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Oct 10

JIVE BUNNY AND THE MASTERMIXERS – “That’s What I Like”

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#634, 21st October 1989

Five weeks of “Swing The Mood” and six of “Ride On Time” were more than enough for Jive Bunny to get a follow-up into the shops, the charts, and back to number one: the creature was now a phenomenon. As one of the commenters on the previous hit mentioned, the wonder is that Jive Bunny had the field to himself: if competitor singles did exist, they surely flopped. The Mastermixers, who’d been in this game a while, had a catalogue of material to work with but more importantly had the Bunny himself. As much as a pop smash, this is a branding success story, and on “That’s What I Like” the voice of Chubby Checker (“I’m gonna sing my song – it won’t take long”) seems to become that of Jive Bunny Incarnate, a cheeky compere of his own hit.

This is, for what it’s worth, the best of the three Jive Bunny number ones. “Hawaii Five-O” isn’t quite as good a riff as “In The Mood” but it fits the other selections a lot better: novelty dances, surf rockers and the gonzo end of late 50s pop. There’s even one moment which comes close to bona fide mash-up thrill-power, when the intro riff from “Wipeout” slips neatly into “Great Balls Of Fire”: unfortunately the relentless beat is too high in the mix at this point for any of the other sources to carry much charge. After that the record just fizzles out, and the return of the “Hawaii Five-O” theme (with bonus syndrums!) comes as the expected relief. More of the same, then, but – the unspeakable sleeve aside – mildly more bearable.

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Comments

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  1. 26
    thefatgit on 6 Oct 2010 #

    This one has poo stuck to it’s arse.

  2. 27
    Rory on 6 Oct 2010 #

    Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers currently have two entries in the Populist bottom 10 – will they be the first band to get three? Come on, everybody!

  3. 28
    Tom on 6 Oct 2010 #

    I have just realised the astonishingly rubbish fact that this was what was #1 when the Berlin Wall came down.

    (CARMOLODICS DEPARTMENT: “Let’s Twist Again” was in the charts (well, the US charts) in August 1961 when the Wall went up!)

  4. 29
    Billy Hicks on 6 Oct 2010 #

    (formerly known as just ‘Billy’, I’ve registered with my surname to avoid confusion with Mr Smart)

    Well…just as my favourite part of ‘Swing The Mood’ was the sampled ‘Way-woah-way-woah-way-wake up little Susie”, the best moment of this is simply the entire ‘Runaround Sue’ section, simply because I adore the original.

    I have this on the compilation album ‘Monster Hits’, which unbelievably I found in a CD shop in Battersea last year, for one pound, and the shrinkwrap still attached after twenty years. From that album, the songs I copied to my iPod were these criminally underrated classics:

    Starlight’s ‘Numero Uno’
    Donna Summer’s ‘Love’s About To Change My Heart’
    London Boys ‘My Love’
    Liza Minelli’s ‘Losing My Mind’

    …and this.

  5. 30
    swanstep on 6 Oct 2010 #

    The underlying tunes for the first half of the record are so great and fit well together, but beyond that…? And doesn’t the wrong-era, Hawaii 5-0 tune stick out like a proverbial sore thumb here? I was expecting in the vid. a bunny insert into the iconic crazed helicopter shot from the show’s credits: the figure at the top of the building spins around, and, freeze, it’s Steve McBunny (or something). But no such luck.

    The Jive Bunny records are a definite bummer (probably not worse than Crazy Frog in 2005 now I think about it tho’) in what certainly felt like a really fast forward, high energy year in music generally.

  6. 31
    Billy Smart on 6 Oct 2010 #

    Monster Hits (which is really ‘The Hits Album 11’) is absolutely jam-packed with top tunes, also including Ride On Time, 808 State’s ‘Pacific State’, Alyson Williams’ ‘I Need Your Lovin”, ‘The Sun Rising’ by The Beloved, and ‘Head On’ by The Jesus & Mary Chain’ – and is a prize exhibit in any case that you might make for the all-round pop excitingness of 1989.

    Funnily enough, I was pleased to discover a copy of 1990’s ‘Monster Hits 2 – Snap It Up!’ in Caversham Help The Aged for 99p last month. The ugly sleeve depicts a cartoon dinosaur in baseball cap, shades and beach shorts snapping his claw-fingers. Its thin stuff in comparison with Monster Hits 1, the nadir perhaps being the dubious inclusion of number 46 smash ‘Celebrate’ by An Emotional Fish (“A big future is predicted for this Irish band!”)

  7. 32
    wichita lineman on 6 Oct 2010 #

    Now! watch: not applicable as this ended up on the aforementioned Monster Hits – this is the kind of monster TWIL brings to my mind.

  8. 33
    swanstep on 6 Oct 2010 #

    @wichita. Holy crap! that’s Janet Leigh in that thar monster movie. A bit of a drop-off for her from the glory days of Psycho, Touch of Evil, et al..

  9. 34
    George on 6 Oct 2010 #

    Thank you very much Rotherham!

    Fools Gold is on the Absolute ’80s playlist but feels totally out of place with that decade. As does pretty much anything else released in ’89. The ’90s were already here in spirit and feel.

    That sleeve cover is diabolical.

  10. 35
    anto on 7 Oct 2010 #

    Never make the same mistake twice.
    Hhmm so much for that.

  11. 36
    loomer on 7 Oct 2010 #

    They were the chart spoiler of the year and were to 1989 what Robson & Jerome were to 1995, rarely are their acts as insidious as them. Looking back on it now, it’s still rubbish but with some distance from it not nearly as harrowing and embarrassingly passe as it seemed back then. Swing The Mood is sort of tolerable and has a quaint charm (in very small doses).

    There were a number of Jive Bunny-esque medleys after them of course, even stretching to clones in Europe – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pFjmrSc2ZE

  12. 37
    Erithian on 7 Oct 2010 #

    Nope, sorry, still loathsome.

  13. 38
    lonepilgrim on 7 Oct 2010 #

    re28 I thought that, but according to Wiki the Berlin Wall ‘fell’ on November 9th – by which time the next number 1 had taken the place of the rabbit.

  14. 39
    Tom on 7 Oct 2010 #

    You’re right! I forgot Everyhit’s strange date mechanism so was counting 3 weeks from the 21st.

  15. 40
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 7 Oct 2010 #

    @30: provoke not the SPOILER FROGGY a nim nim duuur

  16. 41
    swanstep on 7 Oct 2010 #

    @40. Good point. Perhaps I may be forgiven in the light of the fact that the dread amphibian did the full Jive Bunny in NZ in 2005: 3 #1s. Scarred I am.

  17. 42
    Jimmy the Swede on 7 Oct 2010 #

    That cover defies belief.

    # 33 – Janet Leigh’s finest hour was playing Miss Diketon in a feature-length episode of “Men from UNCLE”. Her character was basically Jack Palance’s gorgeous pouting secretary at THRUSH with a sideline as a knife-wielding executioner. This latter duty she undertakes most enthusistically, shuddering and gasping with a distinct sexual pleasure. There is also a scene where she tortures Kuriakin with an electrified prod and later marches him around THRUSH headquaters at the end of a dog lead. The whole performance is incredibly erotic and to say that it is near the knuckle doesn’t even come close. How Miss Diketon didn’t escape the 1966 cutting room floor amazes me. But I’m glad she did!

  18. 43
    swanstep on 7 Oct 2010 #

    @42, Jimmy. Thanks for that reference. I’ll be sure to track that ep. down. I’ve heard that Leigh was great on an ep. of Columbo in the ’70s too.

  19. 44
    wichita lineman on 7 Oct 2010 #

    Well, yes, I’d love to see that. Mildly shocking Man From UNCLE-related incident on Mad Men last night – they passed on the opportunity to soundtrack it with Angela & The Fans’ Love Ya Illya, one of the last recordings by former Popular participant Alma Cogan.

  20. 45
    Matthew K on 7 Oct 2010 #

    #9, punctum, a cascade of joy. Thank you.

  21. 46
    Kat but logged out innit on 7 Oct 2010 #

    I was very much confused by this one at the time, as I remembered The Fat Boys’ version of The Twist from the previous year. I had the impression from somewhere that Chubby Checker was a reprehensible hate figure along the lines of Bernard Manning (no, me either), and that anything he was involved in should be shunned. Why would Jive Bunny hang around with someone nasty like that?

  22. 47
    Steve Mannion on 7 Oct 2010 #

    Maybe you were confusing Chubby Checker with Roy Chubby Brown, the arguably Manning-Lite stand-up, altho I don’t remember Brown being quite as visible as Manning somehow still was even then (and tbh tho I know RCB is known for sexist humour I don’t know the extent of any racism in his material – presumably it was on the Jim Davidson level?).

  23. 48
    DietMondrian on 7 Oct 2010 #

    I believe, though can’t firm, that Roy “Chubby” Brown has done the “Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims” line, or something like that.

  24. 49
    DietMondrian on 7 Oct 2010 #

    Can’t CONfirm. Tut.

  25. 50
    George on 7 Oct 2010 #

    I’m afraid Mr Brown’s VHS doubleheader ”The Helmet Rides Again” and ”The Helmet’s Last Stand”, were as omnipresent as any Hollywood blockbuster in video collections across much of the working class north during the ’90s. There success made him a millionaire.

  26. 51
    katstevens on 7 Oct 2010 #

    I think that must have been it, also adding Bobby Brown (whom I only knew from the Ghostbusters II soundtrack) (hurrah pink mood slime filling up the Statue of Liberty) into the mix would have definitely confused things further.

  27. 52
    Jimmy the Swede on 8 Oct 2010 #

    PAGING LEX!

    Chubby Checker
    Roy “Chubby” Brown
    Bobby Brown
    Gordon Brown
    Commissioner Gordon
    Batman
    The Joker
    The Steve Miller Band
    Steve Milliband

    Okay?

  28. 53
    lex on 8 Oct 2010 #

    ???? I still don’t get it.

  29. 54
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 8 Oct 2010 #

    Don’t try! It is a doorway to h3ll for us all…

  30. 55
    punctum on 8 Oct 2010 #

    Did somebody say a doorway to heaven?

  31. 56
    rosie on 8 Oct 2010 #

    Three steps away, just up that staircase.

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