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August 6, 2000

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Rarer Lehrer

The Superior Mutants at Rhino have released the complete recorded legacy of one of America's most remarkable satirists, Tom Lehrer, including some cuts never before issued. Lehrer fans will want to have tape recorders handy!

For more information about Tom Lehrer, check out these web sites:

PLAYLIST
Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
The Vatican Rag That Was the Year That Was Tom Lehrer One of a group of songs Lehrer wrote for the weekly satirical TV show That Was the Week That Was, which premiered on 1/10/1964. He never submitted this one to the producers because he figured it had no chance of being broadcast.
Introduction Tom Lehrer Revisited Tom Lehrer These first two cuts were recorded at Lehrer's first "farewell" concert at the Kresge Auditorium at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on 11/23 and 11/24/1959 and issued on LP in 1960.
I Wanna Go Back to Dixie Tom Lehrer Revisited Tom Lehrer A song about the Old South, rife with racism, bigotry, and neo-Fascist politics. In today's New South, of course, all that is changed. Uh-huh.
Clementine An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer Recorded 3/20 and 3/21/1959 at Sanders Auditorium at Harvard University, Lehrer's alma mater. An old-fashioned folk song as it might have been written by Mozart, Cole Porter, Dizzy Gillespie (or maybe Thelonius Monk), and Gilbert and Sullivan.
That's Mathematics The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer These lyrics were supposed to be sung to the tune of "That's Entertainment" but for it's one and only public performance (at a 1993 mathematics festival - no we're not making that up - the killjoy owners of the copyright of the original song refused to let Lehrer use it, so he wrote the tune you hear here.
Selling Out The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Rob Fisher Written in 1973 for student production entitled Park at the University of California, Santa Cruz (where Lehrer still spends some of his time). In this song, the son blames the father for "selling out" , after which mom, dad, and sis chime in with their points of view and the whole thing becomes a Sondheim-esque quartet. Tom sings all four parts here because "self-indulgence is better than no indulgence at all".
I'm Spending Hanukkah in Santa Monica The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Rob Fisher Written for a 1990 episode of Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company, a show that substituted for A Prairie Home Companion for a few years while Keillor got over feeling that he was in a rut. Given that the great Jewish songwriters are always writing Christmas songs (e.g. Irving Berlin), this Hanukkah song by a gentile (in fact, a man who subscribes to no religion at all) sort of evens the score.
I Got It From Agnes The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer Originally written in 1952 as "I Got It From Sally" but never recorded because Lehrer didn't want to get classified as a producer of "party records" a la Rusty Warren and Redd Foxx. Lehrer dusted it off and re-titled it for Cameron Macintosh's review Tom Foolery in 1980.
The Masochism Tango The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Richard Hayman The classic steamy tango taken to somewhat literal extremes. These three were recorded 1/21/1960. "The Masochism Tango" and "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" were released on a Capricorn single in 1960.
Poisoning Pigeons in the Park The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Richard Hayman Although the original version first appeared on An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer in 1959, this version didn't see the light of day until Dr. Demento's 25th Anniversary Collection in 1990.
L-Y The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Joe Raposo All the songs in this set were written for the Children's Television Workshop program The Electric Company and recorded in 1971 and 1972. "L-Y" was first released commercially on the Reprise CD Tom Lehrer Revisited in 1990.
Silent E The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Joe Raposo Originally issued on The Electric Company soundtrack LP in 1972 and also on Tom Lehrer Revisited in 1990.
O-U ( The Hound Song) The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Joe Raposo First release.
S-N (Snore, Sniff and Sneeze) The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Joe Raposo First release.
N Apostrophe T The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Joe Raposo Lehrer didn't like the way it was performed on The Electric Company, so this is his own version. This is it's first public release.
We Will All Go Together When We Go The Remains of Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer, Orchestra cond. by Richard Hayman Recorded 1/21/1960 but not released until 1997 on the Rhino CD Songs and More Songs by Tom Lehrer.


Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.


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