Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Thriller Memorandum

Various Artists
Cherry Red Records

This brilliant compilation of spy jazz and crime surf and secret agent fuzz and dangerous curves had me checking the dashboard of the Mazda for the hidden button that launches the stealth rockets out of the rear bumper. What we have here is the swingingest sounds from obscure spy thrillers and TV shows and exotica records from 1962-1972 all cleverly packaged in one easily concealed, pin-striped, silencer-fitted hip flask of retro-cool. It would be quite the impossible mission to mention every highlight on this absolutely necessary collection, but some of the many choice cuts include the flute and vibes driven slow burner "Yes and No" by Des Champ, the midnight creeper "Ghost Squad" by the Tony Hatch Orchestra, which consists of one lonely whistler and a skeletal jazz band, the Spaghetti western meets surf city guitar and bongo frenzy of "A Night With Nuki" by the Brian Marshall Orchestra, and the funeral band goes Bossa Nova swing of the "Penthouse" theme by Johnny Hawksworth. There's also some easily recognizable tracks on deck, like "The Saint" theme by Edwin Astley, "Live and Let Die" by David Lloyd and his London Orchestra, and "Mission Impossible" by the Mike Hurst Orchestra. Man, I feel cooler just typing all those cats' names out. Listen, if you're not down with go-go dancing dragon lady Kissy Suzuki, you better pick up the Thriller Memorandum, but quick. The dossier included will explain everything, just make sure you destroy the evidence before the Reds or the Pinkos or somebody gets their filthy mitts on it. Martinis and buxom Siberian double agents optional, but encouraged.

- Agent Sleaze

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