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.