Top critical review
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Blue Jam: excellent, This CD: crap
on 7 July 2012
I love Blue Jam. It's my absolute favourite radio comedy, and a work of disturbing genius by Chris Morris, much like the later TV show based on it, Jam. So, why only one star for this CD? Blue Jam is 17-18 episodes long (episode 7 is a censored version of episode 6, which was faded out 15 minutes in because the BBC didn't like one particular sketch), there's 17 hours of wonderful material... and this CD, priced at £24.99 at the time of this review, commits three major sins - first and most obviously, at 67 minutes in length, it's only a fraction of Blue Jam's material, 6.5% to be precise. So that's 93.5% of Blue Jam you're missing out on. Second, this CD is not like an episode of Blue Jam - no continuous flow from beginning to end, no structure of full, wonderful pieces of music interspersed with (usually) ambient music backed sketches, some of which would follow on in theme from previous sketches - this CD is instead a random chopped up compilation of what some BBC type has deemed the "best" sketches of Blue Jam (and probably "least offensive" plays a part in that) in no particular order, akin to that most dreaded of beasts, "the clip show episode". Third, this CD - released several months after the "Jam" TV series came out - repeats a fair few of the sketches that were reused on Jam, and in one or two cases were actually much better refined in their later TV version than the radio version you'll hear here. So, Blue Jam is utterly excellent, and if the entire thing were available for £24.99 I'd happily buy it. Hell, I'd probably buy the complete collection even if it was £44.99, but no complete collection has ever been released. This CD, especially at the asking price of £24.99 is, to my mind, a complete rip-off, and (more because of the chopped up structure than because of the missing 93.5% of material) a pale shadow of the brilliance of Blue Jam. An episode of Blue Jam is an experience you can immerse yourself in and sink into the flow of, like a hot bath... but this CD is more like stepping in a puddle.