The Tom Lehrer Collection (Shout! Factory DVD/CD Set)
C Sound: B- Extras: B Compilation: B
bold satire has become too much of a lost art and some people do it so well and
simply that we forget how effective the direct approach is. Tom Lehrer is a pianist/singer/songwriter who
started out as a mathematician, moved on to music satire and is one of those
artists whose work you have heard, even if you did not know it was him. He has enough material that Shout! Factory
has issued a DVD/CD set of his work called The
Tom Lehrer Collection and it is surprisingly enduring and wide-ranging.
also add censored, as he is not always politically correct, nor should he
be. His first album arrived in 1956 and
that was enough to launch a second career.
By 1965, his 6th album That
Was The Year That Was hit the Top 20, inspired a TV series and his work did
stir controversy. However, you likely
best know his work for animated sequences on the original Electric Company (reviewed elsewhere on this site and also from
Shout! Factory) including O-U (The Hound
Song), L-V and the immortal Silent E.
has 26 tracks, while the DVD has 12 with clips, plus four live concert clips
and four Electric Company clips, so
you will get a great portrait of a man and his work when you finish the
set. Comedy and music are neglected
these days, so it is nice to see anyone do such a fine compilation.
X 1 footage here is shot on analog NTSC videotape and starts with early black
and white video footage, then moves to later color clips. They all have their softness and other video
flaws. Ironically, the four clips from The Electric Company are some of the
best-looking here. The Dolby Digital 2.0
sound on the DVD is often monophonic, but some of it is at least simple stereo and
some of The Electric Company clips
have the stereo-sound versions added in.
The PCM 16/44.1 sound on the CD is monophonic for the most part, only
stereo on the last tracks and usually a little compressed.
include a 16-page booklet and if you decide to include the CD or bonus tracks
on the DVD as we did, then they too are bonus features. Either way, The Tom Lehrer Collection is a solid set and one worth getting your
- Nicholas Sheffo