Too Darn Hot

Reviewed by mojo

Finally, a song that totally and completely lives up to its title! Folks, it doesn't get any better than this. Okay, so we've already reviewed the studio version of Too Darn Hot, and Mojo went on and on about Kiss Me Kate and Ann Miller. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the studio version; if you check out YouTube there's at least four or five swing dancing/lindy hoppin' groups dancing to it and having a perfectly marvelous time.

But oh, this live performance! Instead of a whole orchestra with the big brass, she just has a drummer sticking mostly to the hi hat, the awesome, AWESOME piano of Mojo's new idol, Paul Smith (all hail! I mean, the dude replicates the whole brass section "stings" of the studio orchestra with a single note--it sounds like the G below middle C--and he totally pulls it off--you can almost see him do one of those Chico Marx index finger flips when the note hits), and the electric guitars show up for the chorus in a noodly sort of jam that is sheer exuberant perfection. Ella's snapping her fingers the whole time, and the listener does too--the whole thing is just totally electric!

And then in the reprise the drummer starts hitting rim shots along with the cymbal, and by the time she reaches "According to the Kinsey report" Ella is BELTING, which, again, is just completely AWESOME--sorry to keep repeating that one word, but there's really no other word for it--and if you happen to be listening to this in the privacy of your car any rational person is belting as well and whaling on the poor steering wheel, and you realize in that moment that your life could never be any more perfect than that moment listening to Ella and her fellas being too darn hot for their own good.

I'm going to stop writing and just listen to it again. You should, too. Stop reading, get off the stupid computer, and just LISTEN.

Too Darn Hot (1960)

in
Click below to hear a sample--or scroll down for associated media: 
From What Album(s)?: 
Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife
Disc Number: 
1
Composer: 
Cole Porter
Lyricist: 
Cole Porter
Time: 
3:17

From Wikipedia:

 

"Too Darn Hot" is a popular song written by Cole Porter for his musical Kiss Me, Kate (1948). In the 1948 original Broadway production, it is sung by Lorenzo Fuller (as Paul) and Eddie Sledge and Fred Davis (as the specialty dancers). In the 1953 MGM Hollywood film version, it is sung by Ann Miller (as Lois Lane, Fred's new girlfriend, who is cast as Bianca). The song does not really contribute to the plot but it allows the audience to see (in the film version) Lois's fun-loving, risk-taking nature and gives the actress who plays her a chance to show off her dancing skills, specifically tap.

It was covered by Erasure for the Red Hot + Blue compilation in 1990.

The song gained new currency in 2004 because of two films that came out that year. The first was the Porter biopic De-Lovely, and the second was the movie Kinsey, which used the tune because Porter mentioned the Kinsey report on American sexual attitudes in the song's bridge.

The line was censored in the 1953 MGM film of Kiss Me, Kate, which changed it to 'According to the latest report'.

In Ella Fitzgerald's recording on her album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook (1956).