Peter Sellers; The Trumpet Volunteer (1958)

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Peter Sellers: The Trumpet Volunteer
Peter Sellers; The Trumpet Volunteer (1958)

There has been a long tradition of mocking the pretentions of rock and pop singers, which isn't that hard. Many of them take themselves very seriously.

When National Lampoon for example got stuck into a Pink Floyd-like musician who wanted to create a massive rock opera (on their '75 album Goodbye Pop, helmed by Christopher Guest of Spinal Tap) they were just part of a long lineage of mockers of rockers which goes right back to Stan Freberg and Peter Sellers in the Fifties.

Sellers in this track was doubtless poking at people like British star Tommy Steele, the rock'n'roll singer who was hugely popular at the time, "a star of stage, screen and radio an' all that. And records of course".

Steele was a likable, working class guy and not quite as pretentious as Sellers makes out, but it was kinda sad and strange to hear that he got his Classics Illustrated comics leather bound.

But here Sellers nails those who take classical music into rock (as Emerson Lake and Palmer and others would do in the prog-rock period) but of course his time was late Fifties rock'n'roll. Still funny, still relevant. Just the music has changed, the pretention is still there in rock today.

This comes from the four CD set A Celebration of Sellers. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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Paul Rowe - Mar 16, 2010

Rather spookily I am reading a bio of Peters at the moment (Mr Strangelove) and it is a rather good read about a rather sad and unlikeable man. I hadn't really appreciated what a huge star he was in the 60s, although a lot of those films were quite forgettable. There's no mention of this song in the book, but next time I visit my parents I'm going to dig out Dad's copy of A Hard Day's Night and see how it stacks up. Next book off the rank is Spike's My Part in His Downfall - not sure why I sepnd so much time reading about depressives....

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