song was in the live-set of Mungo Jerry – who was 1971 in the Melody Maker Top 5 of the best live bands – just after the Stones!
    The festival-goers loved it. So the band decided to release it as a single. And it worked – Mungo´s second No.1. As a young german guy I loved this song – and it was the first single I bought from my small money. The song was so different to all other tunes I heard from the radio. So wild, so catchy – for me it was perfect! A rock-song without drums – because the band used it´s first drummer one year later with the Blues-Single OPEN UP. Yes, Mungo Jerry used different styles of music!In The Summertime is jug-band music, Baby Jump and Alright Alright Alright are rock-numbers. LADY ROSE is a pop-song. And do not forget the single YOU DON´T HAVE TO BE IN THE ARMY TO FIGHT IN THE WAR! Great content and a hymh for the young european guys who want to do social work instead of going in the army. Ray Dorset, the band-leader, was winning 3 Ivor-Novello Awards (music-oscars) for penning differnt Mungo-songs!

  3. 33
    wichitalineman on 2 Jul 2009 #

    More kudos for the Mungos: Earl Brutus based their entire sound on Open Up (a 3-day week, mud-brown sound to rival Mouldy Old Dough); Alright Alright Alright, a re-write of Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi, was the only UK chart appearance by laconic chanteur Jacques Dutronc, aka Mr Francoise Hardy. Apparently the decisive factor in Francoise’s work with Blur in the nineties was Damon’s resemblance to the young Jacques. Her duet with Ray Dorset, a reworking of Bebe Jump, remains one of my idle daydreams.

  4. 34
    Stevie on 29 Sep 2009 #

    Sorry for the delay in commenting, but I loved this record at the time. Think it was the visual image conjured up by the words (“she wears those see through sweaters” etc) to an adolescent, but seeing it sung by Ray Dorset on TOTP made it seem rather pervy!

  5. 35
    Mark G on 17 Nov 2010 #


  6. 36
    andsayyoutried on 2 Apr 2011 #

    I’ve never seen a list of Tad Doyle’s favourite songs, but if I did….

    I’d go as far to say this is the filthiest – in many senses – number one of all time. I was going to put this one down to the ‘early part of the year’ effect, but that doesn’t really fit the end of February. Maybe a combination of the postal strike and it ‘being by the blokes who did that “Summertime” one’? Whatever, the most anonymous – and by that token, easily one of the most interesting – to ever hit the top.

  7. 37
    andsayyoutried on 2 Apr 2011 #

    The fact it didn’t take long – well, for those days – to reach the summit suggests that the postal strike may have plated a very large role indeed. Enough to keep the rancid ‘Another Day’ from the plateau anyway, which works for me.

  8. 38
    wichita lineman on 2 Apr 2011 #

    My way into this was K-Tel’s 40 Number One Hits , released in 1977. I don’t think I’ve EVER heard it on the radio.

    I tried to convince Terry Staunton at NME that this should be the cover art for what became Ruby Trax. Shame!

    Also, I wanted to bags covering Baby Jump for the comp, but was told that Blur already had. The conspiracy deepens.

  9. 39
    andsayyoutried on 2 Apr 2011 #

    I wish that had been the case wl, but as it was we had to make do with their take on ‘Maggie May’ – probably the most perfunctory runthrough on the entire album. They proved with ‘Substitute’ that they could “do” covers as well, so it was doubly disappointing. So much so Alex James refused to even appear on it.

    Actually this does have a bit of a Seymour vibe to it, could see it shoehorned into a medley with ‘Fried’!

  10. 40
    Mark G on 4 Apr 2011 #

    I thought it was “Substitute” that Damon hated and Alex didn’t play on.

    To the extent that it’s never appeared on any other release apart from the “Who Covers Who” album, and that Damon won’t even have it in the house!

    It is better than “Maggie May” though.

  11. 41
    Lazarus on 26 Feb 2012 #

    On Smooth Radio’s Double Top 20 right now! Although hardly fitting the station’s remit.

    I would have had no idea it was them if the Kid hadn’t just introduced it.

  12. 42
    Mark G on 27 Feb 2012 #

    It’s the Small Faces’ “Universal”, with the guitar solo from Squeeze’s “Take Me I’m Yours”…

  13. 43
    punctum on 27 Feb 2012 #

    #41 – oh Christ, we had to switch the radio off when that came on! Awful x Pi to the power of infinity.

    Also, “Kid,” 1969 chart not that great. Six Motowns, maybe, but what a depressing top five. Engelbert in the restaurant with everybody else laughing at him, Donald Peers wrestling haplessly with Offenbach (not a patch on Robert Wyatt’s take on the same tune on Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard), Peter Sarstedt haha haha…

    Memo to both Double Top 20 and Pick Of The Pops: PLAY RUPERT BY JACKIE LEE

  14. 44
    Jimmy the Swede on 27 Feb 2012 #

    I seem to be the lone nut here who loves both “Baby Jump” and “Where do you go to…”. I can say no more than that.

    Query: Was the Rupert Jackie Lee the same Jackie who sung “White Horses”? I remember being totally agog with the little blonde Austrian girl in the latter of those two shows. I was probably about nine.

  15. 45
    Lazarus on 27 Feb 2012 #

    Yes it was the same Jackie (or Jacky, the spelling seemed to vary). Not to be confused with Jackie Trent, of course. “White Horses” and “The Lightning Tree” are among my favourite TV themes from the period.

    Is “Baby Jump” acquiring a new radio life? It was the subject of a question on Pop Master this morning. The contestant thought it was by Marmalade. FAIL.

  16. 46
    wichita lineman on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Well, it sounds as much like Reflections Of My Life as In The Summertime I s’pose.

    Re 44: Went to Paris last weekend. Got as far as a cafe next to the Sorbonne and… damn you Sarstedt!!! The bloody song was stuck in my head until I got back onto the Eurostar. It overrides any actual French music in my head whenever I go there.

    Swede, you may be interested to know Jacky/Jackie has her own youtube channel, including her own recollections of White Horses:


  17. 47
    jeff w on 28 Feb 2012 #

    ‘Rupert’ was played on POTP recently (18 Feb). Possible I have missed MC’s point?

  18. 48
    enitharmon on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Lazarus @ 45: It was (part of) the subject of a question on Radio 4 literary quiz show The Write Stuff a week or so ago, so perhaps you’re right. The other part of the question was Shakepeare’s Sister (#674). Host James Walton also made reference to the number ones either side of them, to the effect that George Harrison and T Rex were much to be preferred to Wet Wet Wet and Right Said Fred. Populistas will not be surprised to learn that I concur.

    Some years ago there was a spinoff quiz concerned with pop music rather than books and writers called [FX: frantic googling] All The Way From Memphis. I rather enjoyed it but it didn’t have legs apparently.

  19. 49
    Jimmy the Swede on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Lazarus – I am grateful for your confirmation.

    Lineman – Thank you also for the Jackie link. As I mentioned on the Sarstedt thread way back when, Paris is a city I can never tire of and I too have strolled down the Boulevard Saint-Michel past the Sorbonne with eyes raised in search of Marie-Claire’s fancy apartment. My reaction was less “Damn you, Sarstedt!” and more “You’ve got no chance, Pete, and you know you haven’t!”, which is really the story of the song. Fuelled by a number of glasses of vin de maison from various establishments (an excellent choice as no Paris cafe would have pisswater as its house wine), the recurring theme of my continuing fantasy was “Pete out – Swede in”.

    Yeah, I know…

  20. 50
    wichita lineman on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Apparently there’s “a friend of Sacha Distel” already living there. Which may be a euphemism.

    Baby Jump will also get ref’d on a new album out in May (cough).

  21. 51
    AndyPandy on 28 Feb 2012 #

    Re Jackie Lee and ‘White Horses’ (voted best children’s telly theme of alltime somewhere)- she’s great she used to take loads of time (may still do)saying thanks to all the people on YouTube who praised the song and invariably (the vast majority who seemed to be born between about 1960 and 1970)mentioned it as being part of their earliest memories. Personally it’s always been one of my favourite tunes and remember it from as far back as when we lived in our first house when I would have been 3 (when it started) and 4 (when we moved) so it was great when she replied to my comment.

  22. 52
    Billy Smart on 28 Feb 2012 #

    “There’s a little bear/ Like you’ve never seen before/ Who’s a lot of fun”…

    Infant chronology is an inexact science, but I’m pretty sure that ‘Rupert’ is the earliest song that I can remember. Until recently, I hadn’t heard it for about 35 years, but it still sounds *really* good – enchanting and magical, and without any of the frequent flaws of children’s music, not creepy nor cutesy nor arch.

  23. 53
    Jimmy the Swede on 28 Feb 2012 #

    51 – The same group you speak of (in which I myself slot in at pretty much the top) would no doubt be equally nostalgic about mice in windmills, unicorns playing silly games and Terry Scott’s brother. An age of innocence to be sure. And then there was “Robinson Crusoe” and that wonderful score.

    Happy Days indeed!

  24. 54
    Lena on 7 Jun 2012 #

    Life’s small victories: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/i-am-woman-paul-mccartney-another-day.html Thanks for reading, everyone!

  25. 55
    wichita lineman on 21 Jun 2012 #

    Can I nominate the American Baby Jump? Looking through a list of the US 1975 no.1s just now I found one I’d never heard of, let alone heard – Black Water by the Doobie Brothers. Gave it a listen on Spotify…. nope. Never, ever heard it. I won’t spoil it by telling you what it sounds like. OK, I will. Lyrically, a Creedence tribute to the south; musically, quite contemporary sounding, with a plaid shirt Americana feel (there’s a fiddle, for a start). But it’s no What A Fool Believes.

  26. 56
    punctum on 21 Jun 2012 #

    Much played by Johnnie Walker and others on Radio 1 at the time and a certified American(a) classique, is “Black Water.”

    You never hear “Bad Blood” anywhere though, if we’re talking US ’75 number ones.

  27. 57
    Jimmy the Swede on 21 Jun 2012 #

    I’m totally amazed that Lineman has never heard “Black Water” before. It’s true that it never charted here but it was, as Punctum notes, not without its champions over here, including notably and predictably Swede’s great hero Johnnie W. I say predictably because “Black Water” quite frankly is sublime. I have already juxtaposed it being top in the US with “If” by Telly Savalas, which was top here at the same time. I wouldn’t hesitate in suggesting that “Black Water” by the Dobbie Brothers is not just a good but a brilliant record. The a-cappella exit is breathtaking.

    Neil S engaged Mr Dwight to do the backing on “Bad Blood”, of course.

  28. 58
    punctum on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Still in ’75, I don’t recall ever having heard “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You),” a US #1 for Tony Orlando and Dawn. But then we didn’t get their Donny and Marie-style TV variety show.

  29. 59
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2012 #

    If it wasn’t for Radio Luxembourg doing the American Chart rundown back then, I’d have not heard a whole bunch of those US only hits.

    This’d be from around 1973, as I remember “Right Place, Wrong Time” and “Such a Night” Dr John. Having said all that, I can’t place the two songs mentioned, but no doubt I’d be “Oh, that” if I tracked them down..

  30. 60
    punctum on 22 Jun 2012 #

    I’ve got a Rhino Dr John best of that has both these tracks on it.

    Ah, the Fab 208 US countdown with Bob “It’s A Good One, Gang” Stewart from that noble American city of Liverpool. “Americans” by Byron McGregor, anyone?

  31. 61
    Jimmy the Swede on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Johnnie Walker, of course, used to play the current US number one at 1pm every Friday. This was the first time I heard “Sad Eyes” by Robert John (1979). John also wrote it but was clearly influenced by the Bee Gees. The record was played to death here but still flopped big style. I never understood why.

  32. 62
    wichita lineman on 22 Jun 2012 #

    Wow, I’d never have guessed Black Water was so well known. I’ll probably hear it everywhere I go now.

    Punctum, I heard Dawn’s He Don’t Love You for the first time a while back – it was disappointing re-titled cover of Jerry Butler’s He Will Break Your Heart. Good for Curtis Mayfield’s bank balance if nothing else.

    Swede – Sad Eyes is a great song isn’t it? Robert John’s an odd one, like the next generation’s Lou Christie. He had a minor UK hit in ’68 with If You Don’t Want My Love, how to describe… kind of soft-rock two-step with doo wop influences.

    Don’t think I’ve ever heard Neil Sedaka’s Bad Blood, ever.

    Anyone recall Maureen McGovern’s The Morning After? Not me!

  33. 63
    Mark G on 22 Jun 2012 #

    The local radio station used to get rid of multiples via phone-ins, I might have got that one.

    Bad Blood, yeah sure you have its call/response stuff.

    And funny about Bob Stewart, when I got to hear Tony Prince’s real accent on some documentary well after the event, that was shocking…

  34. 64
    Snif on 23 Jun 2012 #

    The Morning After – featured in Irwin Allen’s beginning-of-the-disaster-movie-series “The Poseidon Adventure” (lip synched by Carol Lynley) which she followed up with “We May Never Love Like This Again” from the equally disastrous “The Towering Inferno.”

    Funny thing about Black Water is that I used to love the acappella bit at the end, then got fed up with it and preferred the fiddle-driven business at the start.

  35. 65
    Mark G on 27 Jan 2016 #

    Baby Jump! Congrats to Wichita and co..

  36. 66
    lonepilgrim on 19 Jul 2018 #

    I remember the postal strike mentioned by Tom way back at #17 and it does provide a thinly plausible reason why something as inconsequential as this might have reached the top of the charts. It’s like a PG muppets riff that overstays its welcome. I’ve listened to it several times and I still have no clear memory of it other than a repetitive racket

  37. 67
    Jean Le Tallec on 23 Apr 2021 #

    Not much of a song, granted, but there’s a weird ‘vibe’ about this song that I quite like. 6/10 from me.

  38. 68
    Gareth Parker on 9 May 2021 #

    I actually quite like the griminess and swampiness of this record. A generous 7/10 here.

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