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National Lampoon - Lemmings (LP)

National Lampoon - Lemmings (LP)

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IGenre: comedy
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Title:  Lemmings
Company: Blue Thumb
Catalog: BTS-6006
Year: 1973
Country/State: US
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve with insert
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6131
Price: $10.00

'll readily admit that lots of National Lampoon's catalog escapes me - maybe its an age thing, but much of their catalog never struck me as being particularly funny. 1973's "Lemmings" was one of the exceptions. Based on National Lampoon's off-Broadway Lemmings comedy review which included a mixture of sketch comedy and parodies of popular pop and rock acts, the show was a sometimes mean-spirited stab at the Woodstock Nation (aka The Woodchuck Festival of Peace, Love and Death). If you've ever seen the Woodstock movie, large parts of the album will strike a chord with you and you're bound to recognize most of the superstar acts getting their comeuppances here (CSN&Y, Joe Cocker, John Denver, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, etc.)

- 'Lemmings Lament' started the album off with a great funny parody of the Woodstock stage announcements (which continued between the individual songs). Once the introductory stage comments were over, Paul Jacobs turned in a stunning David Crosby impression as part of 'Freud, Marx, Engles & Jung'. Not sure who provided the guitar solo, but it was suitably manic. rating: **** stars  
- Christopher Guest handled lead vocals on the Dylan parody 'Positively Wall Street'. Turning in another stunning impersonation, Guest's performance made for one of the funnier numbers ... rating: **** stars

- Alice Playten was Goldie Oldie - I'm guessing this one was meant as a stab at either Brenda Lee, or Reparta and the Delrons. Not particularly funny.  rating: ** stars 
- Chevy Chase took dead aim at John Denver and the singer/songwriter genre via 'Colorado'.    rating: *** stars 
- Guest did an even more deadly Richie Havens cover (though it only lasted a split second).
- Motown was the next target via the hysterical 'Papa was a Running Dog Lackey of the Bourgeoisie'. Amazing how much of Berry Gordy's patented sound they managed to cram into two and a half minutes.   rating: *** stars
- 'The All Star Dead Band' managed to name check an impressive collection of dead and still alive stars ... Duane Allman and Jimi Hendrix getting the biggest applause.     rating: ** stars
- Guest saved some of his sharpest arrows to skewer for James Taylor and the wave of early-1970s singer/songwriters. They even managed to nail Taylor's backing band ...       rating: **** stars
- Canned Heat survives about two seconds at the start of the 'Hell's Angels' segment which then basically descends into a couple of minutes of pure obscenity. Guess it was funnier back then ...    rating: ** stars
- The 'Farmer Yassier' segment was probably lost to anyone who didn't see the film, but was a parody of farmer Max Yasgur who owned the land on which Woodstock was held.   rating: * star
- Showcasing John Belushi, 'Lonely On the Bottom' was a truly spooky take on Joe Cocker and the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. Belushi did this one of Saturday Night Live ... one of his all time great performances.   rating: **** stars

- 'Megadeath' was funny and surprisingly on target as a precursor to Guest's forthcoming Spinal Tap career, to say nothing of the wave of heavy metal espoused by the likes of Megadeth (note the missing 'e'). Quite heavy. Think they turned it up to 11 ...   rating: *** stars

Yes, this one hasn't aged all that well and anyone younger than 30 may simply scratch their head wondering what all the excitement was about.  
"Radio Dinner" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Stage Announcements - 1:54
2.) Lemmings Lament (Paul Jacobs - Sean Kelly) - 3:05
3.) Stage Announcements - 2:10
4.) Positively Wall Street (Paul Jacobs - Christopher Guest - Sean Kelly) - 2:42
5.) Weather Person - 1:20
6.) Pizza Man (Christopher Guest - Sean Kelly - Tony Hendra) - 3:45  
7.) Stage Announcements - 0:58
8.) Colorado (Christopher Guest - Sean Kelly - Tony Hendra) - 4:13
9.) Richie Havens / Crowd Rain Chant - 1:20

(side 2)
1.) Stage Announcements - 0:44
2.) Papa was a Running Dog Lackey of the Bourgeoisie (Paul Jacobs - Tony Hendra) - 2:35
3.) The All Star Dead Band - 2:15
4.) Highway Toes (Christopher Guest - Sean Kelly) - 2:41
5.) Hells Angel Stage Announcements - 4:58
6.) Farmer Yassier
7.) Lonely On the Bottom (Paul Jacobs - John Belushi) - 5:48
8.) Megagroupie 1:50
9.) Megadeath (Paul Jacobs - Sean Kelly) - 3:22
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