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 #249 — Head-Scratchingly Crappy

Out of Abbfinoosty comes this crappy album cover from 1996, called “Comes the Storm.” It’s supposed to look spooky, but it just looks like someone got a little too happy with Photoshop. This album was not listed on the official website, so I had to go to Amazon to find info on it.
I don’t list metal albums. This looked like a metal album, and whenever I make an exception and discuss it, it is usually for good reason. See the guy on the right?

That’s Billy Joel.

A young Billy Joel, posing with drummer Jon Small, for their 1970 album, self-titled. It was reviewed on Allmusic.com as like making a musical impression of “having a hole drilled through your head.”

Great. I’ll put it on my list of things not to buy.

Crappy Album Covers #226 — The Demon Alcohol

Gertrude Behanna bears witness of the healing power of God to her admirers at an AA meeting. The recorded speech made some time after 1970 is reportedly quite memorable and witty. Reportedly, she is a a very human personality that emerged from “a miasma of glamour, sex, liquor, and irresponsibility.” It’s always the good things in life that f**k you up, isn’t it?
I would come out and say how ugly the above buy tramadol for dogs cover is, if it wasn’t for the existence of this cover. “Amazing Grace” by “The Celebration Road Show”. It looks like it was put together by the guy sitting next to the trashcan in that blue photograph. Or it could just as easily been put together by the toddler in the color insert. If only he were old enough to spell.

Crappy Album Covers #225 — Generic music for generic people

As Show and Tell Music tell us, this cover is for real. It was pressed some time in the 1980s, and has addresses of the performers in the Northern Alabama area for you to call if you want one of them to perform for you in person, which they would do as part of their ministry. I take it you need to be reasonably handy to Northern Alabama to take advantage of this deal. Here is a part of their notes from the back cover.
Dixieland Jazz, played by a band of eight Shriners who call themselves “The Eight Balls”. These Shriners hail from Lexington, Kentucky, and appear to consist of a dead guy on trumpet, with 7 onlookers.

Crappy Album Covers #224 — No-Name Album Covers

The Band’s 1968 LP “Music From Big Pink” shows artwork from the Marketing Department at Bob Dylan Enterprises. Actually, Dylan painted this himself, just to give it that “out there” feel. And to be really out there, make sure you don’t put the name on the record.

Figerpainting meets Putumayo. That’s how it looks to me. Dylan also contributed on three of the tracks.

While it peaked at #63 back in the day (was it the lack of a name on the cover that was the problem?), it was ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as #53 in the “500 greatest albums of all time” in a more recent 2003 appraisal of the album.

Psychedelic rockers Blue Cheer released this “nameless” 1968 LP called “Outsideinside”. Later albums had the title across the top of the front cover design. Of course, if you see this cover and you don’t know what it is about, that makes it all the more edgierfor some folks. But other folks can dismiss it with a curt “WTF?” also. Free world.

Some people just like to know the titles of stuff, sometimes. It isn’t nerdy or un-cool to not buy a record because you don’t know who recorded it or what the album name is. Unless your band name is Led Zeppelin (which copycatted this concept three years later with Led Zeppelin IV), you are probably not able to take such risks.

Blue Cheer has been performing as a group under wildly varying lineups over much of the 43-year period between 1966 and 2009. One of the founding members, singer/Bassist Dickie Peterson, died of prostate cancer in October of 2009. After Peterson’s death, bassist Andrew McDonald announced that the group will disband for the final time out of respect for Peterson.

Crappy Album Covers #221 — Unique Reiligious Concepts

“I stood at Calvary in a business suit, but no one told me that they were gonna have a toga party” is how I paraphrase one MSN blogger who discussed this album. But this could also be one of the earliest depictions of Supply-Side Jesus in a business suit.

No one would crucify Supply-side Jesus, according to his biographer and publicist, Al Franken, as when the choice was given to the multitudes as to whether to release Supply-side Jesus or Jesus of Nazareth from the sentence of death by crucifixion, the people chose Supply-side Jesus, since he offered the public 20 sheckels to anyone who voted for him. This historic act is depicted here for all to see.

I don’t care if it rains or freezes, s’long as I have my 8-bit Jesus playing on my iPod in my car. Our Lord and Saviour meets Mario Brothers.

These ditties by Doctor Octoroc may be downloaded again from a web page that touts it as the “second coming of 8-bit Jesus”.

Crappy Album Covers (sidebar) — The (belated) Furr Shrine

Fans of this blog may recall that venerable, but enigmatic group of CAC makers from who-knows-where called Furr. As you can see clearly, they are pretty derivative, and the cover shown here dates back to 1977  (so I was close), according to this CAC blog.

Also, according to the same blog, some visitors categorized their music as bubblegum. Hmm… sounds believeable.

But their song titles (these guys have a track listing!) still sound like titles pulled out of the Kiss reject bin: “Sister Honky Tonk”, “Wow, yeah”, and “Goin’ Down the Road” are examples.

But if we are to believe their other links to Amazon (which I don’t), they are now called “The Furr”, hail from Winnipeg, and have a current 2007 demo released on places like Amazon and CD Baby, entitled buy tramadol 50mg “Furr is Murder”. CD Baby has a short bio of The Furr (if they are from Winnipeg, then why does the Canadian Amazon site list them as an Import?). It would appear from their bio that “The Furr” did not exist before 2005. Since this is a 1977 album, either the bio is wrong and they’re all old geezers (I wouldn’t want to be a geezer in all that getup), or we are talking about two different bands.

The Furr are also on Facebook. They have reportedly broken up. But, looking at a recent picture of Matt and Darcy (two of The Furr’s  former members), they don’t look a day over 25. They would have been born 5 years after this album came out. I rest my case.

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.

Crappy Album Covers #168 — Sucky Latino

Album_Cover_Crap_320_Latino_Love This is Richard Hayman’s 1969 cheezily synthesized “Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine”. Hear synthesized versions of songs like “The Girl From Ipanema”, “The Windmills of Your Mind”, and “Hare Krishna”.

Wait … “Hare Krishna” is a Latin tune? Naw! And “Windmills” isn’t exactly Latin either, come to think of it. Looks like the robot needs to be re-programmed.

Album_Cover_Crap_295_funniez_net The Pachacamac is an ancient Peruvian site, thought to be nearly 3000 years old. Legend has it that every so often, on a clear sunny day, this dark haired guy in a tank top rises up from the Lurin River nearby and sings Latin hits.

Of course, it is only the stuff of legend, and no one knows if it’s true.

One blog has Beto Mendez’s nationality as Ecuadorian. The album was produced likely some time in the mid-1960s.

Crappy Album Covers #160 – Elvez Prezley

Album_Cover_Crap_212_-_kristianhoffman_com This would be the soundtrack to Elvis’s first comedy, GI Blues, released in 1960 by Paramount Pictures, where he acts as Tulsa alongside some token girl named Juliet Prowse, who plays Lili.
Album_Cover_Crap_211_-_kristianhoffman_com This is not Elvez, but “El Vez” (The Time), played by Hispanic smart aleck Robert Lopez. He is not strictly an Elvis impersonator, and has been known to do covers of other artists.

Lopez was born when the original album was created, and this parody was released almost 40 years later, in 1996.

Crappy Album Covers #152 — The Death of Death

Album_Cover_Crap_255_blogspot_com So, we have a pastel of a bloke on a motorcycle and the town burning around him. I am impressed at his battle axe; but it doesn’t look like it could be used to burn a town. Just observing.

The foursome from Sunderland, England (or Newcastle, depending on whose bio you’re reading) were also not impressed with the album cover, thinking it was amateurish and wondering if it would sell.

This cover was re-designed in 1984, and the album re-released on CD in 2005.

To my knowledge, they have released three albums and one EP.

Album_Cover_Crap_247_GustaBooker Reverend Gusta Brooker
Sick and tired of saving hookers
Raising people from the dead
was the thing he tried instead.

Overnight he scored a jackpot
Filled his church up to the rooftop
If he saw a dying guy,
it’s the day his death will die!

Why I’ve Avoided Discussing Certain CACs

Crappy Album Covers have been a staple of this blog for over a year now.  I think I may have posted over 400 album covers in that time, and I have particularly, but not always, targeted the unintentionally bad ones.

There have been certain themes/artists/genres I have avoided:

Metal: I’ve said it before that many metal/punk/hard rock bands release sucky/disturbing covers on purpose, because they know their audience will buy the record/cd. Picking on metal or punk bands would be like shooting fish in a barrel. I have made exceptions (Pantera and Stryken, notably) when the album crosses the line of bad taste to unintentional bad taste.

Bob Dylan: I’ve noticed on some blogs, many commenters pick on Dylan’s albums as a source of bad album art. Face it, folks. Nobody buys Dylan for the album cover, so no one cares. However, in a future post, I make a point that there is a Dylan album art concept that is getting a bit repetitive: the blurry-photo-of-Dylan-in-concert idea. Oh, and yeah, there was also that Starbucks promo CD I discussed earlier.

Nobody buys Leonard Cohen for his album art, either. Or Joni Mitchell for hers, even when she draws the covers herself in crayon (Ladies of the Canyon, and Court and Spark, I believe are two examples) .

Most “lounge lizard” acts and Gospel acts are the same way. For the most part, you tend to get a picture of the artist, the album title, and at least a partial track listing. The whole intent is predictability, and a total avoidance of any artistic risk-taking. Lounge acts start crossing the line, however, when they become too grandiose, or too “nerdy”, or show a total lack of thought in the photo/artwork.

This is at least a partial rendition of my thought processes when making these CAC entries.

Crappy Album Covers #139 — Out of their depth

Album_Cover_Crap_208_-_dio_netAllmusic.com sums Pat Boone up best. Having started his hit-making career before the “British Invasion”, Boone was the only worthy rival to Elvis Presley. Boone was the “nice guy” of the set, seeming to symbolise wholesome values at a time when Rock and Roll was considered by many to be a sign of the apocalypse. Many can say what they want about him, but nobody can deny that he’s had 38 top-40 hits, all of them in a seven-year span between 1957 and 1963.

Boone, like Presley, were experts at picking music from R&B and so-called “race music” and delivering it to white audiences at a time that many radio stations would not play music by Black artists.

Descendant of frontiersman Daniel Boone (if Allmusic says it, therefore it must be true), Boone broke away from his recent Gospel singing efforts to blaze a new path for himself in 1997 with “In A Metal Mood: No More Mr Nice Guy”, the subtitle named after the Alice Cooper hit, which he covers.

Hear Boone sing Van Halen’s “Panama”, or Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water”; Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Paradise City”; Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”. Some of this stuff I can imagine being more believable, though it is still a stretch: Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” or Jimi Hendrix’s “The where to buy viagra with out prescrption Wind Cries Mary” could remotely be imagined to be sung by Boone. There are no satisfying audio clips that I could find, so you can just preview this stuff at sites like Amazon, where they will have 30-second clips. This link is to CD Universe.

While it should be clear that this album is an abomination on many levels, I think it was intended that way. And Boone knows that big band treatments of this kind of music is best served dedpan. Few had the stomach for this album, which peaked at #125 on Billboard in 1997.

It should be added that this album was recorded when Boone was at age 60. Much of his Christian following didn’t get the joke, and the Trinity Broadcasting Network dropped him from their program “Gospel America” after he appeared at the American Music Awards dressed in black leather and covered in wash-off tattoos.


Album_Cover_Crap_216_-_vinylrecords_chCompleted in 1978, long after they had the wind taken out of their sails by punk and disco, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer released this light album, intended to complete their contractual obligations before their first breakup. Various re-releases have been issued, as late as 2008.

Light as it is, “Love Beach” still sports a 20-minute track called “Memoirs of An Officer and a Gentleman”.

(Images may be disturbing) Crappy Album Covers #138 — Food on Vinyl VII

Album_Cover_Crap_222_-_amright_com This is the last (I promise) of the Herb Alpert parody covers I have.

Jabberwocky is an audio montage troupe in the tradition of Negativland and Plunderphonics. All these folks use spliced audio sequences and multi-track audio in order to make social commentary on media, popular culture, sexuality, war, and religion.

You can download the whole album (In the tradition of Plunderphonics and Negativland, audio and artwork are open-sourced) and cover art here.

Album_Cover_Crap_203_vinylhaven_com It is said that donkeys like carrots, so one can hold a carrot on the end of a stick in front of the donkey, and this makes them move forward, thus overcoming stubbornness.

That’s the cliche I think the album depicts. The idea is that the donkey never gets the carrot, but hopes that it does. Kind of like the deal that Badfinger made with Warner at the time this album came out, 1972. This album was the last one made for Apple Records, essentially ending their close association with The Beatles.

Other bloggers have noted confusion about the name Badfinger and Ass being on the same cover. It is a pet peeve that I have had of most bands since the early 70s, in that the metaphors are so mixed up that the message is completely lost. Usually a sign of what is inside the cover.

This LP peaked at #122 with its single “The Apple of My Eye” peaking at #102 on Billboard.

Crappy Album Covers #131 — Are you happy?

Album_Cover_Crap_157_showandtelmusic_com Get ready for a feeling of bliss that is beyond belief … The Young Believers are going to impose cheer and goodwill whether you like it or not. Rise and shine! Up with the crows! The happiness you have demanded all your life is now mandatory.
Album_Cover_Crap_158_showandtelmusic_com And after you have complied with the minimum requirements for happiness, you get to consume special pills and fly into a perfect utopia where the food is great, the sex is better, and the best thing about this epic voyage is that you don’t even have to leave the room.

Crappy album Covers #130 — More Do-It-Yourself Covers

Album_Cover_Crap_166_showandtelmusic_com_Greatest_Picks A recurring rule of CACs is that if you don’t want to make your album cover crappy is occasionally in the attempt to overvalue the art of their children and make their art. The motorhome (bus?) looks like a hot dog on wheels.

No information on “Sounds of VIctory” (or is the band name “Jesus Freak?) that I could find.

Album_Cover_Crap_165_showandtelmusic_com_Greatest_Picks You certainly can’t possibly get more late ’60s than this design. These ladies were from The Vassar College Glee Club in Rhode Island.

They sing “America”, “White Rabbit”, and other 60s contemporary (at the time) hits from folk and acid rock genres.

The G-Stringers have been in existence since at least 1965, and various incarnations of them have performed at Carnegie Hall.

Crappy Album Covers #129 — Atomization and Anomization

Album_Cover_Crap_167_showandtelmusic_com_Greatest_Picks

Jim Haun, known as Rouvaun (pronounced “Rove-On”) (1932-1975) was a famous tenor, born in Utah. This is likely to be his first album. Wikipedia says that while he was an unknown woodworker studying voice, he relased this album after becoming an overnight sensation at The Dunes hotel in Vegas. Already with this album we can see that he is billing himself as “The World’s Greatest Singer”.

Well, I guess you are in for some notoriety when your vocal trainer was Mario Chamlee, who had to take over the contract at The Metropolitan Opera house in New York, succeeding Enrico Caruso, who died in 1921. That could give anyone a swelled head.

And if you are going to sing in the grand tradition of these folks, then the listener will expect the most standard of tunes to be sung with the greatest of melodrama. Listen to him sing The Impossible Dream, and sing The Lord’s Prayer, using his supreme vocal skill to overdo both songs.

The Impossible Dream:
[audio:http://stridersjournal.net/other/Rouvaun_ImpossibleDream.mp3]

The Lord’s Prayer:
[audio:http://stridersjournal.net/other/Rouvaun_lords_prayer.mp3]

Album_Cover_Crap_151_showandtelmusic_com_Greatest_Picks

With Rouvaun, it was all “ME, ME, ME!!!”, wasn’t it?

With the Musical Four, we get the other extreme: Atomie. Lookit, I’m a fan of Emile Durkeim, the founder of Sociology. He wrote of anomie, a dissolution of character as a result of a lack of social norms; and of atomie, which is a condition where the individual blends into to rigid norms so much that he loses all sense of self. Not enough norms lead to alienation from others; while too many norms lead to a lack of sense of self and eventually an alienation from self. Get it?

Well we see The Musical Four as actually 5 people. Individuality matters so little to them that, hey, who cares if there are 5 people? Maybe 5 is just an augmented version of 4. Atomistic in the extreme.

Obviously, Sybil Godwin had enough of that crap, and hired a lawyer to force the group to say “With Sybil Godwin” whenever “The Musical Four” was mentioned in any publicity. The other four thought quietly to themselves, “God will get him for his vanity”.

Crappy Album Covers #128 — Channelling the Great Rock Legends

Album_Cover_Crap_168_MinstrelOTMorning_John_Bayley The design element (there is only one) that John Bayley uses combines all of the most incoherent elements of late-60s album design, hoping it will amount to something, for this 1976 album, “Minstrel of the Morning”.

Lessee … what do they throw in? A clay tiger, a kid in a lotus position (who will surely become warped when he gets older), a nearly comatose woman in a flowing dress (the feeding tube was temporarily disconnected for the photo shoot), a sitar, a mandolin, John Bayley channeling Mr. T, and a Wal-Mart circular rug, curtains, a painted over Roman blind, and some artificial plants.

A copy of this was sold on E-Bay last year for $75.00

Album_Cover_Crap_171_Flickr The closest explanation for this disaster of an album cover is … okay, some guy goes to the Harlem branch of the Salvation Army store in New York City, buys a random mixture of men’s, boy’s and lady’s clothing, then goes to the neighbouring soup kitchen at the Habour Light, and tells four jobless hoboes that he is willing to pay them two cases of beer each if they will dress up in these clothes for an album cover. At this point the hoboes still hadn’t bargained for mascara being part of the deal. But hey, there’s two cases of beer on the line. Each! That wasn’t so bad, but then the photographer told them they had to bathe first.

One of the hoboes angrily responded “What’s wrong with our personal hygeine? We take a bath every February 29th whether we need it or not!” That was almost the last straw, and after nearly an hour of thinking about it, they realised that they won’t be able to afford that much beer for a very long time, so they grudgingly obeyed.

This is why “They have got to rock and roll.”

(May be disturbing) Crappy Album Covers #127 — Plastic Surgery Disasters II

Album_Cover_Crap_186_Flickr This is the kind of thing that gives the LGBT community a bad name. Don’t know the artist, album or anything else about this disaster of an album design.

This is worse than an album cover, because it is a picture disc. Notice the hole punched in the center, near the price tag? Yeah, you take this, put it on your turntable, and watch this guy/girl/whtever rotate as he/she/it sings you some tunes.

Don’t picture this as a rotating CD, because CDs rotate too fast. You need to imagine can i buy tramadol over the counter this rotating at 33 1/3 rpm, where you could still make out some of the details as it spins.

I am usually a curious hound for finding out about most CAC’s but the blog I got this from also didn’t know, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

Album_Cover_Crap_159_showandtelmusic_com_Greatest_Picks This appears to be by a member of the profession that is responsible for disasters like the one above.

With this album design, I would say that John Butterworth should stick to medicine.