634. ‘That’s What I Like’, by Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers

He’s back! The biggest chart star of 1989, the hottest medley-maker of the decade, the most successful rabbit in pop history, returns!

That’s What I Like, by Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers (their 2nd of three #1s)

3 weeks, from 15th October – 5th November 1989

C’mon everybody… Jason Derulo, DJ Khaled, Pitbull: all the biggest morons have their own call-signs by which to announce themselves at the start of a new record, and Jive Bunny is no exception… C-C-C’mon everybody! After that, we’re off on another double-speed tour around some golden oldies: ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Great Balls of Fire’, ‘Runaround Sue’ and more… Bill Haley, Eddie Cochran and Little Richard have the honour of appearing on their second straight Mastermixers’ release. (I’ve just realised something truly upsetting – these are as close as Little Richard ever came to a #1 single…) Though, as in the first Jive Bunny record, a lot of the vocals are clearly performed by impersonators. The theme to ‘Hawaii 5-0’ does the job of ‘In the Mood’ here, and bookends the entire party.

As before, the whole thing is completely incongruous, and wholly ridiculous. And yet, I still can’t hate it. In fact, it gives you a new-found respect for what are already classic songs, that they can be dropped from a great height into this hot mess and still shine through. In the Mastermixers’ defence, the transitions between the songs are slightly smoother here than in ‘Swing the Mood’. They were clearly honing their craft.

And let’s be clear: the fact that this topped the charts just six weeks after their first #1 confirms that Jive Bunny fever was clearly sweeping the country in the autumn of 1989. They were just giving the public what they so craved – what they liked, as it were. (The title comes from the Big Bopper’s lascivious Oooh baby that’s what I like… in ‘Chantilly Lace’.)

As with ‘Swing the Mood’, ‘That’s What I Like’ was a huge hit throughout Europe (though returns were slowly diminishing, and the UK was the only territory in which it made #1). Even the US wasn’t immune to the rabbit’s charms, with this making #69 on the back of a very impressive #11 peak for ‘Swing…’ Twas, for a short time, Jive Bunny’s world, and we were just living in it.


10 thoughts on “634. ‘That’s What I Like’, by Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers

  1. Fair comments once again. I suppose after a few weeks we got bored with the concept rather than hated it, but for a few months it worked, and if that many people went out and bought the records it was obviously ‘What They Like’, even if it wasn’t ‘Live Sonny’ (with apologies to the tiny cartoon on the pic sleeve of Quo’s ‘Anniversary Waltz’ a year later). And Father Christmas would pat them on the head too…

    • Yes, I think this follow-up is fairly harmless… and why wouldn’t you follow up a massive number one hit? Their next single tries my patience, though (not wanting to give too much away…)

  2. Yeah, who could really take exception to the first couple? They were different, and inoffensive but fun. And they shone a light on the Rock n Roll stars of bygone days … maybe some listeners would have then checked out the real acts.
    (I was / am a big RnR fan, and could see the plus side of this.)
    But the novelty didn’t last and further releases … and the ALBUM (which I’m sure I picked up on CD in a bargain bucket not so long ago … REALLY got my goat!! 😀

    • Oh God, an album….? On Spotify they are still churning out compilation after compilation, though none with very many listens. I can see the charm in this, and Swing the Mood, as you say mainly because of the rock and roll originals. Their next single is where my patience runs out…

  3. I liked these…better than a lot of stuff I heard at number one…they mixed it well. It is a lot of fun.

  4. Pingback: 637. ‘Let’s Party’, by Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers | The UK Number Ones Blog

  5. Bit of a mess to me, but glass half full as you say Little Richard and co finally get that elusive number one, and it introduced classic 50’s to a new audience. As the 50’s are now banished to radio history along with the 60’s and it’s all about grabbing those 90’s kids nostalgic for their youth Im sure we can look forward to mash ups of big 90’s hits cobbled together for a new generation. Hmmm, now I think about it I should have kept that cash cow idea to myself. Doh! Too late!

    • Get to it! There’s money to be made. Though I think medleys may be a dead artform. Last one I can think of is that Peter Kay charity one, and that’s not worth commemorating…

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