The concept is bizarre — four a cappella vocalists who call themselves "bob" and cover rock & roll numbers — yet it somehow works for people, even people in high places; in addition to developing a loyal following, the Bobs received a Grammy nomination for their arrangement of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter." The band was founded in 1981, when Gunner Bob Madsen and Matthew Bob Stull lost their jobs with a singing telegram company (one can only wonder why). Together with Richard Bob, they began to perform a cappela in the San Francisco Bay Area, adding Janie Bob Scott to their lineup in 1982. The following year saw the release of their eponymous debut album with the liner notes containing the classic "Warning: All the sounds on this recording were produced by the mouth or other parts of the body." Covers include the abovementioned Beatles' cut as well as the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" and a number of probingly intelligent and blissfully witty original numbers. 1987's My, I'm Large continued in the same vein, mixing covers and madcap origninals, while Songs for Tomorrow Morning, released the following year, featured a five-song sequence about laundry written for their artistic partners, the dance troupe ISO. (AMG)
The Bobs' Too Many Santas is an uneven but overall charming collection of a cappella Christmas songs. The tracks have a certain wackiness that makes this compilation stand out from the holiday norm. Some are truly funny and charming, like "Fifty Kilowatt Tree" (which owes a debt to Moxy Fruvous), "Rasta Reindeer (Little Saint Nick)," "Christmas in L.A.," and the James Brown-inspired "Santa's Got a Brand New Bag." "Yuleman vs. the Anti-Claus" and "Mrs. Claus Want Some Lovin'" feel a little forced, but Too Many Santas has enough appeal to keep listeners' interest. (AMG)
1. Yuleman Vs. The Anti-Claus
2. Mambo, Santa, Mambo
3. Too Many Santas
4. Christmas In Jail
5. Santa's Got A Brand New Bag
6. Fifty Kilowatt Tree
7. The Night Before The Night Before Christmas
8. Do You Hear What I Hear, Man?
9. Christmas In L. A.
10. Mrs. Claus Want Some Lovin'
11. Rasta Reindeer (Little Saint Nick)
12. All I Want For Christmas