Ray Stevens - Comedy Video Classics (2001) Review
(More customer reviews)first off, Ray is a great singer and he's a wonderful pianist of all types of music. this home video of music videos is hilarious and properly closes with the serious "Everything Is Beautiful". three of the eight music videos were made prior to 1991/1992: "Sittin' Up With the Dead" and "Help Me Make It Through The Night" were released in 1990 and "Santa Claus is Watching You" goes back to 1987, the song was included on his 1985 album 'I HAVE RETURNED'. the other five music videos are first runs: "The Streak", "Everything Is Beautiful", "It's Me Again, Margaret", "Surfin' USSR", and "Mississippi Squirrel Revival". the novelty of selling music videos on home video made experts laugh and downplay Ray's ideas but as usual he proved the skeptics wrong by selling 2,000,000 copies of the project on his own label, CLYDE Records, over TV. an additional million was sold when it hit the stores in 1993. this home video single handedly revived the home video market for a time during the mid to late '90s. planning ahead, Ray almost abandoned audio for video when sales were so high. his next three home video releases (1993, 1995, and 2000) have all repeated the multi- platinum path the first one set. Ray's niche is novelty songs. novelty means unusual or strange. i'm sick and tired of reading people say that Ray isn't funny or he's too cornball with his humor. Ray is roped in with the country comedians because that's the only market. his songs are NOVELTY and all they have to be is zany and off the wall to please his fans. we don't always have to be pounded over the head with meaningful comedy with hidden messages...that's the job of brilliant satirists like Stan Freberg, Garrison Keillor, or Mark Russell...not NOVELTY artists like Ray Stevens and Spike Jones. there are different forms of comedy styles: satire, topical, parody, novelty, and country comedy...and Ray Stevens has touched them all at one point or another but novelty is his most recorded style. the most elaborate video is "Surfin' USSR". Ray adds on the opening sequence, which isn't part of the 1988 recording, involving a meeting between Reagan and Gorbechev, both voiced by Ray. in the background the two wives get in a fistfight as Reagan points out Gorbechev's red birth mark on his forehead...it's in the form of a country, prompting Gorbechev to exclaim: "ooh, a coincidence only...my mother must have been frightened by a map...". Ray's long-time songwriting partner, Buddy Kalb, appears as the cigar smoking woman from Moscow U. this home video was #1 for nearly a year and Billboard named it 'VIDEO OF THE YEAR' for 1993. get it if you can.
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Studio: Wea-des Moines VideoRelease Date: 10/30/2001Rating: Nr