Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Hooked on Big Bands" by Frank Barber Orchestra

Song#:  1016
Date:  05/08/1982
Debut:  98
Peak:  61
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Easy Listening

Pop Bits:  And the medleys continue! This time around the focus was swing music, specifically that of bandleader/composer Glenn Miller. English bandleader Frank Barber hopped on the "hooked" train and created an album of medleys that focused on swing-era hit makers like Miller, Duke Ellington, and others. Although his LP and same-named single were titled with "Hooked on," it was not the same as the K-Tel series that started with the Top 10 hit "Hooked on Classics." K-Tel would release there own swing LP very soon courtesy of bandleader Larry Elgart (and would do better), but Barber beat them to the punch with this single hitting the chart first and sticking around for a few months. It would be Barber's only chart entry.

ReduxReview:  Is it just me or does this sound thoroughly unexciting? Big band/swing music should be full of energy and make you wanna cut a rug. This is just plain blah. Especially for a tune set specifically to a dance track. It's well played and arranged so it is not as bad as some of the stitched together medleys, but it does nothing for me. I'd rather listen to collections of the real stuff.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Although titled "Hooked on Big Bands," the single was actually an edited version of the LP's "Glenn Miller Medley." Miller was one of the top selling artists of the swing era. At age 38, he volunteered to serve during WWII and became a Captain (and later Major) in the Air Force. He also was very active in the military bands including his own Army Air Force Band. In December of 1944, he was to fly from the UK to Paris to do a show. The plane, containing Miller and two others, disappeared somewhere over the English Channel and was never found.


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