Bear Family Records present this compilation, featuring such songs as Easter Parade, Apple Blossom Time and It’s Spring Again. But does Spring Fever – 28 Easter Nuggets For Your Spring Season live up to its intention?
Spring Fever – 28 Easter Nuggets For Your Spring Season contains 28 tracks all centred around Easter and springtime. There are many titles here featuring the words “egg”, “chicken” and “Easter”, while the rest of the track listing pertains to the wider theme of Springtime.
Highlights are deservedly the Les Paul number Chicken Reel – a fine example of his technically impeccable, peppy jazz instrumental sound. But three tracks later we have the Fat Daddy Holmes track Chicken Rock. This does feel a little repetitive, though in mood deserves equal merit. My other pick has to be the gorgeous title song from the movie musical Easter Parade, performed by Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. It fits perfectly here in terms of theme, though is perhaps not entirely in keeping with the dominant musical styles here.
Listening through all 28 tracks, the vibe could be a bit more varied for my taste. Most of the tracks are on the same level: I found it difficult to concentrate for a complete play-through. Nothing came along to really pique my interest.
Having said that, there is also nothing wrong with the quality. Aurally the sound reproductions are not as sharp as one might wish to hear. But the musical content within is sound and comes from some very reputable names.
This looks like a gimmick, with so many tracks containing references to chickens and eggs. But, for a themed compilation, it does not sound like a novelty. It is a collection of tunes which, taken on their own, are solid examples of jazz, rock and roll and country music.
A Little Something Extra…
As we have come to expect from Bear Family Records, the booklet is full up with photos and information on artists and tracks. It is attractively packaged in a crystal case with pleasing and evocative artwork. This fits well alongside any other Bear Family Records seasonal release you may own.
- Radio Commercial – Springtime Fever Time
- Vilas Craig & The Kollege Kings – Spring Fever
- Craig Douglas – Hello Spring
- The Andrews Sisters – (I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time
- Ramsey Lewis Trio – Sounds of Spring
- Les Paul – Chicken Reel
- Ray Coleman and His Skyrockets – Rock, Chicken, Rock
- The Charioteers – One Fried Egg
- Fat Daddy Holmes – Chicken Rock
- Bill Haley & His Comets – (I’ll Be With You In) Apple Blossom Time
- The Jaye Brothers – Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens
- Al Allen – Egghead
- Link Wray & The Raymen – Run Chicken Run
- Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm – The Rooster
- The Pentagons – It’s Spring Again
- The Fabulous Pearls – Jungle Bunny
- Ray Anthony & His Bookends – Bunny Hop Twist
- Django Reinhardt & Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France – Swingtime in Springtime
- Shirley Jones & Pat Boone – April Love
- The Dixon Brothers – Easter Day
- Judy Garland & Fred Astaire – Easter Parade
- The Velvets – Spring Fever
- Bobby Rydell – April Showers
- Ramsey Lewis Trio – Spring Fever
- Jerry Duane with The Monarchs – It Might As Well Be Spring
- Bill Wimberley & The Country Rhythm Boys, with Chuck Bowers vocal – Ole Mister Cottontail
- Jimmy Volk with The Matched Aces – Spring Time Rock
- Lew Baxter & His Orchestra – End Of Spring.
With 13 out of the 28 tracks featuring something to do with poultry or bunnies, this compilation appears to lean heavily towards Easter. However, the mood of it is very spring-like, with its light and sunny mood, Easter giving way to the remaining 15 seasonally themed tracks.
Perhaps a little bit middle-of-the-road to be listened to in one sitting, it nonetheless suits the role of being the soundtrack to a family meal for Easter or just to enjoy the increasing sunny days. Spring Fever – 28 Easter Nuggets For Your Spring Season lives up to its title unobtrusively yet with pep.