Mungo Jerry - Somelight
Mungo Jerry’s ‘In The Summertime’ has lasted well. Indeed, it rears up still as a favoured link during seasonal programmes on the UK’s Now 70s television channel - and, conversely, has been chosen for the opening sequence of 2022’s ‘slasher’ movie X (with emphasis on the ‘we love everybody, but we do as we please’ line echoing occultist Aleister Crowley’s ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law’ tenet). Yet, as with, say, Gene Vincent and ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’, while this has assured Ray Dorset - the heart, mind, soul and public face of Mungo Jerry - a place at the high table of pop’s Valhalla, its enduring ripples have tended to drown out later - and, arguably , more worthy achievements such as last year’s ‘That’s The Colour of Love’ - used initially to soundtrack a Japanese television advertisement for mayonnaise prior to coming within an ace of topping the UK Heritage charts (significantly, in the early summer). ‘That’s The Colour Of Love’ is one of two spin-off singles from Mungo’s forthcoming album, twelve-track Somelight. The other is the similarly joyous and danceable ‘Happy To Be’. However, you need to be warned that each is so maddeningly catchy that you won’t be able an hour go by without another shot of either or both - and, as is always the case with Mungo Jerry, the overall groove might remain with you to the grave. Both songs nestle among an intriguing diversity of items, some addressing tough subjects, most conspicuously ‘Corona Virus Blues’ and others pieces homing in on the planet-wide plague - notably ‘Lord, What Have We Done’, ‘Home Alone’ and ‘The Lockdown Thank You Song’. Topicality is braked, however, with ‘That's The Colour of Love’ - which prompts speculation that, in a parallel dimension, this Dorset composition rather than ‘In The Summertime’, is the gold-visioned and ocean-crossing anthem which kick-started a career that remains active over half-a-century later? Plain fact is that, in an age when the novelty value of most pop idols is short-lived, Ray ‘Mungo Jerry’ Dorset’s blending of his known market potential, hip sensibility, deep commitment to his craft and pulling of unexpected strokes is likely to keep his head above water for as long as he thinks fit.
Tracklist: Midnight City | Lord, What Have We Done | Whole Lotta Rhythm | The Lockdown Thank You Song | Happy To Be | Country Woman | Let’s Do It Again | That’s The Colour Of Love | The Right Song | Home Alone | Corona Virus Blues | A Plea For The Planet