From the Vault...


The Brian Setzer Orchestra
"Wolfgang's Big Night Out"

© Surfdog/Warner Bros. Records

Year of Release: 2007

track listing
  • Take The 5th
  • One More Night
    With You
  • Wolfgang's Big Night Out
  • Honey Man
  • Yes We Can Can
  • Swingin' Willie
  • Sabre Dance
  • For Lisa
  • Here Comes The Broad
  • 1812 Overdrive
  • Some River In Europe
  • Take A Break Guys

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    The Brian Setzer Orchestra
    "Wolfgang's Big Night Out"

    The Brian Setzer Orchestra returns to WSVNRadio with their 2007 release, Wolfgang's Big Night Out. On an ironic note, Billboard Magazine reported that BSO would be performing a New Year's Eve concert from Knoxville, Tennessee, ringing in the new year 2010. It just so happens that WSVNRadio would choose their 2007 release as Album Pick of the Week.

    In researching BSO, it was reported on Setzer's Wikipedia page, that he had cancelled an appearance on December 14, 2009 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, due to hospitalization for "dehyrdration, high altitude sickness and vertigo" -- Albuquerque is approximately 1000 feet below the typical threshold for altitude sickness. By New Year's Eve 2009, we just hope he will be healthy enough to entertain his audience, for the love of Big Band music, mixed with the rockabilly Setzer is most famous for.

    On that note, it's amazing that Big Band music would be brought back into the spotlight, when Setzer & his Orchestra were heavily noticed in 1998, with their release, Dirty Boogie. (BSO had actually been together since 1994, with two studio releases.) For Wolfgang's Big Night Out Setzer & Orchestra concentrated on their Big Band/Rockabilly sound by recording their unique style to the most popular works in Classical music. (The name Wolfgang referencing Beethoven.) Twelve tracks are featured on this release, as the opening track, "Take The 5th" is based on Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. "One More Night With You" is based on Grieg's "In The Hall Of The Mountain King." The title track is based on Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik." "Honey Man" is based on Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight Of The Bumblebee." Yes We Can Can" is based on Offenbach's "Can-Can." "Swingin' Willie" is based on Rossini's "William Tell Overture." "Sabre Dance" is based on the same name, by Khachaturian. "For Lisa" is based on Beethoven's "Fur Elise." "Here Comes The Broad" is based on Wagner's "Lohengrin" & Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." "1812 Overdrive" is based on Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture." "Some River In Europe" is based on Strauss's Blue Danube." Lastly, "Take A Break Guys" is based on the Christmas classic, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."

    It's good to see the rest of the Orchestra pictured on the artwork of Wolfgang's Big Night Out -- the bandmembers dressed in Colonial hairstyles and clothing. (All except Setzer, of course.) I just can't help but visualize the same attire on the album covers of P.D.Q Bach. P.D.Q. Bach is a comedical look at Classical music, yet Setzer's look at Classical mixed with Big Band and Rockabilly proves more professional in all aspects.

    It's amazing how Brian Setzer has taken the concept of mixing the Big Band sound with Rockabilly. Not your common genres merging together in general, but with a full orchestra with Setzer, it just makes the whole sound lively and fresh. This album is mostly instrumental, and its easy to hear the Big Band sound, and even upbeat Jazz, which was heard back in the heyday of Big Band music. It's also amazing to mention how the popular Classical pieces get an "update" with Setzer's style. Setzer was great in bringing back the rockabilly sound with the band he started out with, the Stray Cats. With his full orchestra, he not only brought back Rockabilly again, but incorporating the sound of the 1940s and Big Band, to sweeten the pot. Setzer is a genius in doing this, and even his Christmas albums have truly been exceptional, to the regular albums he has released. When the BSO was performing at Woodstock, I just happened to watch the broadcast when they were performing, and (as already mentioned), combining the forces of Big Band and Rockabilly with a full orchestra, just truly blew me away. I hope to see the BSO live in concert, as I'm sure they already entertain their audiences to the full extent. If you like Classical music, Big Band, and Rockabilly, or just one of these genres, you will be totally amazed and impressed with Wolfgang's Big Night Out.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Surfdog/Warner Bros. Record and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1182
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    Van Halen--Diver Down