I will admit to having low expectations when I picked up this single. The name Jive Bunny, and the image of said bunny in a Hawaiian shirt aboard a Polynesian war canoe – not promising. Apart from anything else, rabbits are a major pest in Australia. Anyone who grew up in a rural area here, and has seen the damage they do, absolutely hates rabbits.
More to the point, I vaguely remembered Jive Bunny as an early exponent of the sample: pinching fragments of music from various places, chopping them up like veggies in a food processor and producing something new. Often, vegetable goop. The folk purist that once I was frowned on such practices, and though I have long moved on the ghosts of old prejudices die hard.
Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers, to give the full name, was a partnership between a radio announcer, Ian Morgan, and the owner of an electrical appliance store, John Pickles. They got together in the UK in the late 1980s, and put together sampled sounds over a driving disco beat. Old hits, chopped and pickled, you might say.
But Planet Vinyl is all about getting past pre-conceptions, and frightful covers.
Just listen! And I did, and there is actually a lot to like about Jive Bunny. The A-side, “That’s What I Like” is a parfait of rock tunes built around the theme to Hawaii Five-0 (hence the shirt and war canoe). It is a bit silly, but undeniably fun and danceable. That is all it sets out to be, and it succeeds.
I prefer the B side, though, which has less clowning and hangs together better. It features the John Anderson Band, a swing outfit which worked the dance circuit playing Glenn Miller numbers in the 1980s. “Pretty Blue Eyes” is a tight, swing number, discoed up a bit, and it is fun and danceable, and avoids the cheesiness of “That’s What I Like”.
Don’t think critically: just jive, bunny.
- Artist: Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers
- Single Title: That’s What I Like
- Track: Side B “Pretty Blue Eyes”
- Format: 7”, 45 rpm
- Label: Music Factory, MFD 002
- Manufactured in: UK
- Year: 1989
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