Crappy Album Covers #198 — Crappy album covers raised to high art

Yes, I remember paintings like this. Some of them hang in the National Gallery in Ottawa, with names like “Gray Square on Canvas” and sell for about a quarter million dollars CDN. The members of U2 saw this one, fell in love with it, and used it on their twelfth album released earlier this year, called “No Line on the Horizon”. Well…. it’s not exactly “in your face”, is it? At least it has that going for it.

But to really convey a sense of “no line on the horizon”, you need to experience a Canadian winter, such as what exists in places like Iqaluit and Nunavut. There, you get whiteouts. The snow is so pervasive, that you can’t make out the sky for the ground. It’s all white. You need the other painting the National Gallery has, called “white square on white canvas”. (OK, so the latter painting doesn’t really exist, at least not yet, and not to my knowledge).

I don’t mind the cover, if this was some kind of prog rock album, but heck, this is Chet Atkins (1924-2001). This original 1957 album cover looks like the cover of some Trigonometry textbooks I’ve seen. The cover was re-designed sometime later (see this Wikipedia article) to be a little more suggestive of Atkin’s main genre, country and western music. There was a 50th anniversary reissue of this 27-minute recording in 2007, with 16 bonus tracks.

Chet Atkins is a central figure in Country and Western music, helping to invent what has become known as “The Nashville Sound”, both as musician and producer. His influence extends into Rock and Roll. George Harrisson, Ted Nugent, Eric Clatpon, and Mark Knopfler all list Atkins as an influence. He has won over 14 Grammies along with a Lifetime Achievement award. After his death, he was finally inducted into Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame.

Crappy Album Covers #197 — Covers with some e'splainin' to do

Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III, known to some as Desi Arnaz, came to America as a humble but talented musician from Santiago, Chile, and from the early to mid-1930s, held several odd jobs, including bird cage cleaner, taxi driver, and bookkeeper. He later joined Xavier Cugat in the late ’30s, and showed his musical talents. A couple of years later, he formed his own dance orchestra, releasing several albums during the late 30s and throughout the 1940s.His role as Ricky Ricardo in the sitcom “I Love Lucy” featured the song Babalu in the 1951 pilot episode. He had by this time already been married to Lucille Ball in real life. As a bit of extra trivia, the entire series had always been filmed in front of a live audience.
British comedian Max Bygraves wants us to believe that this series, called “Viva! Congalongamax” survived 10 volumes, although little indication of this appears on Wikipedia. What is indicated, is that this is his tenth album with a different title. What is also indicated, beyond doubt, is his love for album titles with long almost nonsensical words such as the title “Singalongamax”, “Discolongamax”, and this one. These may be found among his 63 album titles Wikipedia says he put out.

The Discolongamax album features such dico smash hits as “Get Me to Church on Time”, “You Need Hands”, and “How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm?”. And of course, he sings “Feelings”.
Faceinhole.com allows its visitors to put a picture in place of Max’s on this cover.

Crappy Album Covers #196 — Superstition and legend

The Incans were ahead of their time. Their legends may have given us the first samples of pornography. Voice of the Xtabay is a legend about a woman who has sex with countless men, then died with Xtabentum (fragrant flowers) growing on her grave. It has all the elements of a plotless porn film. All it needs now is bad acting in between the sex scenes.

Depicted is a very young Yma Sumac (1922-2008), a Peruvian soprano known for her 5-octave vocal range. For the Exotica genre that was popular in the late ’40s and throughout the 1950s, they don’t get more famous than her.

This 1950 studio album, and Sumac’s first, was produced by no less than Les Baxter, who also helped write two of the tracks. It features Peruvian rhythms, and of course, Sumac’s vocal range. The recording can be purchased in CD form through any number of online vendors.

Two Polynesian dudes are busy singing along, when all of a sudden both say: “Hey, who brought in the white chick?” This is yet another CAC from that veritable CAC factory, TOPS.

The composer was Robert Drasnin (1927-2015), at the time, a recent UCLA graduate with a Master’s in Music. In 1959, he was approached by the upper management at TOPS to produce an exotica record. On that record you will likely hear the piano of John Williams, who would later go on to write the musical scores of Star Wars and Jaws. Drasnin himself would later produce music for the small screen, most notably The Twilight Zone, and Gunsmoke. By 1977 he became the director of music for the CBS television network.

To date there has been at least two reissues of Voodoo on compact disc. To show that Exotica has not yet died, Drasnin recorded Voodoo II on CD in 2007 when he was 80.

 

Crappy Album Covers #195 — How a CD was made back in the day

The Swedish group The Spotnicks made this album called Out-A-Space back in 1962. They were among the first really successful Swedish group to exist on the international scene, in the same way that The Ventures and The Shadows did in the late 50s.

Unlike The Ventures, I know of little indication of them making it big across the pond, but they did score many UK hits in their tenure. The space suit gimmick was part of their trademark, and they appeared that way in all their concerts.

Making a CD was hard work, back in the day. You take these metal tongs, clasp the CD in between, then hold them over this shaping tool, then you stick it in the fire until the metal can you buy heneric viagra online legally starts to glow and get soft. Then you pit it for the audio tracks with a hammer and chisel.

Uh, a really small hammer and a really small chisel.

Hey, it’s a living.

Croatian Mišo Kova? was the biggest selling singer from the former Yugoslavia, selling over 20 million records, cassettes, and CDs to date. He had won the Yugoslavian Split Festival 5 times up until 1980, more than any other to that  day. While Wikipedia gives a detailed biography of him, it does not mention this single. Translated, “Za Tvoju Ljubav Sve Bih Dao” appears to mean roughly : “For Your Love I Would Give”. The other side of this single, “Tužno Srce Moje“, translates to roughly: “Sad My Heart”.

Crappy Album Covers #194 — Cliche Clowns

See this clown? Look how much fun he’s had! Fun, fun, fun! So much fun, the entire circus collapsed around him, and now he’s having no more fun. His former employer sold the junk for scrap, and once in a while he comes over to the junk yard to rekindle old memories. Otherwise, he panhandles on a street corner downtown. No more fun! Boo hoo hoo!If they are going to entitle this record “A Day of Fun at the Circus”, then why in the h-e-double sticks was this picture chosen?
That’s the panhandler from across the street.  At least he bothers to crack a smile, with his album “When The Children Sing” (Cuando Cantan Los Ninos). The ultimate cliche hobo clown, smoking a stogie and looking dapper in his kid gloves, Red Skelton style.No other information was found.

Crappy Album Covers 193 — Tackiness past and present

Other blogs have already commented on Brooke Hogan’s 2009 CD The Redemption, especially AOL Radio, who has declared this cover the #1 worst of 2009. True, it would look tacky on the side of a van, let alone a CD, but it has a trailer trash groove about it that befits the daughter of Hulk Hogan.

This being Brooke Ellen Bollea’s second album, she has already made the cover of FHM (anyone surprised?), has had her own reality TV show where her father sometimes appears, and even has her own YouTube account, BrookeStarTV.

I had to rename this graphic so that I could remember that Don Elliott’s album “Music for the Sensational Sixties” was released in the 1950s. 1958, to be exact. Elliott was likely betting that, in two years’ time, they would be driving their Vespas through the Milky Way while listening to 5-time Downbeat award winner Don Elliott and His Orchestra serve some tunes that would go nicely with the space age. Coming at you, Jetson-style, in “Stereo-Spectrum”, whatever that means.

Crappy Album Covers #192 — Non Sequiturs and Weirdness

Album_Cover_Crap_401_fischerspooner-the-entertainer Let’s  see if I can figure this out … Dusan Reljin Fischerspooner wears a top hat (of the vaudeville variety) attached to a metal cage extending the height of his forehead; the hat is somehow connected to two bungee cords which also are tied to hs neck; and finally the top of his hat is attached to what appears to be a circular flourescent lamp.

This is as close as one can get to a Gary Numan imitation in Fischerspooner’s 2009 album, “Entertainment”. AOL Radio has rated this CD cover as the #2 worst cover of 2009.

Album_Cover_Crap_349 No information exists on these adorable, slightly mischievous children, and even less on the little girl plugging her ears. She doesn’t look too happy with the choir’s singing. Nevertheless, I am left scratching my head wondering why they chose that photo to promote the record?
Also, no info on the album “Merry (Music for) Christmas” either.

Thunder thighs

Well, I have heard the term since at least my adolescence, and I never quite knew the definition. But according to the urban dictionary, which sports 136 related definitions and synonyms. Ladies with thunder thighs can also have “piano legs”, or they can sport an “ocean of butter”, or whatnot. Basically, any woman buy cheap tramadol 50mg whose thighs range from Amazonian (substantial, but toned and still sexy) to just plain enormous can be said to have “thunder thighs”. Here is a photo gallery. Click on each one for an enlargement.

Crappy Album Covers #191 — Slightly creepy

Album_Cover_Crap_403 I am not sure why it matters that a record album be advertised as “full color” high fidelity, but that is the kind of thing that comes with this compilation of “Rock and Roll Party Oldies and Goodies”, I suppose.

I am not sure which is dorkier: the guy hopping up and down and not being sure whether he is actually enjoying himself; or the barefoot young girl parachuting down with her skirt fully airborne. I think the reason for the pained expression on the guy’s face is from the fact that they bailed out of a plane from 5 miles in the air without a parachute, and they are about to become sidewalk souffle.

Album_Cover_Crap_405_thunder-thighs-blowupdoll This one comes from Bunk Strutts, who posted it before I did.

Thunder Thighs are a group of three British female backup singers who apparently were well-known in the industry. They decided to make a record of themselves, and got Lynsey de Paul to write their first hit single “Central Park Arrest” in 1974, which made it to #30 on the British Charts that year.

They had previously provided backing vocals to the likes of Lou Reed, Mott the Hoople, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

 

Crappy Album Covers #190 — I Can’t Count

Album_Cover_Crap_328_Cool_Five Hiroshi Uchiyamada (1936-2006) and The Cool Five are a Japanese group that proves that not knowing how to count is not merely a symptom of brainless white North American schoolchildren anymore, if it ever was. Determined to smash through Oriental stereotypes (after we sing a tune, join us for some Calculus!), the Cool Five have always boldly portrayed themselves as six people. No “Asian fail” for these folks! They get the White fail!

Even after Hiroshi’s death, they searched around for a sixth member to fill up the Five, and found Kiyoshi Maekawa to join up with Etsuro Miyamoto, Masaki Kobayashi, Masashi Osawa, Ryoma Nishida, and Tetsuya Yamagami.

Since 1969, their total sales nearly exceeded 6 million units. Maybe that’s the only math that really matters.

Album_Cover_Crap_404_purgatorio_com Can’t count to 4. There yuh go. White fail.

Please God, let the patron saint of mathematicians (whomever s/he may be) come down to these people with their blessings and maybe knock some math sense into them. Amen.

Crappy Album Covers #189 — Faerie Dust

Album_Cover_Crap_348 This is likely a late 70s release from the Hungarian prog rock group Omega. If it makes you feel any better, there is a 2002 album by them called Time Robber where they are all dressed in black.

This is supposed to be spacey and experimental and the cover makes it look like some of the members have spent too long under the blow dryer.

Album_Cover_Crap_400_super-animal-brothers-iii-ear-pwr “Psychopharmaceutical Monopoly” is played with as many players as you want. Everyone must bring their own stash of drugs. Instead of a bank (as in real monopoly), you have a “psych ward” where the new drugs are dispensed into circulation to the other legal buy tramadol online players. Players are allowed to consume their drugs during play to prevent their opponent from taking them. However, consumed drugs are considered no longer in play, and the player who consumed the drug(s) has to still have the competence to roll dice and move his piece around the board correctly, otherwise, he is out, and his remaining stash sent back to the psych ward.

That is the idea this cover seems to convey, with “Ear Pwr’s” 2009 album “Animal Brothers”. AOL Radio has declared this cover to be the third worst of 2009. The other two will come in subsequent postings.

Crappy Album Covers #188 — Sex Education

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The sexual education of our young is the one touchy point in our society.  And whether parents are really saying the right things is what worries counsellors and psychologists all over the world.

 

Look at the father on the left presumably talking with the young boy. Hopefully, the father is not “showing him the moves” with his right hand, since I don’t think that kind of sex ed is what anyone intended.

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I would guess that this is how young girls end up if they don’t have sex ed. Like Nancy Walker here.It is equally likely that you can turn the logic around and say that Nancy was the victim of too many men who didn’t know what to do with their trumpets. Could there be anything worse?

 

Nancy Walker directed in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as well as showing up as Ida Morganstern in the spinoff sitcom Rhoda.

Crappy Album Covers #187 — Food on Vinyl IX

Album_Cover_Crap_343 Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen to the sub-series that never ends! FOOD ON VINYL!

Martha and her ugly sister greta were in bed sleeping when they were awaken by a rumbling outisde their room. They followed the rumbling to the kitchen, when, suddenly, they were attacked by snacks! Marauding hamburgers, with evil eyes, flying through the air.

This is a cover for the U. S. release of the 1981 album from Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, which was called “Ismism” elsewhere, but they thought “Snack Attack” would work better for North Americans. It yielded one top-40 single on Billboard: “Under Your Thumb”. The title track never charted.

Album_Cover_Crap_381 Gershon Kingsley is the composer of  this classic tune that no conscientious tacky ’70s synth collector should be without. He recorded it in 1969, where it broke wide open in Europe

Hippies and nerds alike copped to it. Hot Butter records it in 1972 and even kids as young as 5 got into it. And of course, it was of that certain genre of music that made it into more than one K-Tel compilation.

The album cover could have been designed by Andy Warhol, but I doubt it.

Crappy Album Covers #186 — A Parent's Horror

Album_Cover_Crap_341 A parent’s horror: Ukuleles. On tour, no less. Pay admission, you get to hear a whole orchestra of them.

 

Few people can make a ukulele sound good.  This is an elpee’s worth of toons from a group of classmates, possibly from Halifax, by Order of Canada recipient J. Chalmers Doane and a group of his pupils. This was Doane’s second recording, released in 1974, of a total of 9 albums of children and their ukeleles. This was reportedly recorded during a tour of Quebec and Ontario.

Album_Cover_Crap_345 Another horror: Babies crying! For forty-five solid minutes! Can you stand being in a room that long while this is playing?

 

On a more solemn note, what did the guys in the studio do to make the babies cry? Take away their rattle? Slap them up’side the head? Electric shock treatment? You got to wonder.

Actually, you need not. These are recordings of  more than 20 different kinds of diseased babies, so that physicians can tell the kind of disease by the kind of cry the baby makes. Recorded in 1971 by a South African doctor, Dr. Eugene Weinberg. Hear babies with Chronic Asthma! Cystic fibrosis! Severe Pneumonia! Cri du Chat! Hydroencephaly! You’ll never mis-diagnose again!

Crappy Album Covers #185 — Family Bands II

Album_Cover_Crap_346 Available for $21.00 on some websites, this 1977 album features siblings Rick, Jack, Toby, Jill and Carrie who hail from Minneapolis, and according to Bizarrerecords.com (click on image) they still are performing as grownups.
Album_Cover_Crap_342 Comedians John and VickiJo Witty are here with their album called “Family Portrait”. Not sure about their style of humour (haven’t heard of them), and info is hard to find online; although I have found this album for sale in some places.

 

The Groucho glasses gag is old by several generations, and I hope that is no reflection on the originality of the humour within. I have found it on sale from a few places in my online searches.

Crappy Album Covers #184 — The International Language of Bad Taste V

Album_Cover_Crap_336 In the multilingual universe that is the international CAC-o-sphere, we see three guys with pasty complexions and one chick sporting skin tones of a living being.

Honestly — do we have to see the pasty complexions twice — once again in their reflections?

A direct translation of the title might be uninformative, but “Look To Paris”/”I Want You” seem to come out in Google.

Album_Cover_Crap_390 Cattus. That’s “Cat” in latin. Actually, that’s “Feline” in Latin. From Perez Prado and His Orchestra, from before the days of stereo.

Sorry. I succumbed to the lolcat craze. Enjoy.

Crappy Album Covers #183 — Chixdiggit!

Album_Cover_Crap_335 What is the problem with this picture? It would seem as though, despite all of the efforts of these four lads to entice the two swimsuit-clad young ladies to join them (hell, what lady wouldn’t be impressed four guys wanting to form a human pyramid?), there is a major logistical problem: There are only two ladies for four guys. Maybe they should be called “The Four Perps”. Or: “The Four Pervs”.

The Four Preps had been performing for the better part of 30 years, beginning in the 1950s. The original lineup consisted of Bruce Belland, Ed Cobb (1938-1999), Marv Ingram, and Glen Larson. In the 12 years between 1954 and 1966, they reached the Billboard Hot 100 13 times.  Belland wrote the song “Tainted Love” for singer Gloria Jones, which Soft Cell turned into a worldwide smash hit in 1982.  Glen Larson became a big-time TV producer in the 1970s.

Album_Cover_Crap_389 Chicks dig guys with guitars. Les Paul (1915-2009), supremo guitarist that he is, would score with the chicks all the time. And just to make sure that chicks fall prostrate at his feet each time he picks up that guitar of his here he is depicted as having 6 guitars and 12 hands to play them with. This is the album cover equivalent of gang rape.

Not enough can be said about Lester William Polsfuss, since without him rock and roll wouldn’t exist, and most of country music would still consist of fiddles, banjoes, and accordions. Every time you see a group of four musicians, at least one or two of them will be sporting a Les Paul invention — the electric guitar. He also contributed chording sequences, fretting techniques, riffs and licks that many rock and country musicians are still thankful to him for. He also has his own permanent place in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

So, Chicks? What’s not to dig?

Crappy Album Covers #182 — Something Missing

Album_Cover_Crap_330 Former trucker Vance Edwards should know better than to pose in front of a trailer without the requisite truck. And I, along with many other bloggers in the CAC-o-sphere question the use of unintelligible yellow patches on eithr red or blue clothes. The electric guitars and keyboards that could not possibly be plugged into anything has been a staple of many CAC makers, to the point where I am now convinced that it is some kind of low-brow literary technique. The chick on the drums brings a kind of feminist Keren Carperteresque overtone to the cover, while keeping the group locked into its focus as CAC makers of the first order.

Then, like hours on the clock, there are these graphics arranged in a pattern similar to the bottom graphic in this post. Except that they are trucks, not sex positions. While buy tramadol cash on delivery Truckin’ came out in 1973, it is hard to know which idea came first.

Not much else is known about Vance or his band.

Album_Cover_Crap_332 Another circular graphic of another band, this time with an actual clock watermarked on to the photo. We have two bouffont-encrusted ladies playing electric guitar — one of them showing off a subconscious desire to play like Ace Frehley (or pick your heavy metal fave) by sporting a dual-necked guitar. Both ckicks are in their cut-below-the-knee Century 21 Real Estate suits and red turtlenecks, matching Ricky Ricardo’s (?) dinner jacket.

Not much else is known about the Calvary-Aires; though much speculation and prognostication pervades the CAC blogosphere, which I will not repeat here. The Calvary Aires had warned me that it is against the Scriptures to prognosticate. Not sure they knew what the word meant.

Crappy Album Covers #181 — Plainness, overdone

Album_Cover_Crap_338 Currently selling on E-Bay for about 15 bucks, Bobbi Jean White’s album “Higher Ground!” shows Ms White sporting the bouffont she was well-known for.White had been singing gospel since she was a child in Georgia. She had recorded dozens of albums either solo or with other groups, then became a radio announcer beginning for a Gospel radio station in the 1970s. This career extended into the early 90s.She had lost her hearing 12 years ago, and got it back this year through surgery, hearing again at age 79.
Album_Cover_Crap_337 P. J. Orion and the Magnate$’ self-titled LP is diaplayed here, with its litany of cliches, including (1) with the band posing with electrical instruments that could not possibly be plugged into anything; (2) wearing shades; (3) railroad motif; (4) prairie background with requisite blue sky.This was rumored to have been released in the 1960s, while the guys in the photo were attending prep school.

Crappy Album Covers #180 — The standards and the classics

Album_Cover_Crap_331 Elva Miller (1907-1997) made her claim to fame with purposefully bad Ethel Merman imitations where she sung songs from the Great American Songbook out of tune, along with many other kinds of well-known songs.When Mrs. Miller “Does her Thing”, I think the message here is that it is time to run  and hide. You never know what’s in those brownies.
Album_Cover_Crap_324_gyorgy

“Hey! Youse guys want to hear some o’ dat long-hair classical music or what? Well, don’t let some schmuck wearing a tux tell you what classical music is; let me tell you. Now, uh, I think my music teacher  told me dat once you hear The Nutcracker, all of the classical music sounds like that. Trouble is, though, my music teacher ran off with my money before I had all my lessons. Dat’s why I dress like a bum. My brudder here got through his lessons, but got killed in an accident with a cabbage truck. We cryogenically froze him in dis position, and so once in a while I take the fiddle from his hand, and fool around with it a bit. Frig it, he’s dead anyway — and I put it back after a while.”

No information exists about Markos and Nadas Gyorgy that I am aware of.

Here is Miss Elva Miller, singing “These Boots Are Made for Walking”. Rather than sounding like Merman, I think that in this song at least, she sounds more like Miss Piggy on the Muppet Show. This is off of her “Greatest Hits” LP: