Top critical review
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Not bad, but flogging a dead 'bunny' nonetheless....
on 17 August 2009
2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the first Jive Bunny single, Swing The Mood; so to coincide with the event, Music Club Deluxe have released what they claim to be The Definitive Collection However, it should be noted that - with the exception of this being a two disc offering - there's at least six other Jive Bunny Greatest Hits CD's out there to ponder buying before this one. In truth, this Definitive Collection offers fans nothing new.
Despite this being the 20th anniversary of Swing The Mood, JB only released three official albums during it's chart career: The Album in 1989, Its Party Time in 1990 and Hop Around The Clock in 1998. It should be noted that all the other budget price offerings from the 'party animal' throughout the 90s had nothing to do with Music Factory; the producers of the three 'real' albums. All 20 tracks featured came from those albums.
DISC ONE: It's only natural that Swing The Mood takes pride and place of being the first song on this two-disc set. Reaching number one in the UK charts in 1989 (and throughout the world too for that matter), that's followed on this album by another homage to 50s rock n roll, Jukebox Story" (a shorter version that appeared on Hop Around The Clock. Hot Summer Salsa is probably the worst JB single of their career, so it's one to avoid as is Crazy Party Mix (not to be confused with Crazy Conga Mix that was a single in 1990 and doesn't appear here). Glenn Miller Medley is really just the background swing music from Swing The Mood (and it's original b-side) while Swing The 60s is a ho-hum sixties Megamix which doesn't exactly make you want to replay it. Hopping Mad is a fantastic rock n roll Megamix which, strangely enough, was never released as a single from their debut album. That Sounds Good To Me (originally titled Rock N Roll Party Mix) was JB's final top 10 hit from the debut album, but a good one nevertheless to bow out on. Can Can You Party - JB's first venture into 70s music - was a good enough effort and another top 10 hit. The first disc closes with the forgettable The JB Shuffle medley.
DISC TWO: The disc opens with That's What I Like, JB's second number one hit which was almost a carbon copy of Swing The Mood. Unfortunately, that's followed by Let's Swing Again - a poor attempt to recreate Swing The Mood (and the first JB single to fail in the charts). Rock N Roller is another below-par medley, but the disc is saved with the next offering "Hop Around The Clock" which sees the Bunny return to the golden days of rock n roll. The Roaring Twenties is an obscure Barbers Shop Quartet medley that doesn't really work, while the Lover's Party Mix is a slow 50s offering lifted from their debut album. Soul Banana is quite a misleading title as this Megamix doesn't feature soul music, but it's acceptable. Rock N Roll Beethoven is another forgettable medley, while Best Of British focuses on the British Invasion of the US during the early 60s. The disc ends with Lets Party, their third and final number one. It should be noted that, like Swing The Mood and That's What I Like, this is not the original version. Also, the sample All I Want For Christmas Is You replaces Rock N Roll Christmas by a certain G. Glitter for obvious reasons.
To summarize, as a stand-alone album, this wouldn't be that bad. But it seems the record company is hell-bent on milking the Jive Bunny product to such an extent, it seems they are now flogging a dead horse.