1995 is a fertile year for the albums that randomly arrive in the post without any indication of their provenance. That year has already brought us The Lone Ranger and It’s Time. Now it brings us a third forgotten horror, Bugs & Friends Sing the Beatles, subtitled “The Furry Four Sing Their Fab Four Favourites!”.
I have to be honest, I don’t really know where to start. I loved Looney Tunes cartoons when I was a kid. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck were my favourites, and Disney could absolutely do one. So I had a small glimmer of hope that there might be something entertaining about this. Then I put the CD in and – in a Four Word Reviews first – I genuinely had to pause it at the end of the first track to try and gather my thoughts and steel my nerves to get through the rest.
I don’t even know what’s worst. Is it that they’ve taken on brilliant, beautiful songs and wilfully converted them into vehicles for terrible puns on other Beatles song names and cartoon fights with lots of sound effects? Is it the fact that almost every song breaks down in the middle into a spoken-word sketch of some kind? Is it that even when they’re not talking, they mostly speak the lyrics in “funny” voices or respond to them in some way? Is it the patronising Indian accent in “Fool on the Hill” when Elmer Fudd is asking his swami for spiritual guidance?
Actually, no, I do know what’s the worst and it’s none of those. It’s that you’re not even listening to Bugs, Daffy, Elmer and Taz. You’re listening to four bad impressions of Bugs, Daffy, Elmer and Taz and they are slowly battering eleven Beatles songs into an early grave. Taz doesn’t really matter because he’s not in it much, but his character isn’t really meant to speak. Elmer’s voice is wobbly and cracked and sounds awful when singing. Daffy is vaguely convincing until he does his catchphrase “woohoo!” and then the actor loses the character a bit. And Bugs is… well, I don’t know who Bugs is, but he’s not Bugs Bunny. It’s not convincing at all. He doesn’t even speak in the right register. I have never missed Mel Blanc so badly.
|Track||Title||Word 1||Word 2||Word 3||Word 4|
|1||She Loves You||She||wouldn’t||love||this|
|2||The Fool on the Hill||Elmer||Fudd’s||harrowing||vocal|
|5||With a Little Help From My Friends||Elmer||bludgeons||another||classic|
|6||It Won’t Be Long||It||was||too||long|
|10||Can’t Buy Me Love||No||no||no||no|
|11||The Long and Winding Road||Featuring||Roadrunner||“meep||meeps”|
The jokes are bad. The sketches are bad. The scripted-to-death ad libs are bad. The changes to the lyrics are bad. The way they shoehorn other Beatles song titles into their jokes is beyond bad. The instrumental version of “The Long and Winding Road” that featured only backing vocals and Roadrunner – “the long and winding road MEEP MEEP that leads to your door” – was painful. But I think worst of all is that I listened to the album and it made me realise what brilliantly written songs these are and how sad it was to hear them being taken for granted and pillaged for cheap laughs that mostly don’t land by people without even half the talent of the original songwriters. It’s a horrible parody of brilliant music by people doing a horrible pastiche of a brilliant voiceover artist. There’s no joke at the end of this paragraph. It’s just really sad.
In all, this was among the worst things I’ve ever listened to, though still not as bad as “To The Extreme” by Vanilla Ice which is the worst thing that has ever happened to me and will never be matched. My favourite thing about this album was Daffy Duck singing “suddenly!” in Yesterday. My least favourite thing was basically everything else.
19 comments on “Four Word Reviews: Bugs & Friends Sing the Beatles”
I couldn’t quite believe it could be as bad as you said, so I listened to about 30 seconds of it on you tube and now I feel sad too.
I even think you gave the voices more credit than they deserved. It’s like they had heard the loony tunes for the first time over long-wave radio and were acting it out on some remote island for something to do, driven delirious by the heat and lack of water.
As you know, I am the king of bad ideas (and also good inventions) but whether this is on paper or in your ears it is a cheap and nasty way of profiteering from two very separate sources. Neither Looney Toons nor Beatles fans would enjoy this tripe.
If I’m honest I think I gave it a pretty favourable hearing.
I’m glad you listened to a bit, if only to understand what I go through to write these things.
When my ears heard it (that’s my hearing ears) they weren’t as offended as yours. You can never replace Mel Blanc though; that’s a hole too big for anyone to fill.
Yeah, he left a blanc space when he departed that no two-bit shonky impressionist could fill. (ba-dum-chish)
Should I do a Taylor Swift reference here, or is that too much?
Go ahead. We’re all ready. If it falls flat I’ll probably make a pun on Sandi Toksvig’s name and we’ll all move on before anyone notices.
He left a blank space baby, and I’ll write his name.
Oh dear, that didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.
Wow. That was much worse than I expected. OK, wait for the end of the chorus and then leg it. *ahem*
From the taste of your lips I’m paralysed
You’re toxic I’m slipping under
It’s the taste of a poison paradise
I’m addicted to you
Don’t you know Sandi Toksvig?
And I love what you do
Don’t you know Sandi Toksvig?
Ewww. You have soiled my thoughts.
I guess Kev doesn’t know Sandi Toksvig.
I think he does, and that’s what is so disgusting. He DOES know Sandi Toksvig, if you feel my flow.
Poor Sandi Toksvig.
I once sat opposite Sandi Toksvig on a train to London. She was reading a script for that word program she was on with Bob Holness.
I knew it.
And then what happened, you filth hound?
Come on. We all know the answer to that. It involves ramping and dryness.
Did you know the names Butch Vig and Sandi Toksvig rhyme?