Late 50s America saw a proliferation of successful spoken word albums that culminated in the mega-selling First Family albums in around 1962. Mercury issued these two satirical albums poking fun at the hipsters’ language that had grown out of the jazz world. Much of it revolves around interview-style discussions between a hip guy (Brent) and the straight man (Close) to explain hipster talk, provoking much interested reactions giving the albums’ “cool” reputations at the time. Heard 50 years on, they’re culturally interesting – to an extent. Drug references are frequent and not too well hidden, while language students will enjoy examining the phrases which have survived.
Whether or not that’s enough to make this reissue commercially viable is questionable, however, as the humour doen’t easily translate to the 21st Century. An introduction from the respected Roy Carr, and reproduction of the original’s accompaning Hip Manual add to the interest, but possibly not the saleability.