I would just like to start out by saying that even without having heard this album before, which I haven't, I think Neil Innes is awesome.
His work as "Ron Nasty" (and principal songwriter) in The Rutles (which I absolutely love), as well as what little I know of him as a member of the Bonzos had me going into this listen with a lot of respect. And I found that none of that was tarnished.
"How Sweet to Be An Idiot" was Neil Innes' first solo record, cut in 1973. So, this was probably after the Bonzos and a bit before The Rutles act gained any popularity.
Topless A Go-Go
Feel No Shame
How Sweet to Be An Idiot
Song for Yvonne
This Love of Ours
Singing a Song Is Easy
This album is a mix of the serious and the sweetly humorous sides of Neil, which appeals to someone like me a great deal. The majority of the first side is a bit bluesy for my personal taste, but the second side has a lot of lovely songs that have nice little funny parts that had me chuckling here and there. I especially enjoyed "L'Amour Perdu" where he cleverly does some word play with French and English. What can I say...I like witty people.
A few of the songs on side two, I can't help but think they're a bit Beatles inspired, which couldn't hurt considering that Neil would become known for making one of the best Beatles parodys ever...but the music of The Rutles didn't poke fun at The Beatles, so I guess parody isn't the right word. You can tell that Neil has a lot of respect for the group, so his songs are more of a salute than anything.
All in all, I think "How Sweet To Be An Idiot" is a cute little record. Neil Innes just seems to be one of those people that you probably couldn't hate if you tried.
Oh, and evidentally, Oasis took "How Sweet to Be an Idiot" and turned it into a single called "Whatever". Never heard it. They got sued.
I give the album 3 1/2 stars.
Where did you buy this record and when?
This is probably one of my first purchases from Izzy's. It was something I picked up in '94 or '95, before I became an employee.
Do you own it in any other format?
No. I think I have "How Sweet to Be An Idiot" as a bonus track on one of the Bonzos albums
What is your over-all impression of this album?
To be honest, I don't think I've listened to it since I bought it, and I don't remember it being this good! It automatically sounds very British. Great backing musicians too.
Just from listening to it now, I like "Momma Bee" and "L'Amour Perdu"
How many stars out of five?
Four and 1/2