Personnel: Shel Silverstein (vocals, guitar); Dody Pettit, Rickie Vetter (keyboards).
Recorded at Blank Tapes, New York, New York.
Shel Silverstein's poems exist within the same timeless canon of children's classics as Where the Wild Things Are, James and the Giant Peach, and Alice in Wonderland. Like an Edward Gorey illustration come to life, this wonderfully imaginative collection of poems, songs, and post-'60s hippie rhetoric bristles with unguarded enthusiasm and Willy Wonka-esque grandstanding. Silverstein is a gifted storyteller whose animated -- and undeniably creepy -- voice can light up a room. Like Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat, he surveys each situation with a winning combination of menace and whimsy, utilizing his experiences as a composer and producer to punctuate his verse with quirky melodies and sound effects. When he chooses to sing, like on "The Dragon of Grindly Grun," he retains the mad wink that fuels spoken pieces like "The Sitter" and "Zebra Question," experimenting with inflections like a junkie whose fix is the human personality. ~ James Christopher Monger