Crappy Album Covers #259 — Recordings of Enigmatic Individuals

Lee Harvey Oswald is one of many that lived during the days of the Kennedy assassination. That is, one of many Lee Harvey Oswalds. So at any rate, who the heck knows if this is the real Oswald? Of course, one of these Oswalds were killed days after the assassination by Jack Ruby. The Oswald, whom they refer to as the “lone nut”. I suspect that this is the Oswald the album claims to deal with.

It is hard to say if this LP made it as a “hit” record, even a short 3 years after the assassination in Dealy Plaza in Dallas.

Civil Rights activist. Co-founder of the Black Panthers. Author of the book “Barbecueing with Bobby”. Spokesperson for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. This is the enigma that is Bobby Seale.

This LP likely deals with the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. You see, Lyndon Johnson announced that he had enough of trying to fit into JFK’s shoes, and would not seek a second term. That meant that the democrats had to hold a convention to see who would lead. It was slim pickin’s, what with brother RFK assassinated also.

So what unity did the Democrats have after the Tet Offensive and the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King? Not much. You got Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, and Edwin Muskie. None of these people were a match for the opponent, Richard Nixon, who led a united Republican party to win the Presidential election.

The 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago was held in what has been described as a Potemkin-style setting, in a building with bulletproofed walls, and chain-linked fences topped by concertina wire surrounding the perimeter. Demonstrators, ranging from moderate to radical, who had a myriad of special causes, but with Tet and Martin Luther King fresh in their minds, had what was intended as a peaceful demonstration, but which ended up as being violent. It has been widely accepted that the Chicago Police and the Illinois National guard were the instigators, and even journalists were getting beaten up. Among the roughed-up journalists were Dan Rather, and Mike Wallace.

Among the arrested, tried and jailed were members of what became known as The Chicago Eight, a loosely-connected bunch whose most prominent members included Bobby Seale, Abbie Hoffman, and Jerry Rubin. The latter two were founders of the “Yippie” (YIP=Youth International Party) movement. Bobby Seale was not charged, although he was sentenced to 5 years for contempt of court, due to an outburst he had toward the presiding judge Julius Hoffman. The outburst was due to Seale being denied the attorney he wanted, and being denied the opportunity to represent himself. Seale was ordered bound, gagged, and chained to a chair for the remainder of the proceedings. Hence, the record cover. Because of the contempt of court charge, his trial was never heard, and the Chicago Eight became the Chicago Seven. The four-year sentence for contempt of court was one of the longest in the history of American jurisprudence for that charge.

Crappy Album Covers #258 — Georgy Porgy Puddn’ ‘n’ Pie

This is the one-hit wonder  for drummer and bandleader Rob Kuban and his In-Men, called Look Out for The Cheater, which reached #12 in 1966.

This song even made it to the Rock-And-Roll Hall of Fame’s permanent exhibit of one-hit wonders.

Kuban wasn’t the lead singer on this tune, however. That job was left for Walter Scott (1943-1983) who, in the greatest of all ironies, was murdered by James WIlliams, with the collusion of Walter’s wife JoAnn. James and JoAnn were married in 1986. The marriage must have been short-lived, however, as she got 5 years in prison, while James likely received life imprisonment.

Dick Lucas likes to live on the edge, doesn’t he? He meets a nice lady, they go out for some time, he jilts her, they break up, then he misses her and asks for her to come back.

Most songs which explore the tangled nature of love would say things like “take a chance on me”. This one is even more edgier, with the albumtitle being “Would You Take Another Chance on Me?”

The chick who is standing away from him is clearly weighing her options.

Here are The In-Men, with their only top-40 hit.

Crappy Album Covers #257 — The Gay Life

Playwright and church minister Al Carmine’s (1936-2005) 1973 “Off-off-Broadway” play “Faggot”, was a play which managed to encompass all facets of gay life. The play was likely a celebration of the declassification of homosexuallity as a mental illness, being the first-ever gay musical, and likely the first-ever gay musical, period. Homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness by fiat, by the APA in 1973, the same where can i buy viagra online? year as the play.

Historical gay characters featured in the play were Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Catherine the Great.

George Kennedy’s 1967 spoken-word album “Homosexuality in The American Male” struggles with the “mental illness” paradigm of what we seem to accept today merely as a lifestyle choice.

A track can be heard here, courtesy of April Winchell:

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Crappy Album Covers #256 — Why some marketing efforts fail

This post shows that not all women are chosen to grace an album cover for their “prurient potential” “marketing” ability. I can’t possibly think that this album is serious. Must be a “metal parody” record of some kind, must be.

Shock jock and Arizonan native Dave Pratt have been recording goofy musical parodies for KUPD since he was 18. As you can see, he even displays his own logo. Twice. Is that really necessary?

What is it that makes this album crappy? La piece de la resistance of this record cover has to be the placement of the price tag for the record, which is no fault of the record cover designers. But it is pure genius. The icing on the cake. The only redeeming factor is that, clearly, the chick on this cover was not chosen for her salesmanship ability, thus winning accolades of those who prefer less commercialism. There is a single from this EP that also uses this same chick.

This is their first-ever album, an EP, really, released in 1995 by the band 12 Rounds. They have been releasing recordings sporadically as recently as 2009.

Crappy Album Covers #255 — Fascism’s Greatest Hits

A couple of posts ago, I gave a couple of CACs from what may be arguably called “the loony left”. To add balance, I thought I would remind you about the Loony Right.

These guys in the photo could well have the word “Ditto!” written on their heads.

I am the way to the city of woe.
I am the way to a foresaken people.
I am the way to eternal sorrow.
Sacred justice moved my architect.
I was raised here by divine omnipotence,
Primodial love and ultmmate intellect.
Only those elements time cannot wear
were made before me, and beyond time I stand.
Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

— Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto III
Inscription above the gate to Hell’s vestibule

Crappy Album Covers #254 — More Chix as Marketeers

I am not sure who decided to put “School’s Out” and “Tumbling Dice” alongside songs like “Song Sung Blue” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.

I would be very, very surprised if these songs were from the original artists.

Another token chick on the cover to act as the sales rep for this LP.

Not sure what country these are from (Netherlands? South Africa?), but we have another lovely saleslady here, with almost unrecogniseable songs (at least in North America). Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit” seems to be there, but the other titles could be the titles of tons of tunes done by any number of artists.

The saleslady appears to be sitting in the deepest peat bog I’ve seen in a while. But hey, they say it’s good for your skin.

Crappy Album Covers #253 — Exploit me! Exploit me!

Coverbrowser.com (click on the graphic) has this “Squirt” LP all over its website.  Wouldn’t you? Here is an LP with little toy Mexican musicians, and a face of a pretty young lady next to the title “Squirt Does Its Thing”.

Now, before you get too heatedup over the pornographic possibilities of the photo and the title, “Squirt” is a lemon-flavoured soft drink that was popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This promotional LP is called a commercial “tie-in” with the product. Squirt is still popular in smaller markets, and currently owned by Dr Pepper/Snapple.

Sorry to deflate you. You can stop salivating now.

You can start salivating again. I hear that The Crazy Girls squirt, too.

Crappy Album Covers #252 — The Overthrow of the Proletariat

The Key record label, during the Red Scare, released a series of anti-Communist screeds such as this spoken-word LP. The Office Naps blog tells of other Key releases.

In really good condition, I have seen this LP listed for $78.00

And as for pro-Communist screeds, this one is in the form of song. This is an American release, but I know little else about it.

Trade unions closed the gap between rich and poor to a great extent. Today, this would be called “extreme left”. In its day, it was just “the left”.

Crappy Album Covers #251 — More Phallic Symbols

This is the 1981 LP from the L.A. Boppers called “Bop Time!”. Great concept except for the use of the second hand. Speaking of time, the LP consists of 8 tracks, and is just over a half hour.

This LP now sells in Europe for the equivalent of $39.00 in “VG++” condition. It appears to be a listed on this site as a promotional LP.

If I am correct, this is a 3-record set various artists compilation released in 1970. Hard to tell, since the cover art is missing in the site I was searching at.

But a web site that has this cover suggests that this is only a 1-record compilation, featuring artists such as T. Rex, Ike&Tina Turner, and other signatories to the Blue Thumb Record label during the late-60s/early 70s period.

Crappy Album Covers #250 — Triple Love

Today, we have a triple bill, kiddies! That is, instead of the usual two albums, this post will show three albums.

Designers for the album “Rome With Love” put in all the things that would be cliche these days (and was likely cliche then also): a Vespa Lambretta scooter, and cargo in the form of shopping things and an attractive lady wearing capri pants.

Same scooter, different guy and girl. “Berlin With Love” gives the impression to people who have never been there that Berlin is nothing more than Rome in disguise. Except that there are one or two visual cues that give a sense of Deutschland. The lady holding a beer stein, for one; an open advocacy of drinking and driving.

Hey, to heck with German engineering! Everyone knows that Italian Vespas are better! tramadol for dogs to buy Capri pants too!

Hey… do you notice that each time Jo Basile makes another album “with Love”, there is a different guy and girl, and the Vespa seems more crowded than before? This time, there is more of a sense of formula. The Vespa, the national garb, the shopping things which are more noticeably culture-specific, but no capri pants this time.

There are others, many others… Here is another cover “From Rio with Love”, for example.

Joss Baselli (1926-1982) was born to Italian parents who emigrated to France. He is a virtuoso accordionist who plays under the pseudonym Jo Basile.  This formulaic approach lasted for 24 of his 40 or so albums. He has worked in TV and movies, and has recorded with the likes of Dick Hyman, Bobby Rosengarden, and Phil Kraus.

Crappy Album Covers #172 — Scary warlike thingies

Album_Cover_Crap_315_inspiredology_com Let’s get something stright here. Just because there are scary warlike thingies on your album like the Transformer dude on this Linkin Park record, doesn’t mean it’s a cool record, OK? It might impress a 10 year-old, but not many older people.
Album_Cover_Crap_298_guardian_co_uk Bodies of men with heads of birds as a warlike thingie has been overdone to the point where it has lost its power to scare people, if it ever had it at all.

There are many scary birds: hawks, eagles, but since the name of this band is called Budgie, well… three guesses as to what species these heads belong to.

Bandolier is Budgie’s fifth album, released in 1975, and combines all the worst elements of the early Yes album covers.

Brothers In Arms: A belated review of the versions

Not really having heard the original Dire Straits version of “Brothers in Arms” when it came out (it was one of these things I was planning on “getting around to”), my first experience with the song was through protest singer Joan Baez in 1988, with a radio-only compilation back when I was a university DJ. I feel that it was at least her best since “Love Song To a Stranger”, another song that grabs my emotions in a similar way.

Brothers in Arms is about a quintessential Baez theme: anti-war. It is hard to listen to lyrics like “There’s  a million different worlds/and a million different suns/we have just one world/and live in different ones” and not get choked up.

I have heard some remarks in recent blogs regarding the appropriateness of a woman singing this song. Well, I think that war is not just a “man’s issue”. It is an issue for all mankind. I feel no conflict with Baez singing this song. Women have sons, brothers, and husbands that are lost in war, too.  And when you hear Baez sing, believe me, any questions of appropriateness quickly fly out the window. She definitely makes this song her own.

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She does a better job of the vocals than anyone I have heard, including Mark Knopfler, the writer of the tune. But there is an element missing.The music in the background serves as a vehicle for her voice. It is maudlin, and its mediocrity doesn’t become obvious until the song’s ending where the musicians no longer have the power of Baez’s voice to carry the ending.

Finally, after all these years, I sat down and had an un-interrupted, quiet, sustained listen to Dire Straits doing the original song.

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Its strength is its weakness: Knopfler’s Gibson guitar. When most people talk to me about Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms being a “good song”, they are referring to the guitar work. The words of the song, which Knopfler nearly mumbles his way through, takes a back seat to the the guitar playing. In a real sense, the problem is the reverse of the Baez problem: while the voice is just “kind of there”, it is just a vehicle for the guitar. And as Baez shows us in no uncertain terms, the lyrics of the song have their own power in the hands of the right vocalist, making the most of what are powerful, poetic lyrics.

If only we had Knopfler’s guitar, and Baez’s voice doing that tune … we can only dream.

Crappy Album Covers #126 — Four Guys on a Cover

Album_Cover_Crap_187_Flickr Here is the first of the cliche “Four guys on an album cover”. I first misread the title as “Jack not again”, but saw that the “n” had a tail like the way some people cursively write their lowercase p’s.

So, the album set in what is likely the early 70s, is “Jackpot Again”. I have little information on this unconvincing-looking Beatlesque foursome.

Album_Cover_Crap_183_Flickr … But the Delltones show them that they can look unconvincing no matter what the clothing.

The Delltones actually have five members in their 2009 lineup, with fellow Queenslanders Woody Finlayson, Danny Mayers, Merv Dick, Ian “Peewee” Wilson, and Owen Booth.

They have kept a following since 1958, and still perform in gigs in Australia. Peewee Wilson appears to be the only enduring member.

Crappy Album Covers #121 — Phallic Symbols III

Album_Cover_Crap_178_Flickr Whirlwind Heat formed 12 years ago in Grand Rapids, Michgan, and continue to make recordings of their own unique brand of alternative music.

For their 2006 offering, their second full-length album, they find that this young lady closes her eyes when she licks her wood. Or maybe she was told to. You never know with these photographers.

Album_Cover_Crap_175_Flickr This is another woman who likes to close her eyes. There is also something that appears to be smoke rising from the banana. Or steam.

I have no information on the group Bananas or their recording “Get it & Come” “Come & Get It”. It’s probably a rock album. Most rock albums have something to do with the sex act or with getting laid in general, don’t they?

Crappy album Covers #120 — Plastic Surgery Disasters

Album_Cover_Crap_177_Flickr Just before work ended, there was this explosion at the Red Rubber Coating factory, and this poor fella couldn’t escape in time.  This is Tripping Daisy’s 1995 offering, called “I Am An Elastic Firecracker.”

What seems a little more worrisome is the skin tone of the fellow underneath the read paint.

Album_Cover_Crap_176_Flickr This is the 1991 single from Aphex Twin, called Window Licker. Aphex Twin is the brainchild of Richard James, a Welsh artist who has been making records since 1991.

My experience with AT is that there is not much about them that is danceable, but this one has its moments. The video generally centers around the theme of picking up whores in some undisclosed location.

I couldn’t understand the first part of the video. It seems that for about the first 2-3 minutes the dilogue is it safe to buy viagra online yahoo answers cosnsisted of two coloured guys in a car repeating the word motherf***er over and over with a few extra words thrown in to make it sound like they were speaking English to each other. When the prostitutes were encountered, the words varied a little more, but the hoes saw through them, and didn’t believe that they had any money.

The tranny groove on this single comes from something that happens part way thru the video where the second customer, who is of the sort that drives a stretch limo with a bazillion windows (namely, our hero Richard), gets out of the car and starts some kind of a mating dance requiring a suggestive use of an umbrella. That’s when the prostitutes start growing beards, and looking like Richard. Creepy.

Crappy Album Covers #115 — Trophy animals and trophy women

Album_Cover_Crap_195_Flickr First, let’s talk about trophy animals.

Kind of reminds me of the 1986 college radio smash hit “All I Got Were Clothes For Christmas” by Happy Flowers.

Also, looks like the musician is getting friendly with his trophy deer.

There is no info on who this person is or why he has the logo for the American Lung Association painted upside-down on his forehead.

Album_Cover_Crap_192_Flickr Everything was going romantically until Ethel noticed trophies of a beheaded blonde and redhead on the wall, and remembering she is a brunette, she concluded that George must be a collector. Things became tense after that.

Yes, trophy women. That is, women’s heads as wall-mounted trophies. This should have been the album cover for Fine Young Cannibals’ “Hunters and Collectors”.

Elliot Lawrence was an American Jazz Pianist and band leader during the late 1950s. He won two Tony Awards for his compositions in TV and film in the early  1960s.

Crappy Album Covers #114 — Cows and Cliches

album_cover_crap_140_cendella_com

Moving Geltine Plates (MGP) was, according to this bio from progweed.net, was one of France’s finest progressive rock bands. This album, released on CBS Records in 1972, was their second album, and the critical high water mark of their career. Poor distribution was blamed for the fact that this record didn’t fare well in the stores, and the band soon folded afterward.

I would also blame the album cover which was designed for it. At the time of the first writing of this blog article, I mindlessly thought that this was the head of a cow. Problem is, how many cows are hairless? This one also has half-closed eyes. Like a pig. The ears are cone-shaped like a cow. I’m totally screwed up here.

Lookit. I’m not dumb. I know my cows. Here’s a cow:

HappyCow

What’s so funny?! It’s a goddamn cow! I know my cows!

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Former member of White Witch, Ron Goedert recorded “Breaking All The Rules” in 1980, a couple of years after the band broke up. White Witch opened for a lot of seminal 1970s acts, includng Alice Cooper and Grand Funk Railroad.

Allmusic.com makes scant mention of them, except to simply have an entry for Goedert and his record, the only one allmusic.com mentions.

Maybe the fact that one of the members was wearing a yellow sleeveless jumpsuit on the album cover had something to do with it.

Crappy Album Covers #113 — Groovin' … or something

album_cover_crap_155_showandtelmusic_com BC and Frenchy are classified by Show and Tell Music as “Hillbilly Synth Wave”. This page discusses the two musicians, Bruce (last name?) and Carroll Frenzilli. An Italian named buy brand viagra without prescription Frenchy. Nice.

Obiously a DIY album cover.

pic10383 Reverend Dexter Wise
Rapper In Disguise
Rappin’ with the boyz
Makin’ joyful noise
Is it gangsta rap?
He ain’t into that!

Not sure when this one came out.

Crappy Album Covers #91 — Threatening Covers

album-cover-crap-130_lpcoverlover_com Relax now with the Creed Taylor Orchestra, while you listen to the album “Panic: The Son of Shock”.Anyone in the mood to listen to someone’s musical impression of panic? If you like this album, you’ll love the sequel “Hysteria, daughter of shock”. While you are at it, you can help yourself to the follow-up album “Feeling rushed: second cousin of panic”.
album_cover_crap_129_coverbrowser_com_tarkus_takeoff This album has appeared on many “worst album cover” blogs, and the discussions make it appear as though this album cover is like no other album in the history of the universe.Now, am I the only one in on the joke, or is there something else I am not seeing. I think this album, right down to the childlike drawing, is making fun of the ELP’s 1971 album, Tarkus.
album_cover_crap_135_tarkus This is the album. I didn’t like the cover either. The person who drew Metal Tit (possibly a talented 5 year old kid) couldn’t draw armadilloes, or wheels or catepillar tracks.Trouble here is that ELP didn’t have a low budget or an indie label as an excuse for such an awful album cover.

Crappy Albums Covers (Sidebar) — Make your own crappy album cover

witness_album This is April Fool’s Day, so I thought that it would be a good time to post albums that don’t exist. In fact, I will be doing nothing but fake albums for the month of April.

If you have been an avid reader of my postings, you would have noticed that the band names depicted here were the same ones I made up in this post.Looks like any of hundreds of indie band album covers.

If you want to know how to put these things together, scroll down. And yes, these were photoshopped.

jesus_of_kapuskasing

If you want to boost album sales, there’s nothing like watermarking a “Parental Advisory/Explicit Lyrics” logo on the cover so that people will ignore your artistic message and simply buy your album to listen for all the F— words. And if there aren’t any, they can’t really sue a rating system for false advertising, can they?

You can getchy’er parental advisory sticker by Googling it (there are plenty out there), then layer it in Photoshop (shrink it first if necessary), setting the opacity to under 50% so that it simply shows up as a watermark. When you’re done with inserting the title and band name, cropping the photo and so on, you then flatten the image and save it as a jpeg.

Here are the instructions for making up your own artificial crappy album cover, courtesy of emptees.com, together with my own commentary:

A Do-It-Yourself Indie Band Album Cover:

  1. Go to “wikipedia.” Hit “random… Read More”, or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band. Or alternatively, pick a band name using the band name generator and word of your liking at bandnamemaker.com (my preferred method). Warning: to my knowledge neither method will generate a band name such as “Jesus of Kapuskasing”. That name was pure invention. Jesus is, well, Jesus; and Kapuskasing (pronounced cap-us-KAY-sing) is a small town in northern Ontario. I used it because “Jesus of Montreal” was already taken (it is the title of an independent film). Wikipedia has that title.
  2. Go to “Random quotations” or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3 The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. In both cases above, I used the Wikipedia titles from rule #1 to title the album.
  3. Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days.  The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. I threw less caution to the wind and looked a little harder.
  4. Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Make sure it’s a square. 500 x 500 pixels is ideal. I require a square image too, but I do not have “ideal” limits. Whatever the size, it ends up on my blog as 300 x 300.