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To mention Stephen Sondheim and Mad Magazine in the same breath is to risk having your face slapped. And yet King Broadway is on this disc with a cute satire of “The Girl From Ipanema”—well performed by TV’s Linda Lavin. Sondheim tossed off “The Man From…” for The Mad Show, a rare theatrical excursion for the resolutely juvenile publication. Almost as rare were Mad’s musical ventures, most often released as flexi-discs. Mad’s good-natured cheekiness was almost relevant in the ’50s; today, the magazine seems at best a middle-school view of archaic high-school cool. Conversely, the music of the ’50s is aging more gracefully than that of other eras, and Mad’s two LPs of Long Island–style doo-wop, Mad “Twists” Rock ’n’ Roll and Fink Along With Mad, contained goony-bird treasures like the infamous “It’s a Gas,” a belchathon elevated from merely moronic to delightfully moronic by the presence of sax great King Curtis. Likewise classic is “(She Got a) Nose Job” (“now it’s pointing up instead of hanging down”). Those gems are welcome additions to any CD library. Had Rhino and producer Grant Geissman simply re-released Twist and Fink, the world would be a better place. But instead of such seminal silliness as “Please Betty Jane (Shave Your Legs)” and “When My Pimples Turned to Dimples,” three tracks are wasted on lame disco parodies that typically miss the point (a song about “making out” in 1978?!). Overall, I give it three burps.

—Dave Nuttycombe