After the commercial and creative disappointment of 1964's Allan in Wonderland, Allan Sherman rallied by releasing a new version of his biggest hit, "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah," as a single, and followed it three months later with For Swingin' Livers Only, which was sharper, broader, and funnier than the LP that preceded it. After suppressing his fondness for Jewish humor on My Son, the Nut and Allan in Wonderland, Sherman cautiously brought it back to his repertoire on numbers like "Kiss of Meyer," "Shine on, Harvey Bloom," "J.C. Cohen," and "Bye Bye Blumberg," while "Your Mother's Here to Stay" and "Grow, Mrs. Goldfarb" found him milking the always reliable institution of marriage for some solid laughs. While "Pop Hates the Beatles" sounds a bit petulant today, Sherman sounds happy to have a current phenomenon he can readily poke fun at (something in short supply the last time he went into the studio), and "The Twelve Gifts of Christmas" is a hilarious rant against the absurdities of consumer culture (and it proved to be one of his most enduring numbers, regularly revived each year for the holiday season). For Swingin' Livers Only was also Sherman's last album with arranger Lou Busch, who was easily his most sympathetic accompanist, and his witty and muscular backdrops fit these songs like a glove. For Swingin' Livers Only isn't a masterpiece on a par with Allan Sherman's first three albums, but it did show he wasn't out of the game just yet. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
For Swingin' Livers Only!