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.

About the Great American Songbook

I once was listening to my favourite Jazz station in the Toronto area when I heard the announcer say something about The Great American Songbook (GAS). It was one of those phrases which kind of rolls off the tongue and seems to have no real meaning, but is a phrase often used by announcers at the station in describing the song choices or past hits of the many artists they play.

I got curious and looked into it, and found that the GAS is actually a more technical term, referring to some period in American history between 1920 and 1960 or so, which includes many of the so-called Jazz “standards”, as well as sing-along stuff that we all take for granted. Songs like “Blue Skies”, “Puttin’ On The Ritz” (both by Irving Berlin);  “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” (George and Ira Gershwin); “Ol’ Man River” (Jerome Kern) have all been used in ads, been made into top-40 hits in the past 20 years, been sung by jazz musicians, big band ensembles, and rock and country groups alike. In all, the GAS can be said to represent the American songwriting canon. They are a collection of songs that have had a big effect on American culture, thought, and style. When you filter out all of the lowbrow music, movies and videos that come from the States, the GAS is what is left. It is difficult to sit through an hour or two of all jazz or easy listening without hearing someone covering a tune from the GAS. They have been covered by everyone from Joni Mitchell to Queen Latifah.

It had been agreed by whoever it was to end  the time line for the GAS at around 1960, the ascendancy of the Rock era. But I think that is very limiting. It shuts out folks like the songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and Hal David; and the exclusion of rock leaves out Bob Dylan (can anyone say he didn’t contribute to American culture?), and Bruce Springsteen, whose ballads mark points in American history much like the poetry of William Wordsworth or the songs of Pete Seeger. And come to think of it, why was Pete Seeger not included? Seeger would have been alive during the Tin Pan Alley era of American songwriting (in the middle of the GAS period), and the rest of the pre-rock era of American music at the time. It is difficult to believe that Pete Seeger songs like “This Land Is Your Land”, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” would not be considered part of the American canon.

Crappy Album Covers #165 — Just Hanging Around

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This is the second CD released by the Toronto-based group Our Lady Peace. The cover features septuagenarian model Saul Fox, a frequent flier on many of OLP’s album covers. A combination of bad lighting and bad retouching makes it pretty clear that he is standing on the floor, giving little cause for the fear and tension in Fox’s expression. There should have been more effort made to produce the illusion of being airborne. And Fox ought to lose the mascara.

Considering that Canada has roughly the same population as California, selling one million albums in Canada alone is a rare achievement, and is awarded diamond status. OLP’s album Clumsy went diamond in 1997.

In the United States, Diamond is awarded by the RIAA for sales in excess of 10 million.

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This lady likes to hang around too, although she looks more relaxed, and besides, she seems to have bagged a couple of hunters for herself. And while she doesn’t look like a “big dame”, I am sure most guys won’t mind her size at all. My only fear is that she might end up on some guy’s mantle as a trophy woman.

This is put out by “Sounds of A Thousand Strings”, although there are many blogs and sites selling used/reissued copies of this LP that claim it is by Art Neville, the New Orleans-based studio musician. Not much other reliable information seems to exist, such as what year this album was made. I am getting years in the 1980s and 1990s, likely the year of reissue. However, the depiction of late Nebraskan model/actress Irish McCalla (1928-2002) places this LP solidly in the mid-1950s.

Crappy Album Covers #27 — More people who worry me

Steve E. King just wants you to know that if you don’t buy his album “Prelude”, he’ll personally come over and pop you full of lead.

There is no information I can find on Steve E. King anywhere. However, it is a bit suspicious that he has the same name as novelist Stephen King, who also has “E” as his middle initial. hair loss treatment. Stephen King also dabbles in music, according to his memoir “On Writing”.

Not much useful is known about “Songs for Swinging Mothers”, but much has been written in blogs about people who worry about this depiction of women engaging in risky activities (swinging while standing) while pregnant. Especially the one standing on the swing. What on Earth is she thinking?
Tino, another person who wants to be your friend.

Tino’s real name is Constantino Fernandez Fernandez. OK, we’ll stick with Tino.

I understand that “Por Primera Vez” translates from the Spanish to “For the First Time”.I could pursure this title for deeper meaning in the context of the picture, but I won’t. asthma relief management. Suffice it to say that there are endless worst album cover lists that have this album.

It has been said that Tino has lost an arm in an accident some years ago.

The Soul of Kijana not only unfolds in his music, but women swoon upon beholding his presence. Bizarrerecords.com, the site this picture comes from, gives the impression that this hand-drawn album, like Kijana’s music career, may have been a front for a men’s hairstying salon which he was a part of. So, probably another vanity pressing.

He also shoots laser beams from his eyes.

Allmusic gives no connection to this record. However, there is someone who goes by the name Kijana, who is now much older and singing Easy Listening music. That album, called “Kijana Sings and Swings” was released in 2005 and has a more professional cover to it.