What I mean by the title of today’s blog is these covers were neither crappy to please an audience, nor were they crappy by way of poor judgement. They are here because it would appear that Springsteen would rather get out a crappy album cover if it meant it would help him get his artistic point across rather than just record whatever sells with the most attractive packaging. You have to respect that. They are not crappy for the wrong reasons, indeed they are crappy for exactly the right reasons. They are not negatively crappy. Oh, no my dear readers. They are positively crappy.
This kind of cover would not be out of place on the cover of Sinclair Ross’s 1941 book “As for Me and My House”. Anyone having to endure a class on Canadian lit knows of the devil I speak. A story about a preacher’s wife, living on a bleak stretch of Saskatchewan prairie during the Dust Bowl days of the Great Depression. The book didn’t actually sell in its day. It was a bleak book, bleakly written, about bleak times and bleak relationships. But it has made the canon of Canadian Lit courses, and this cover with its stretch of dirt road across a seemingly endless flat plain reminds me of that.This was his sixth album, recorded with voice, guitar and harmonica, came out in between his two monster albums “The River” and “Born in the USA”. It peaked on Billboard at #3, and yielded 2 top-40 singles.
This cover was chosen because it takes the name and rallying cry of folk legend Peter Seeger and pretty much puts it on a beer label.”Come to the Springsteen Bar, we have Seeger Stout on tap. You’ll love the way it gets you drunk!”But looking at this cover reminds me of how a lot — maybe most — of Springsteen’s biggest hits sound like beer commercials. Or given the weightiness of the mark Springsteen has left on Music, perhaps the Beer commercials are trying to sound like Springsteen.
You know that after all that has pased through this blog, I wouldn’t have to put up a warning like that. But I do, if you scroll down.
Look at that pizza. It could easily feed a small army, but these 7 adults are having it all to themselves. Where did they get an oven big enough to fit this monster?This album is called “Pizza Party”, with Joe Biviano on accordion. He, along with two other performers, Abe Goldman and Gene von Hallberg, were the first accordionists to make it to Canegie Hall, where they apparently appeared together for a 1939 performance.He was said to have gone consistently low-brow in music, to which the theme of this album testifies. He had gone as far as any accordionist can expect to go in his career. Unless your name is Weird Al Yankovic.
Kraut Rockers Eulenspygel’s first album in 1971, called “2”, had a cover with a controversial design (this one) that was soon replaced by something more appetizing.They survived long enough to do a second album in 1972 called “Ausschuss”, recorded at Apple Studios in London. After a breakup, a reunion, and several lineup changes, they made a third album in 1979 and finally broke up in 1983, and haven’t been heard from.
This is the original Herb Alpert album, playing mostly in-tune by the owner of A&M Records and his Tijuana Brass, called “Whipped Cream and Other delights”, released in April of 1965.There is a lot of food referred to in the song titles. There is mention of lemons, tangerines, peanuts, green peppers, lollipops, and honey.The album cover, depicting a young lady covered in whipped cream who would feel a whole lot better if ten guys came and licked it off her, was of such a borderline tasteless nature that it BEGGED for parody, and the two below are likely the most famous examples.
This 1966 album from The Frivolous buy discount tramadol Five called “Sour Cream and Other Delights”. This album contains lots of standard instrumentals made famous by Alpert, and from time to time they seem to go off-key. They’ve got Tijuana Taxi, A Taste of Honey, Spanish Flea, Lemon Tree, and they even cover The Beatles’ “All My Loving”. MP3s are sampled here.Of course, The Frivolous Five can’t have an album cover without chicks. You have to wonder how did they get access to enough sour cream to cover these five middle-aged ladies? Also, notice one of them is holding a single long-stemmed rose, just like the lady in the original Herb Alpert album cover.
During the same period, stand-up comedian Pat Cooper made this album called “Spaghetti Sauce and Other Delights”. Now, do you think he was parodying The Tijuana Brass? Naww… Can’t be …At least he isn’t holding a rose.Somebody get a fork …
Cooper was doing stand-up and hit it big on The Jackie Gleason Show in 1963. His Italian-American brand of ethnic comedy got him into bigger venues, appearing with Sinatra, Steve and Edie, Tony Bennett, and Connie Francis.
He currently appears occasionally on comedy channels and has been featured on Howard Stern a few times, and has appeared on sattelite radio stations as late as 2007.
Here, Cooper takes liberties with American history:
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This one is from Michelino and his Cha Cha Band. The color scheme of the album obfuscates the black lettering near the bottom. Something about “Cha Cha Cha” and secretaries. This whole thing gives me an understanding as to why lpcoverlover.com headlined this as “Banging The Secretary“.There is the secretary there with her typewriter. Either he is playing bad music and she wants Michelino to stop, or he wants to dictate a letter to her using drum signals, and she can’t keep up.
I have discovered that the “Cha Cha” has within it a nearly endless goldmine of crappy album covers. Look at “Dracula Cha Cha Cha”. Well, of course one problem I have, and it goes without saying, that the cover looks like it was done in pastel by a 14-year-old.But even the mere idea of doing the “Dracula Cha Cha Cha” is quite another topic. Gone are the images of warm Spanish climes, where you dance the Cha-Cha or the tango, or to any of the many other Latin rhythms that make travelling to Spain or Latin America a treat. Instead, you the Cha Cha, done with an element of fear. Fear that you might get caught, I’d say. Some things can never be forgiven.I guess, then, I would consider this Cha-Cha album where the themes are non-standard, a kind of “alternative Cha-Cha” album to please, say, the punks and the skinheads. Imagine punks and skinheads doing the Cha-Cha. Just imagine.
It seems that everyone had tried their hand at disco during the seventies. Here, the late Danish pop-rocker keyboardist and heavy metallist Tommy Seebach (1949-2003) wants you to believe that he can do disco, with his album “Disco Tango”.It is rather surprising that in the seventies, a person like Seebach could wear his mustache and hair like that and probably still get laid. It sure was a different decade. Those who lived through those decades must admit: in the 70s, we all thought we were something. We all thought that up to that point in modern history, we had the coolest clothes, and the coolest hairstyles. I mean having a blowdryer was a cool thing, as was having one of those hair brushes with the bristles that go all the way around, so that blowdrying your hair could get you that puffy head of hair that made your head look bigger than it really was. And you felt so cool when you wore it! Now, you guys have to admit that if that was the deal with you and your immediate clique, then you didn’t look too different from Seebach over here. If you were on a date, you wore a sports jacket and one of those shirts with pointy collars, and you made sure that you left the top button undone so that the girl can see your necklace and possibly some chest hair. And since ties weren’t cool, you never wore one. Therefore, we must conclude that this album is only crappy in retrospect.This blogger seems to have dicovered in those multiple heavy metal videos he did, that they all seemed to be the same shots of the same riffs of totally different music. Even the images of the drummer hitting the cymbals were in different time with the music. The same girls were dancing the same dance out of the same forest, regardless of the music. On different songs, I saw the same shots of the same guitar riffs; the same shots of the same bass riffs, not even bothering to change the camera angle.
While we’re on the topic of clothing styles, I’m afraid that these guys, The Drifters, have a clothing style that is like nothing in the history of the universe.Tracking information on these folks was next to impossible. There is a polka tune called “Drifters Polka”, which seemingly everyone covered — even Roy Clark. But A band called “Drifters” and an album called “Polka ‘n’ Fun” only led to other crappy album blogs, short on straight info.
Charles Manson covers the Beach Boy’s tune “Cease to Exist”, accompanied by talent from The Manson Family. Not great, but I have heard worse from ’60s music. Is it too bad of a pun to say that this song is likely a “cult favrourite”? The video is all imagery, and not badly done. I hear that the Beach Boys later changed the song title and first line of the lyric to “Cease to resist”.
Phallic symbols, their effects, and other weirdness…
Sigmund Freud once was quoted as saying “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” After inventing the idea of phallic symbols, and knowing how much he loved to smoke cigars, there are people who would have disagreed with Freud’s veiled attempt to shield the psychological dimensions of his own smoking habit from public scrutiny. Cigarettes are no different in their role as phallic symbols.
First, I have got to tell you about Tex Williams. You are looking at the album cover for the biggest hit of his career. “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (that Cigarette) was a #1 hit on billboard for six weeks in 1947, and was the first million-seller for Capitol Records.
Despite the uber-cheesy look of the album cover, it seems that the song is actually an anti-smoking song, but with a certain postwar morbid sense of humor. Scroll down for the You-Tube video (black-and-white, of course).
Pioneer flautist Herbie Mann is a big name in Jazz circles. He helped get Chick Corea’s career started by having him play with a few of his ensembles. He has enjoyed quite a range of crossover success, with 25 of his jazz albums entering the top 200 pop charts.
The album cover suggests that he has a talent with more than one kind of flute.
… Just ask Herbie’s taxi driver. He saw everything. He should have first suspected something was up when he picked up Herbie and his GF in a swanky bar in Lower Manhattan, and then they asked to be driven to an obscure Pizza Parlour in Hempstead (Long Island), taking only the side streets.
After about an hour he had to ask Herbie and his lady friend to tone it down a bit because he had to concentrate on driving the car. However it must be said that talent with playing the flute is really a talent the partner has, and not of the possessor of such a flute.
That taxi driver has quite a smirk on his face…
Jerry Williams, Jr., known to his adoring fans as “Swamp Dogg”, is a soul musician, and has been putting out such music since the 1970s. He has been making records under various monacres since 1954, and has his present name since the 1970s. He continues to make records to this date.
“Rat On!” is Mr. Dogg’s second LP, released in 1971. Swamp Dogg has commented on the relatively recent trend by rap singers to go for names like “Snoop Doggy Dogg”, “The Doggs”, and “The Dogg Pound”. He seems unsure that he had any influence on those musicians.
His imitators (parody, of course, and not all male). Many of these stray far off the topic of Chris Crocker: 12345 (Israel?)678910 (a hockey player?)11
There are dozens more, but I haven’t got anywhere near that kind of time to collect them all.
Something that is currently under high rotation on my iPod (actually, it’s an el-cheapo SanDisk that does the same thing) is a song called “Calling on Mary” by Aimee Mann. Aimee Mann has had a few good tracks after she parted from ‘Til Tuesday. But for some reason, this one, from what must be one of the moodiest Christmas albums I have ever heard (“One More Drifter in the Snow”), has me addicted. The song has that addictive quality of hitting all the right notes and the has all the right chord changes to keep it engaging. I would like it to be a love song or something, but here it is, a Christmas song. There is definite heart-ache in the music, more so than the words. It is an articulation of feeling I would put up there with George Harrisson. At least in that tune.
One wonders why she hadn’t been bigger as an act. There is definite hit quality in her music. It seems her “image” is of a female who thinks, who ponders, who is moody and introspective. None of these qualities are common in female acts.
Pink Martini is a Jazz ensemble (although much of what they do is of an “international” flavour) featuring a lead vocalist, a pianist, and a string and horn section. I purchased a CD recently called Hey Eugene, whose title track is really hilarious. It was played on our local jazz station. The other tracks are worthwhile also, but live up to different expectations. I say that because the title track appears to be geared up as more of a pop tune. I enjoyed it, but I like Jazz, and these were interesting tunes. The lead singer China Forbes sings in different languages, but the lyric booklet has English translations.