King Kurt

  • King Kurt
  • Ooh Wallah Wallah (UK Stiff) 1983 
  • Road to Rack & Ruin (Ralph) 1985 
  • Second Album (UK Stiff) 1986 
  • Last Will and Testicle (GWR/Restless) 1988 
  • Live and Rockin' (UK Link) 1989 
  • Destination Demoland (UK Link) 1990 

This bunch of British goofballs (originally known as Rockin’ Kurt and the Sour Krauts) picks up where novelty songs like “Stranded in the Jungle” and “Alley Oop” left off. They mix big-band R&B-flavored rockabilly with a crazed, comic book mentality and lots of drums. Dave Edmunds produced the boisterous debut LP, which raucously proffers such non-classics as “Bo Diddley Goes East” and “Destination Zulu Land.” A bit too formulaic for mega-fun, but a good smirky laugh nonetheless.

KK’s Second Album, known semi-officially as Big Cock (thanks to the monstrous rooster on the cover), is great, a wildly out-of-control ride through a half-dozen areas of lighthearted rock’n’roll fun. Side One kicks off with an energetic, distinguished version of Eddie Cochran’s “Nervous Breakdown” and ends with an uncredited voice that sounds suspiciously like Nigel Planer (Neil of The Young Ones) lost in a jazzy novelty number called “Billy.” “Horatio” recalls the inimitable Tenpole Tudor; “Pumpin’ Pistons” leers like a drunk in a strip joint; the horrific thought of there being a “Momma Kurt” is enough to power this greasy R&B number along. (The disc was released in both black and red vinyl; the tape has two extra tunes.)

Road to Rack & Ruin is an American mini-album culled from tracks on the first LP plus a couple that wound up on the second; Live and Rockin’ is a concert document from Japan.

[Ira Robbins]