:: The Zipped Up Mixed Up ::
Despite dying suddenly at age 52 of a heart attack, Ross Bagdasarian is immortal. About as immortal as anyone can be, except maybe Jesus or L Ron Hubbard. After speeding up his voice while experimenting in the studio one day, he gave the world the Chipmunks, and at that point it didn't matter that he'd already written hit songs or that he had appeared in films like Hitchcock's Rear Window. From that moment on he was David Seville and he accepted the role wholeheartedly.
The Robot has covered Bagdasarian before, so it's not worth writing extensively about him again, but I will say that I'm really glad I own this, his only full length non-Chipmunk album. Recorded in 1966, at a time when the cartoon rodents were highly successful on TV, but had already played out on record, Bagdasarian needed an outlet for his song writing and recording studio skills, and thankfully his longstanding relationship with Liberty Records payed off. The Mixed-Up World Of... gives us more of the kind of stuff Ross had been slipping on B sides of Chipmunk singles over the years, as well as new renderings of some of his pre-Chipmunk hits (Armen's Theme and Come On-A My House).
I didn't know the record existed until I saw it at the Pasadena Record Swap Meet about a year ago. The seller wanted some astronomical price for it, so I passed but started to keep an eye out for it. Finally I found this copy, still sealed at the Record Surplus blowout sale a couple of weeks ago for about $12.00. It's not stereo, but that's ok. It was well worth the money just to hear "Yeah, Yeah", his not so subtle swipe at the British Invasion. Considering Ross only had a few years left, I'm glad he made this album while he could, and although his son, Ross Jr. continues to keep the Chipmunks alive to this day, only the old man had the ability to make them an interesting musical act first and foremost.