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Date: 05/03/21

An Elf, A Loser And...A Hippopotamus?

At the risk of being accused of obsessive behaviour, I must give you another three tracks by Al Stewart culled from my listening over the last fortnight or so, because his stuff is so good.

All who know anything about Stewart will tend to think of him as a purveyor of thoughtful and somewhat erudite songs, either expressing inner feelings or telling a story of some sort. But there has always been a playful side to his work, and this was demonstrated as early as The Elf, his very first single in August 1966. It's very much in the new folk style of its time and reminds me somewhat of The Seekers at their jolliest:

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Moving on to 1980 (after his big breakthrough with Year Of The Cat and Time Passages), Mondo Sinistro is taken from his LP 24 Carrots (made with Shot In The Dark, which essentially became his backing band for years thereafter). It's a rocking song with Stewart's customary attention to detail in the lyrics, and had this very amusing video to go with it (and the waitress is played by actress Cassandra Peterson, a year before she became famous as Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark on what was then KHJ-TV in Los Angeles):

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And finally - for now, at least; who knows what I'll pick out next - is this chucklesome vignette from 1993's Famous Last Words about the difficulties of being a large African ungulate, complete with a nice payoff line:

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