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Oct 10

JIVE BUNNY AND THE MASTERMIXERS – “Let’s Party”

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#637, 16th December 1989

A Jive Bunny Christmas medley was at this point probably the most inevitable thing in the entire history of pop music, but that didn’t make its arrival any less painful. And honestly, little could have prepared you for how brazenly shoddy “Let’s Party” actually sounds.

Let’s start with the backing – Joe Loss’ “March Of The Mods” is a record with several fine qualities, all of which appear in the two minutes of it Jive Bunny doesn’t use. The Mastermixers lift the march-time and riff and in their hands it immediately becomes a grim press-gang, redolent of the very worst aspects of the “party season”: the heartless forced fun of Christmas. Listening to it is like being pressed against a wall by some wobbling, braying, sodden monster who excuses all offences with the sprig of mistletoe clutched in their clammy hand.

It’s an introvert’s nightmare, and we are all introverts compared to Jive Bunny. For the first time the record acknowledges his malign presence: the “March” sections are extended to make room for a satanic hypeman crying “JAAAAIVE BUNNEH!” every fifteen seconds. The producers also drop in the occasional sample – “What the hell is going on?” asks a voice, perhaps a tactic to make the record seem like a spontaneous explosion of zany hijinks to which only boring straights could possibly object. (We’ll see this kind of thing again: Noel Edmonds, for one, is taking notes)

And at last we get to the sampled records. Naturally, having a theme handed to them on a plate and two decades of festive hits to weave together, the Mastermixes use a massive three songs. This isn’t mixing so much as carving – chunks of Slade, Wizzard and Gary Glitter hacked into the track and bleeding at the edges: Frankenstein’s monster in a kiss-me-quick Santa hat. The Slade section sounds like they’re trying to get the right speed live; before the Gary bit (“TAKE IT AWAY GAZZA!”) the MC goes “Wind It Up! Wind It Up!” as the tempo lunges upwards.

These are good records, of course – well, two of them are: Glitter is showing his eager-to-please side, not his swaggering one. But I think – just maybe – you’d get to hear them in full around Christmas without the intervention of the Mastermixers and their floppy-eared chum. There may have been worse records than this at Number One, but surely none more unnecessary.

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Comments

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  1. 121
    Mark G on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Re the TOTP edition: I hooked up the radio broadcast to the video recorder for the Mondays/Roses episode, so am possibly one of the few with a stereo video recording of this. I’d crash-edited the prog to have only those two, but would be sad if I’d missed out 808State being on the same show.

    Say it wasn’t so, someone.

  2. 122
    Steve Mannion on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Billy already did. I now realise I must’ve just had two episodes on the same tape and mixed them up.

  3. 123
    Old Fart!!!!!!! on 18 Oct 2010 #

    I’m sure I’m not the only one that thought the coda, featuring an interminable bout of giggling followed by a final “YEAH!”, to be not unlike the long drawn out death gurgles of a superannuated Jive Bunny after falling off his zimmer frame!!!!!!

  4. 124
    hardtogethits on 3 Nov 2010 #

    The only Christmas song ever to reach number 1 but be displaced before Christmas. I am amazed that there seems to be an acknowledgement that Let’s Party helped highlight March Of The Mods’ genuine charms in a very direct way, but that Let’s Party itself is still despised outright. A monstrous carbuncle on the face of an elegant stranger, it accidentally reminds us to broaden our horizons, and not to be too stuffy about it. Daft pop has always been with us, and some of it should be celebrated. Of course Let’s Party is pretty horrible, but I and others have it to thank for pointing us in the direction of the March Of The Mods. There are dozens of number ones that could turn me away from the charts as a source of new listening material – or, to be more hysterical, could put me off pop music. This is not one. 4.

  5. 125
    Billy Smart on 27 Dec 2010 #

    MMWatch: Everett True, 16 December 1989;

    “Read my lips: f*** off and die, vacuous sheep-felchers.

    Jive Bunny once caused a near fracas down the Stamford one night between our inestimable Production Chief, Steve Fletcher, and myself. He claimed that the lowest form of excreta known to man (viz: a f***ing rabbit) made better records than Black Box. I, not unnaturally, pushed him, and his chair over. But perhaps, you the readers, should decide.

    Was I wrong to do this? Was I then wrong to buy him a double scotch on the rocks by way of compensation? Should we have been in the pub at all when there’s so much exciting new music out there, just *itching* to be discovered? Can anyone read Q without an instant greying of the hair? Is Christmas a load of f***ing bollocks? All these questions and more will be answered in next week’s issue of Melody Maker. Melody Maker is recorded in front of a live audience.”

    True awarded single of the week to ‘Wood Goblins’ by Tad. Also reviewed that week were;

    Madonna – Dear Jessie
    Alvin Stardust – Christmas
    Olivia Newton John – When You Wish Upon A Star
    The Christians – Words
    Frank Sidebottom – Christmas Is Fantastic EP

  6. 126
    Auntie Beryl on 18 Jan 2013 #

    The Jive Bunny Christmas album sells thousands of copies every December, so this single – fully deserving its place at the foot of the Popular rankings – is still generating income for somebody.

    Slade documentaries don’t tend to mention Noddy Holder’s involvement in this, do they?

  7. 127
    Chelovek na lune on 18 Jan 2013 #

    @126, nor Gary Glitter ones…

  8. 128
    Patrick Mexico on 9 Apr 2013 #

    If Stock, Aitken and Waterman were the Cowell, Walsh and er, Waterman of their day, Jive Bunny were the Autotune.

    It can be destroyed. It is only one “person.” It is the only cure for the country at the moment.. whoops.

  9. 129
    Philip Arlington on 25 Aug 2014 #

    I was a seventeen year old extreme introvert at the time, and I’m pleased to say that I have no memory of this whatsoever.

  10. 130
    Gareth Parker on 1 Jun 2021 #

    #9 Jive Bunny = still more entertaining than your pointless posts! 2/10 for Let’s Party imho.

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