Hmmm, "definitive," you say? Well, let's see. The need for a truly all-encompassing Mungo Jerry
collection has been evident ever since the early '90s brought the first in the long line of CD compilations that simply followed the same laws as the LPs that preceded them -- here are the hits, here's the odd B-side, here are a couple of randomly selected album tracks. Mungo Jerry meant so much more than that, even if that brief does sum up most listeners' total knowledge of the band's output. With 60 tracks at its disposal, Baby Jump
certainly comes close to the ideal. Concentrating on their years with the Dawn subsidiary of Pye Records, it travels from the debut chart-topper "In the Summertime" through the surprisingly peerless run of hits that were spread over the next four years, before winding up with the final gasp of glory that was "Wild Love," an insanely contagious number that really should have been a bigger hit than it was. In between times, each of the band's studio albums is cherry-picked for highlights, with the group's practice of unleashing non-LP B-sides flavored by the inclusion of numbers that are almost as well known in their own right as the hits that accompanied them -- the banned-by-the-BBC "Have a Whiff on Me," some genuinely exciting live performances, and more. Of course, it's no substitute for picking up the original albums (and singles), and a full-scale Mungo Jerry reissue campaign remains a promise for which listeners should all be hoping. In the meantime, this anthology certainly allows the collector to finally shed all those repetitive compilations, and offers a much-needed tribute to a band that really was worth a lot more than "In the Summertime."