Thank U Very Much: The Very Best of Scaffold

Thank U Very Much: The Very Best of Scaffold

by The ScaffoldThe Scaffold


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This 26-song anthology is almost identical in track selection to the most comprehensive prior Scaffold collection, Abbey Road Decade 1966-1971, released just four years before this CD. And indeed, the track selection isn't too different from the only other Scaffold anthology, See for Miles' Singles A's & B's. It's a bit puzzling as to why this body of work, not in terribly high demand at any rate, was packaged with such slight alternations so soon after the Abbey Road Decade 1966-1971 disc. Anyway, assuming this is the first Scaffold best-of you come across, it does its job well, spanning 1966 to the early '70s, and naturally including their two big British hits of the late '60s, "Thank U Very Much" and "Lily the Pink." The music, frankly, is an erratic mix of comedy and rock that's much patchier and rather more twee than, say, that of fellow U.K. humorists the Bonzo Dog Band. There are plenty of singsong novelties that are more silly than funny, sometimes annoyingly so -- a description, unfortunately, that could apply to those two big hits. On the other hand, when some solid pop
ock melodies and Mike McGear's voice come more to the forefront, there are some nicely subtle, witty, and very British slices of vaudevillian pop -- "Do You Remember?," "1-2-3" (with its weird barely audible sitar twangs behind the whistling melody), the cool jazz stylings of "Today," and the Baroque psychedelia of "Buttons of Your Mind." Elsewhere, "Uptown & Downtown," from 1969, is an uncharacteristic detour into relatively gutsy soul-rock (or is it a satire, perhaps?); "Liverpool Lou" is a wobbly adaptation of a traditional folk number; and "Take It While You Can," from 1970, sounds like it just might be an irreverent John Lennon pastiche. It's uneven, but it's periodically rewarding for fans of peculiarly British comedy pop whimsy, though the liner notes are sketchy and the discographical information patchily inadequate.

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