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Calypso Is Like So...
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Performer Notes
  • Includes liner notes by Nick Tosches.
  • The Hollywood movie star recorded this set in 1957 while filming a movie in Trinidad. It features 14 songs of rum-tinged, goofy fun with a Carribean feel. The album is noted for its use of banjo instead of guitar as a solo instrument, which foreshadowed the instrument's contemporary use in modern Bluegrass and Avant-Jazz recordings. The UK-issued CD also features two bonus rockabilly tracks he recorded for his 1958 movie "Thunder Road," including "The Ballad of Thunder Road," which was a minor Pop hit for the singing actor.
  • If there was ever a celebrity whose reputation as one of Hollywood's hippest cats was solid enough that they could risk ridicule by adopting a faux-Trinidadian accent for a novelty record, it was Robert Mitchum. The result is CALYPSO IS LIKE SO…, a collection of 12 Trinidadian tunes, some already made famous by Harry Belafonte, as well as some less well-known songs brought to the studio by Mitchum. Also included on the reissue of CALYPSO IS LIKE SO… are "The Ballad of Thunder Road," the theme from the Mitchum flick, and its B-side, "My Honey's Lovin' Arms."
  • Mitchum retains a dignified cool throughout the album, despite the kitsch subject matter of songs such as "Mama, Looka Boo-Boo," and "I Learn a Merengue, Mama." The album is equal parts Beat and Belafonte. In true Mitchum style, there is also a fair amount of risque material here, and this raunchy edge is perhaps what gives CALYPSO IS LIKE SO… its staying power.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (11/3/95, p.66) - "...this long out-of-print 1957 gem is a must-have for any swinging bachelor or bachelorette." - Rating: A

Melody Maker (8/19/95, p.32) - "...CALYPSO-IS LIKE SO may finish with two slabs of pretty standard film-star-turned-crooner fare...but mavericks like Mitchum were used to having inappropriately comforting endings tacked onto their best work. The genuine calypso stuff is startlingly good..."
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