Saturday, December 23, 2017

"Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" by David Lee Roth

Song#:  2265
Date:  03/23/1985
Debut:  70
Peak:  12
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Roth's first solo outing, the EP Crazy from the Heat, consisted of four oddball cover tunes including its first single, the #3 remake of the Beach Boys' "California Girls." It was pushed along by a popular MTV video as was this next single. The retro medley did quite well, but just missed out on cracking the Pop Top 10. It was also able to reach the Rock chart getting to #25.  Although not issued as a single, a third track from the EP, "Easy Street," made an impression on the Rock chart reaching #14.

ReduxReview:  Had any other artist recorded and released this tune at the time, I think the reception would have been crickets. However, Roth and his personality and videos certainly did a lot in order to make this a hit. Again, like "California Girls," Roth sells it well but there is nothing wildly different here from Prima's original (see below). It's a fun track and I'm glad that a younger generation got to discover the medley. Other than that, there was no real reason for this to exist except to entertain Roth.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This medley is made up of two older pop standards. "Just a Gigolo" was an English adaptation of an German tune from the late 1920's. Among the first artists to record the English version of the song were Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong, both around 1931. "Ain't Got Nobody" was published in 1915 and was performed by many artist. However, both songs are associated with jazz/swing star Louis Prima who combined the two songs into a medley and recorded it in 1956. It quickly became one of Prima's signature songs. It is the Prima version that Roth covered for his EP. Although it seems odd for a rocker like Roth to cover this old standard, it was a natural fit for him because both he and Prima were larger-than-life entertainers. In addition to his famous hits, Prima also became famous to many generation of fans because of his voice work on the 1967 Disney film The Jungle Book. Prima played the orangutan King Louis and sang the tune "I Wan'na Be Like You."


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