The United Artists Mikado (1963)

Tale Spinners for Children
Frank Luther with the Broadway Players

The review of this recording was supplied by J. Donald Smith:

This one gets my vote as the worst G&S recording ever made. Unlike most perversions in which it is Sullivan who takes a beating, in this one it is Gilbert who is rewritten almost out of existence. No number is complete, songs are interrupted by dialog, and the words are perverted. Ko-Ko becomes "The Lord High X-X-X; Why is he called the Lord High X-X-X? because he "X-ecutes people." Three Little maids become "Three Little Girls from school are we; we study boys from A to Z…" (and done by Yum-Yum as a solo). "Dull dark dock" is done by Nanki-Poo as solo. The only thing not rewritten is Miya-Sama (what there is of it). Cutesy dialog: Yum-Yum referred to as 'Yum', Ko-Ko as 'Ko', Pooh-Bah as 'Pooh' and Nanki-Poo as Nanky-Panky (!).

The singers are mercifully uncredited and the score is rewritten for a Hollywood jazz band — guitar, hand organ (of the type associated with shopping malls), xylophone, glockenspiel and snare drums (mostly with brushes). Final line of dialog: "There is no justice except in movies." It sounds as if United Artists had some singers on contract with nothing to do so they did a large number of "Tale Spinners for Children." Mercifully, this is the only G&S number listed. Pure kitsch. Very nice album jacket. (Is there a corollary: the worse the recording the better the record jacket?) Must be heard to be believed!

Selections (per Don) are as follows:

  • Wandering Minstrel
  • Little List
  • Three Little Maids
  • Dull Dark Dock
  • He's going to marry Yum-Yum
  • Flowers that bloom in the Spring
  • Miya Sama
  • Flowers that bloom in the Spring (second verse)
  • Tit-Willow
  • Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast
  • He's gone and married Yum-Yum
Issue History
1963 United Artists LP UAC 11027