2007   JANUARY 2   #002

Peter Cook & Dudley Moore's The L.S. Bumble Bee

Peter Cook & Dudley Moore - The L.S. Bumble Bee (2:39)

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were more than just comedians. They spearheaded the satirist movement that has dominated English comedy for more than a quarter century, and are responsible for some of the best comedic films and recordings to date. From the brilliance of "Bedazzled" to the irreverent genius of Derek and Clive to this number. The story goes that a few DJs played the record, "The L.S. Bumble Bee," claiming that it was an unreleased Beatles' track, or else an advance from their forthcoming, highly anticipated masterpiece "Sgt. Pepper's." True or not, the song managed to sneak its way on to several Beatles bootlegs throughout the 1970s, convincing many more that it was an authentic outtake.

In a letter from December of 1981, Moore offered a bit of insight: "Peter Cook and I recorded that song about the time when there was so much fuss about L.S.D., and when everybody thought that "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" was a reference to drugs. The exciting alternative offered to the world was L.S.B.!, and I wrote the music to, in some ways, satirize the Beach Boys rather than the Beatles. But I'm grateful if some small part of the world thinks that it may have been them, rather than us!"

But what really sticks with you is how perfectly this song captures the lollygaggery of the wondrous hippie fantasy machine that was the late 1960s. Its sparse instrumentation, with distant shimmering pianos, screaming babies, and jangly, seagull-like guitar effects set it apart from other psychedelic satires, but it goes further still. Its inviting lyric is more genuinely hallucinogenic than much of what has been labeled "psychedelic" throughout the years. Strawberry Alarm Clock, Ultimate Spinach, the Partridge Family, Tool, Phish. Blecch. "Freak out, Baby... the Bee is coming."

- Contributed by: Clayton Counts

Images: Label, Cook & Moore, Beatles Cover 1, Beatles Cover 2

Media: 7" Single
Label: Decca
Catalog: F.12551
Credits: Cook, Peter and Moore, Dudley
Date: February, 1967