In Memoriam 2015

January

1: Donna Douglas: Played daughter Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. (Age 82).
1: Mario Cuomo: Governor of New York (1983 to 1994) (Age 82).
2: James Cecil Dickens: Known as Little Jimmy Dickens, best known for his song May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose. A longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, also made appearances on Johnny Carson (Age 94).
2: Tihomir Novakov: Atmospheric scientist known for his research into a class of airborne particulates known as “black carbon”, contributing greatly to the theory of global warming (Age 85).
3: Bernice Madigan: At the time the oldest resident of Massachusetts, and the world’s 5th oldest living person before her death, died at age 115 in Cheshire, Massachusetts.
4: Bernard Williams: Producer of such movies as A Clockwork Orange and Flash Gordon. (Age 72).
5: Al Bendich: Civil rights attorney who defended poet Allen Ginsburg and comedian Lenny Bruce against obscenity charges. (Age 85).
6: Francesca Hilton: Daughter of Zsa Zsa Gabor and Conrad Hilton, lived in poverty toward the end of her life. Died of a stroke (Age 67).
7: The Editors and writers from Charlie Hebdo magazine: Jean Cabut (“Cabu”) (76), Elsa Cayat (54), Stephanne Charbonnier (“Charb”) (47), Philippe Honore (73), Bernard Maris (68), Mustpha Ourrad (60), Bernard Velhac (“Tignous”) (57), Georges Wolinski (80).
8: William Boeing, Jr.: son of the founder of Boeing Airlines (Age 92).
9: Samuel Goldwyn: Producer of many films since the mid-20th century, up to and including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, produced two years ago (Age 88).
10: Robert Berner: Yale professor known for his modelling of The Carbon Cycle (Age 79).
10: Francis Simard: FLQ member, assassinated Quebec cabinet minister Pierre LaPorte in 1971, and sentenced to life imprisonmnent for murder (Age 67).
10: Taylor Negron: Stand-up comedian who played a key scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Age 57).
10: Robert Stone: Author nominated twice for the Pulizer Prize, and once for the Faulkner Award. (Age 77).
11: Darrell Winfield: Was the Marlborough Man (Age 85).
12: Stephen Gold: Hacker and author. Known for hacking into the private information for Prince Philip. Acquitted on charges, since he did not get any material gain, nor was any sought (Age 58).
13: Mike Marqusee: Left-leaning humanitarian writer (Age 61).
13: Frank Mazzola: Editor of many blockbuster films, such as Rebel Without a Cause, Casablanca, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Age 79).
13: H. Wesley Kenney: Director for the sitcom All in the Family; Produced and directed many soap operas such as General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless (Age 89).
17: Don Harron: Canadian comedian, actor and author, best known for his “Charlie Farquarson” persona, as well as his role in the TV variety show Hee Haw as the news anchor for station KORN (Age 90).
18: Tony Verna: Inventor of the “instant replay” (Age 81).
20: Edgar Froese: Founder of the electronic music group Tangerine Dream (Age 70).
24: Toller Cranston: Canadian figure skater, Bronze medalist (1976 Olympics) (Age 65).
24: Joe Franklin: Longest running TV talk show host (10 years longer than Johnny Carson) (Age 88).
29: Bernice Gordon: Crossword puzzle writer for The New York Times. (Age 101).
29: Will McBride: Photographer and author of the controversial 1975 book Show Me! (Age 84).
29: Colleen McCulloch: Author best known for The Thorn Birds. (Age 77).
30: Rose Frisch: Discoverer of leptin. (Age 96).

February

5: Val Logsdon Fitch: Winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics. (Age 91).
8: Thom Wilson: Producer for Burton Cummings, Seals and Crofts, as well as punk acts such as The Dead Kennedys, Social Distortion, and The Adolescents. (Age 55). Note: Wilson’s age was hard to track down. IMDB.com provided his birth date, and calculator.net was used in obtaining his age (exact age at death is thus likely to be 55 years, 9 months and 24 days).
11: Bob Simon: Senior foreign correspondent for 60 Minutes and earlier 60 Minutes II. (Age 73).
12: Sam Houston Andrew II: Founding member and lead guitarist of the rock group Big Brother and the Holding Company. (Age 73).
12: Gary Owens: Radio and TV announcer. Best known for playing the radio announcer on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in. (Age 80).
14: Helen Glass: Saskatchewan nurse. Taught in Regina and Prince Albert. Contributed to the creation of the Canadian Health Act in 1984. (Age 97).
16: Leslie Gore: Singer of such hits as You Don’t Own Me, and It’s My Party. (Age 68).
20: Patricia Norris: Costume designer for movies such as The Elephant Man, and Scarface. (Age 83).
24: Maurice Hurley: Producer of Miami ViceBaywatch and Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Age 75).
25: Harve Bennett: Writer/Producer for Star Trek, The Mod Squad, and The Six Million Dollar Man. (Age 84).
27: Leonard Nimoy: Best known for his role of Spock in Star Trek. He also was one of the lead characters in the series Mission: Impossible. (Age 83).

March

1: Daniel von Bargen: Appeared in sitcoms such as Seinfeld and Malcolm in the Middle. (Age 64).
3: Lynn Borden: Acted in movies in the 70s such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. (Age 77).
5: Albert Maysles: Documentarian best known for his documentaries Gimme Shelter and Grey Gardens (Age 88).
8: Lew Soloff: Played trumpet for the 70s rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears. (Age 71).
9: Lou Silverstone: Comedy writer. Listed as one of the “Usual Gang of Idiots” in Mad Magazine between 1962 and 1990. (Age 90).
11: Jimmy Greenspoon: Played in the rock group Three Dog Night. (Age 67).
12: Sir Terry Pratchett: Author of comic fantasy novels. (Age 66).
15: Mike Porcaro: Played bass for the rock group Toto. (Age 59).
16: William Ewald Jr.: Speechwriter for Dwight Eisenhower and historian. (Age 89).
19: Michael Brown: Singer (The Left Banke) and songwriter (Walk Away Renee). (Age 65).
21: Alberta Watson: Canadian actress (The Sweet Hereafter). (Age 60).
26: Tomas Transtromer: Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. (Age 83).
28: Richard Bare: Producer of the sitcom Green Acres. (Age 101).
28: Gene Saks: Directed the original Broadway play The Odd Couple. (Age 93).
28: Tuti Yusupova: World’s oldest person (unverified at this writing). Claimed to have been born on 1 July 1880 in Imperial Russia. (Age 134).

April

1: Misao Okawa: World’s oldest confirmed person, Japan. (Age 117).
13:
Gunter Grass: Nobel Prize-Winning author of The Tin Drum and other books. (Age 87).

May

2: Ruth Rendell: Known for the Inspector Wexford series. (Age 85).
4: Michael Blake: Author of Dances With Wolves. (Age 69).

June

9: Vincent Bugliosi: Prosecuting attorney in the Charles Manson case, and author of Helter Skelter. (Age 80).

July

21: E. L. Doctorow: Author of Ragtime. (Age 84).
28: Ann Rule: True crime author. (Age 83).

August

30: Oliver Sacks: Nerologist and author (Age 82).
30: Wayne Dyer: American motivational speaker and self-help writer. (Age 75).

September

10: Basil Johnston: Author and Historian for the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation on the Bruce Penninsula in Ontario. (Age 86).
19: Jackie Collins: American best-selling author (Age 77).

October

3: Barbara Meek: Played Ellen Canby in the early 80’s sitcom Archie Bunker’s Place. (Age 81).
5: Larry Brezner: Producer of such comedy films as Good Morning Vietnam, and Throw Momma From The Train. (Age 73).
5: Andrew Rubin: Acted in comedic movies such as Police Academy, and comedic sitcoms such as Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. (Age 69).
5: Henning Mankell: Author who contributed to the “Nordic Noir” genre of crime novels. (Age 67).
6: Billy Joe Royal: Pop singer (Cherry Hill Park, among others). (Age 73).
6: Otto Tucker: Newfoundland heritage activist and educator. (Age 92).
10: Richard Heck: American chemist who shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Japanese chemists Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki. (Age 84).
10: Wesley Funk: Saskatchewan novelist and teacher. (Age 46).
14: Eric Wright: Canadian Crime Novelist. (Age 86).
20: Cory Wells: Original lead singer of the 70s band Three Dog Night. (Age 74).
25: Lee Shaw: Known as “The First Lady of Jazz”. (Age 89).
29: Kenneth Gilbert: Actor who performed in the series Doctor Who. (Age 84).
30: Al Molinaro: Played a police officer in The Odd Couple. Appeared in other 70s sitcoms such as Happy Days, and Joanie Loves Chachi. (Age 96).
31: David Shugar: From his arrest in Canada in 1946 for trading state secrets with the Russians to his becoming professor of biophysics and being inducted to the Royal Society of Canada in 1999. For the record, he was found innocent of all charges in 1946. (Age 100).

November

5: George Barris: Designer of the original Batmobile in 1966. (Age 89).
7: Eddie Hoh: Drummer for The Mamas and the Papas, and a studio drummer for Stephen Stills, The Monkees, Donovan, and others. Led a secluded life after 1970. Died in Westmont, Illinois, a half hour’s drive west of Chicago. (Age 71).
9: Andy White: Susbstitute drummer for Ringo Starr for The Beatles’ first single Love Me Do. Affectionately called the Fifth Beatle. Had no further performances with them since. (Age 85).
10: Allen Toussaint: Arranger, producer, songwriter (Working in a Coalmine, Southern Nights). (Age 77).
15: P. F. Sloan: Songwriter for Barry MacGuire, Jan and Dean, Herman’s Hermits, The Mamas and the Papas. (Age 70).
19: Ron Hynes: Newfoundland singer/songwriter. Wrote Sonny’s Dream, covered by many artists worldwide (Age 64).
21: Gil Cardinal: Canadian filmmaker and documentarian. (Age 65).
22: Albert Pick: German banknote collector. Wrote the first reference book for world bank notes, and it remains the standard. (Age 90).
23: Douglass North: Winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics, alongside Robert Fogel (1927-2013). (Age 95).
25: Elmo Williams:  Editor and producer in American cinema. Won an Oscar in 1953 for his editing work in the movie High Noon.

December

2: Sandy Berger: Clinton advisor in the early 90s (Age 70).
4: Scott Weiland: Front man for Stone Temple Pilots (Age 48).
5: Chuck Williams: Founder of Willliams-Sonoma, an upscale kitchen shop known for its innovation (Age 100).
6: Marque Lynche: Former Mousketeer; played in The Lion King in Broadway, and American Idol finalist (Age 34).
6: Holly Woodlawn: Transgender actress and Warhol contemporary. Written about in Lou Reed’s hit song Take a Walk On the Wild Side. (Age 69).
7: Martin E. Brooks: Played in many television drama serials in the ’70s and ’80s: McMillan and Wife, General Hospital, Knots Landing, and Dallas. (Age 90).
15: Harry Zvi Tabor: Israeli physicist, brought solar power to the Middle East. (Age 98).
16: Snuff Garrett: Record producer. Produced hits for Sonny and Cher, Vicki Lawrence, Bobby Vee, Del Shannon, Buddy Knox, and many others. (Age 76).
22: Billy Glaze: Accused and convicted serial murderer; died in prison before DNA evidence would have exonerated him. (Age 72).
22: Carson van Osten: Creator of many Disney Comics. (Age 70).
23: Michael Earl: Puppeteer who brought Snuffalupagus to life on Sesame Street. (Age 56).
24: William Guest: Cousin of Gladys Knight, R&B/Soul singer who performed with Gladys Knight and the Pips. The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. (Age 74).
25: Robert Spitzer: Psychiatrist known for being a major force in the creation of the DSM. Has been called one of the most influential psychiatrists of the 20th century. (Age 83).
25: George Clayton Johnston: Writer of modern sci-fi/futuristic classics such as Logan’s Run, Oceans 11, and The Twilight Zone. (Age 86).
27: Haskell Wexler: Influential cinematographer, known for the production of movies like: Who’s Afraid of Virginai Woolf?, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Bound for Glory. (Age 93).
28: Ian Frazier Kilmister: Known as “Lemmy”, founded and led the heavy metal group Motorhead. (Age 70).

Crappy Album Covers #112 — "By his stripes we were healed"

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The title of ths blog article is the last line of verse 53:5 in the book of Isaiah.

This tells me that Stryper has come to save us from, uhh …, what? Whtever it is, they had to bring out the guns and armoured vehicles for it. Something tells me that the anwer to our interpersonal conflicts should not involve the use of military vehicles.

album_cover_crap_154_showandtelmusic_com

Clever title, Isabel. I actually like it very much. It says that I choose God for something I like, not for something other people are coercing me to like. You have to respect that.

No information exists on Isabel Baker that I could find, except that this blogger found an MP3 of her gospel singing.

[audio:http://stridersjournal.net/other/Isabel_Baker_-_Jesus_I_Am_Loving_You.mp3]

This goes beyond categorizations of “Christian Rock.”  She sounds more like a cross between Lydia Lunch and Diamanda Galas. While these latter two don’t qualify as Christian  Rock, the resemblance between kinds of music was uncanny. I might even add Romeo Void.

By the end of that song sample, one would be led to think that she loves God just a bit more than is, uh, Christian. Where have we heard that one before?

Crappy Album Covers #111 — People are Beautiful, man

album_cover_crap_152_showandtelmusic_com

There was a certain social trend in the late 60s and early 70s that was my personal favourite: it was a social trend that celebrated life, the beauty inside every one of us, glorified love, nature, truth, and personal freedom.

And, so long as that became the gravy train which paid the bills, there were a number of artists lining up for a piece of the action. Some of them were sincere, and others not so sincere. I recall artists like Bruce Cockburn and John Denver singing this kind of music long after it was stylish or trendy.

I have not heard of this group, but I wonder how often they were told by hecklers to play on the freeway?

album_cover_crap_153_showandtelmusic_com

This is an interesting cover. Often identified with the early 70s evengelical Christian movement, I could find no tangible information on what the letters BJRE stand for. Notice the black-and-white photos of guys placed all over a map of northern Europe in this 1974 album. East and West Germany are most prominent, so is Denmark, then we see pieces of Yugoslavia, Poland, The Netherlands.

With Germany placed in the middle of the cover, could it be that his exaltation of beauty is only reserved for the nations depicted? Curious.

As an extra added bonus, and to conclude this post just the right way, here is REM, featuring Kate Pierson of the B-52s with the 1991 hit “Shiny, Happy People”:

Crappy Album Covers #110 — Minimalist design

album_cover_crap_150_showandtelmusic_com I am unsure of the origin of the name of the group. If they got rid of the outline of the head, and enlarged the photo, there wouldn’t have been so much empty space around the album.

The last time I heard of a group name with the word “experience” in it was by a 60s guitarist who did A LOT of drugs. Maybe they should have stolen one of Jimi Hendrix’s titles: “Are You Experienced?”

Album_Cover_Crap_198_Flickr When you are aiming for a minimalist design, why have humans? And why do you need clothes? Or scenery? Or limbs? Or genitalia?

Mi-Sex’s 1979 single “Computer Games” made it to #1 in Australia, and #5 in New Zealand. It was one of a string of hits for this New Zealand group that extended into 1983.

They were reported to have a hit in Canada, but checking our chart information, they do not appear to have charted in Canada.

Crappy Album Covers #109 — Family photos do not make good record covers

album_cover_crap_148_showandtelmusic_com The photo for this record cover appears to have been originally intended for a family album. Obviously, Daniel Sheaffer is proud of his musical family.

There are many problems, however, with this picture even qualify as a family photo. There is an organ in the way; and in front of the organ is something looking like a pulpit. If they were photographed buy tramadol with no prescription elsewhere with all that out of the way, you at least would have a family photo.

album_cover_crap_149_showandtelmusic_com Armand Lefebvre is here with an album called “Take Another Chance on Me”.

It appears that this album would be greatly improved if the puke yellow border was cut out, the title was erased, and the resulting portait with border framed and placed on a mantlepiece.

Crappy Album Covers #108 — Sucking back in the day

album_cover_crap_145_cendella_com The early 1960s, before the days of The Beatles, were a kind of doldrum period where the safest way to record a hit was to record a cover version of something that was a hit before. Robert Louis Ridarelli, known as Bobby Rydell,  entered the industry at a young age — around 16, and throughout his career, recorded five top-10 hits, the rest beig elsewhere in Billboard’s hot 100.

This album “All The Hits”, released in 1962, two years after he began his career, contains none of his own hits, but mostly buy online viagra contains the hits of other people. At least none of his top-10 hits are listed.

album_cover_crap_147_showandtelmusic_com Here are the Royals, with their album entitled “Music”. Well, it could be an attempt to copy  formula that has worked for Madonna, Carole King, and hundreds of other musicians. All of them released an album with a title consisting of the single word “music” and nothing else.

They look like an informal gathering of accountants. Guy with the glasses looks like Bun E. Carlos.

Crappy Album Covers #105 — Selling fantasy

album-cover-crap-3_lp-cover-lover1 The Jay Gordon Concert Orchestra offers the album “Strictly for Lovers” off of the TOPS label, a CAC factory which was located at one time somewhere in the southwestern U. S. which has supplied my blog with a healthy number of CACs thus far.

There’s an attractive woman, whispering something into her boyfriend’s ear. Something like “I haff zee microfilm.”

Anyone who is not a lover should stay away from this record. Turn it off! Don’t buy it! Put it back in the remainder bin!

album_cover_crap_139_maxim_com TOPS made money actually selling radiation instruments, if readers of my blog will remember. This could make them part of the Military Industrial Complex. And while we are on the topic of war, here are the natives of Auburn, New York with their band Manowar, with their 1983 album (not found on TOPS, sorry), called “Into Glory Hole Ride”.

This cover has been fodder for many a CAC blog, mostly because of the overwhelmingly subconscious homosexual slant involving handlebar moustaches and loincloths. OK… maybe a little more than subconscious. I suppose they could have called their album “Hairway to Steven”, but the Butthole Surfers already have that album title.

Manowar is notable for owning their own label and distribution system. They are a true “Indie” band. Their label is called Magic Circle Records.

Wikipedia says that Manowar broke the longstanding record in 1994 for the world’s loudest rock band. Beating The Who by 3.5 decibels, their Hanover concert was measured at 129.5 decibels. Over the years, The Swans, Motorhead, AC/DC, Deep Purple, My Bloody Valentine, and The Rolling Stones have all surpassed this, breaking the 130 decibel mark. Manowar beat them all in 2008 with a Magic Circle Fest concert that measured 139 dB. Guiness Book has stopped making records of “loudest concerts” due to the prospect of encouraging hearing damage.

Crappy Album Covers #104 — Crappy Blockbusters

album_cover_crap_146_2_cendella_com_greatest_picks Solo artist Andrew W. K. with a 2001 album called “Andrew’s Greatest Picks”, an album of what material he could work out at that time, usually with a pencil, but sometimes with sharp surgical instruments. It is an offering of his booger blockbusters between 1999 and 2000.

Oh, my bad. No, that was Andrew Wayne-Kruer. This 2001 album cover is about another Andrew W. K., that of Andrew Wilkes-Krier. The real title was “I Get Wet”, and the album featured actual music on it, of the audio variety.  It was #1 for a few weeks and yielded two singles.

I gotta work harder to get my notes in order.

album-cover-crap-44_grenadefishing_com Andy is not the only one with medical problems. Looks like Freddie, Bryan, Roger, and John were part of an experiment in 1989 to give the world its first taste of genetically modified music.

You have to admit, it’s cheaper for the record companies, and everyone else. You have lower hotel expenses, you don’t need such a big stage, and the jobs of caterers, hairdressers, and costume designers is greatly simplified if all band members were fused into one body. Conversations are the only difficult thing, since everyone is sharing the same body now, and they have to decide which of their four mouths speaks first. It also complicates the job of journalists.

So, you don’t think Freddie Mercury really died of aids in 1991, do you? He never died at all, folks! Medical breakthroughs like the one you see here have kept him alive the whole time!

The album “The Miracle” peaked on Billboard at #24, and its single “I Want it All”, peaked at #50, yielding no hit (top 40) singles across the pond (in the U.S.).

Crappy Album Covers #102 — Ideas that wouldn't work these days

album-cover-crap-5_lp-cover-lover Roughly translated from Portuguese, “Nozinho (Kinkle) and His Music”, the title of it being “For Your Pleasure”.What may have made this album successful, if it was, is that it had a colour photo on the cover, at one time, a rare treat.I can’t help but think of the Rikki-Lee Jones’ Lyric to Skeletons when I see this cover:

  Some kids like watching
      Saturday cartoons
  Some girls listen to records
      all day in their rooms
  But what do birds leave behind,
       of the wings that they
       came with
  If a son's in a tree building
       model planes?
album-cover-crap-48_thriftstoreart_com Those of you who remember Mr. Magoo can hear him on vinyl. Recall that the voice was done by actor Jim Backus, who played The Millionaire on Gilligan’s Island.

Gotta love those headphones, and that antenna on the phonograph.

Crappy Album Covers #97 — Religious Ideas that Backfire

album_cover_crap_134_coverbrowser_com_child_molesting

I am glad that Greg Kendrick is sharing his saga of sexual abuse with us. Why keep it bottled up inside? Yes, Greg, we understand. The police are on their way to apprehend the guy who touched you. Cellmates will probably kill him when he goes to jail.

OK, so this is not the only album with this title. Four middle-aged guys called The Minister’s Quartet had this title, and it too has wound up in every “worst album cover” blog from here to heck, including mine.

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This is the one and only album for the Christian Metal/Glam Metal group, Stryken. First Strike, released in 1986, buy generic tramadol shows on its cover what you expect to hear inside. Here you see the four natives of Austin, Texas, all of whom don’t look so threatening as loopy, putting out an album, that takes the Christian metal genre to its ultimate futility.

The next year they were said to have been arrested for distrupting a Motley Crue show when they appeared in front of their stage wearing full armour and carrying a large cross. Few people remember Stryken anymore.

If you talk to God you are likely praying; but when God talks to Stryken, it is more likely because they hadn’t taken their meds.

Crappy Album Covers #95 — Le Concours de Fromage

If these albums were entered into a cheesiness contest, they would be strong contenders.

album_cover_crap_131_coverbrowser_com_cliche This 1989 album cover appears to have been designed by an 11 year-old who discovered the shape tools in MS-Paintbrush and began to overuse them. It was released by Sony in 1990 and re-released by smaller labels in 1998, 1999 and 2000. This is their 7th compilation LP out of several. Having only recorded only 8 albums, their latest being in 2006, they have had more albums of compilations than of original material.

What adds a tinge of sadness to their buy viagra 100 mg musical history, is that one of the members of their original lineup, Jessee Whittens, was murdered, according to allmusic.com, but another blogger says  that Whittens lost his life in an accident.

album_cover_crap_130_coverbrowser_com_cliche The Glitter Band, a band put together by ’70s rock star Gary Glitter, was supposed to be formed from a core of two drummers and two saxophonists.

Their biggest hit was a song called Makes You Blind, first released in 1976, and peaked at #91 for a week in that year.

The record seems to say: “Hey! We’re lame and proud of it!”

Crappy Album Covers #94 — Not My Day Job

album_cover_crap_133_coverbrowser_com_occupational Allan Smethurst, also known as The Singing Postman, was known for a 1966 novelty hit written in his Norfolk dialect, called “Hev Yew Got a Loight, Boy?” It remained on the British charts for 9 weeks, even knocking The Beatles off the #1 position at least a week in 1966.

So widespread was his fame, apparently, that he had inspired tribute acts, such as The Singing Farmer (also from Norfolk County in England).

And yes, Smethurst was a real mail deliveryman who just happened to submit a demo to the BBC and things took off from there.

album_cover_crap_132_coverbrowser_com_occupational This is a rare buy viagra saudi album that commands more than the original cover price from collectors ($40CDN on E-Bay), called “The Singing Priest”, by Servite Friar Father Columbia McManus.

I have understood in Catholicism, a sharp distinction between religious music that accompanies a traditional Church service and this thing called “Gospel Music”. I have also understood that while Gospel music can be uplifting, it is often cheesier than the former. I think Father McManus is likely veering dangerously close to the latter. To be honest, I haven’t heard the album, but it is just a hunch.

Crappy Album Covers #92 — Sucky even for metal

projectsjungle I have said several times on my blog that I had a policy of not listing metal covers due to the fact  that ugliness is often a sales point with this music genre. I often delve into metal CAC blogs to see if I can find anything I could write about (in case there might be some howlers out there), and after 91 CAC entries, I have come up empty-handed. Now in CAC #92, I have found two CACs, both from the same group, Pantera. These are Pantera’s first two albums ever, “Projects in the Jungle”, followed by “Metal Magic.” This band from Arlington, Texas is still going with its own website, Dimebag is still there with his bro’ Vinnie, as they have been for the past 28 years.

Now, if there was some kind of “first law of metal album cover design”, it should be to never let yourself do the cover, and to never let someone’s kid do the cover.

metalmagic This next bit of adolescent artwork would have pleased his mother, but the next step should have been to send him to art school, not make metal album covers.

Here, we have Pantera, without pants. The albums give the impression of a low-rent band that would be considered “not bad for local”.

Pantera would have had to bave been together for 9 more years before they saw their first major commercial breakthrough, Cowboys From Hell, which established them as pioneers in the post-punk “Groove Metal” genre.

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.

Crappy Album Covers #87 — Belly Dancing II

album_cover_crap_114_-_orienta I’ve noticed that in the past copule of posts, album covers of middle eastern music/belly dancing of the ’50s and ’60s appear to prefer redheads. Here, even the blonde has to settle for being upstaged by this redhead. If the bald fella hits the gong, the performance is over and the dancer gets escorted off the stage.
album_cover_crap_114_-_orienta_back “Orienta: The Marco where can i buy viagra over counter in pcv usa Polo Adventures” could have been made in the late 50s and early 60s when most blockbuster movies consisted of stories of history and exploration. But no exact information exists.
album_cover_crap_108_-_mambobelmontemidnight Mambo at Midnight, by Belmonte and his Afro-American Music. At least it’s not that other Midnight Mambo: the horizontal one.

Click here to hear a sampling of what Belmonte sounds like.

Crappy Album Covers #83 — Belly Dancing I

album_cover_crap_116_-_port_said Port Said (Bur Sa’id), an Egyptian city lying on the Mediterranean Sea, was originally built in the mid-1800s, so the story goes, to house people hired to costruct the Suez Canal. The Canal runs through Port Said and ends at the Red Sea.

I would imagine that belly tramadol buy online dancing became popular in Western culture precisely by Europeans and Americans coming to Egypt to work on the canal.

I wonder what the deal is with the concentric circles emanating from the dancer’s left nipple. It could be a GPS transmitter.  Ships entering Port Said can use her as a navigation aid.

“Belly Dance Music From Port Said” is one of at least 3 albums from Saffet’s Oriental Orchestra.

album_cover_crap_117_-_belly_2 Exactly how does one convey the music of belly dancing on an album cover? If you have a beautiful wife, you can photograph her in Egyptian garb and have her do various poses and contortions. Take a bunch of polaroids, and paste it as a mini-montage on a hot pink canvas, then title it using a Arabic-style calligraphy.

Many Westerners who don’t understand Islamic culture (or who understand it only enough to know the tightly-held taboos, especially on women’s mode of dress) have trouble reconciling themselves to this apparent contradiction in their acceptance of belly dancing. But I guess it wouldn’t be a true culture if it didn’t have contradictions.

Ray Mirijanian has had at least 6 albums produced in the mid to late 1960s on Middle Eastern music.

Crappy Album Covers #82 — Classic Crock

album_cover_crap_120_-_beatles_franklarosa_com Rock set to classical music, especially in the 60s and 70s, was done with no small measure of contempt for the rock genre. Here, the greater works of The Beatles is set to opera.

I can see Elanor Rigby being set to opera, or Yesterday, but Can’t Buy Me Love? Or the song Revolution?

And the line drawings on this cover is an obvious send-up to similar drawings of The Beatles’ Revolver album, which has some of these tracks on it. If it were really a send-up to Revolution, what artwork would they parody? The White Album?

album_cover_crap_123_-_shatner This 1968 album cover is not really crappy, since the general design would be predictable for Shatner: kitschy late 60s computer lettering; Shatner in a trance; and so on.

What is legendarily horrible about this album lay in its contents. The album’s pièce de résistance for masochists was in his reading of the Beatle’s Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Those who boldly assert that Shatner’s talents extended beyond acting usually quiet down whenever they hear Shatner take a hatchet to recite this track.

I have a link to a video of Shatner doing Lucy, which is so brilliantly done and animated, that I felt it deserved its own entry.

Warning: Once you view the video, you can’t UN-view it. Sorry.

Crappy Album Covers #81 — Crappy By Request

Bunk Strutts has requested that I look at a link he sent me, and here is what I am coming back with. He had sent me a link to Franklarosa.com some weeks ago, and only now I am coming around to the requests. So, you might have to wait up to 3 weeks, since I post a couple of weeks in advance, before people actually see it.

album-cover-crap-106_-_hit_70s_tv_franklarosa_com A group called “The Pop Singers and Orchestra” has this album called “Themes from TV Hit Shows”, obviously from the late 70s/early 80s.

Get a load of these cartoony impressions of the stars of these programs. Kind of makes it look mindless. Just the way I remembered those programs. It’s just that the offerings by networks these days make these 70’s programs look like “University on the Air” by comparison.

We witness Valerie Bertinelli, the hearthrob from One Day At A Time, looking as if she has Down’s Syndrome; Angie Dickinson (Police Woman) gritting her teeth instead of smiling; Jack Lord (Hawaii Five-O) looks like Dudley Moore; and Lindsay Wagner (Bionic Woman) looks like an 18 year-old valedictorian. Archie and Meathead look like they’re gonna kiss and the ladies look terribly worried; and Sanford is going to be strangled by his son.

Michael Landon (Little House On The Prarie) looks like a seventies’ lead guitarist surrounded by his child-age female groupies (Hold it! That’s exactly how he looked on the TV show!). Lee Majors (Six Million Dollar Man), whose portrait presented here was drawn during his brief encounter with a moustache, looks sad that Charlie’s Angels has borrowed all three of his pink turtlenecks, and he had to settle for wearing a crappy orange one.

Then, there’s The Waltons. Look, I grew up on this program. It was my mother’s favourite, since she grew up in the praries in the ’30s, the same period of the program. This means that the theme is forever burned on to my cerebral cortex. Why on earth does someone feel the world needs yet another rendition of that infernal theme?

album_cover_crap_121_-_cabot_franklarosa_com Going back a decade, Sebastian Cabot played the butler Giles French in the sitcom “Family Affair”. Here, he recites (not sings) the greater works of Bob Zimmerman (nee Dylan) in his album “Sebastian Cabot, Actor/Bob Dylan, Poet”.

I am unsure why the silhouette of Dylan is distorted near Cabot’s head. Looks like Dylan’s harmonica is trying to eat his face.

You have not lived until you have heard Sebastian Cabot read (not sing) “It Ain’t Me Babe”. I can’t seem to find an MP3 of this, but he recites it like he is reciting Shakespeare. I heard it once years ago, and I recall it was unintentionally hilarious. The “music” is in the same league as William Shatner’s “Transformed Man” made around the same time. Recall that in that album, Shatner distinguished himself by reciting (not singing) “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”. Or you’re maybe better off not recalling that one.

I went through his track listing, and he thankfully does not do “Subterranean Homesick Blues” or “Lay Lady Lay”.

This album has since been re-released in 2007 on CD, and is sold on Amazon, if you really want to hear “It Ain’t Me, Babe” that bad. You can download the individual MP3 from there, I believe.

Actually, I have found the song embedded in a video from You Tube:

[media id=101 width=400 height=300]

Crappy Album Covers #53 — With all those Santas, Kids will start asking Questions: A gallery

album-cover-crap-38_lp-cover-lover I guess I might have figured sooner or later that Santa would get sick of the North Pole and would want to go to Hawaii, get on a surfboard, and take in a few rays.

Looks like Santa took a few rays too many. Also, his red suit is now going to be a little too warm. If this is his new way of travelling the globe, I think that there will be a few problems.

First of all, if you live in places like Saskatchewan, Montana, Utah, or South Dakota, Santa definitely won’t come to your house, because all of those places are land-locked. Same goes for entire nations like the Czech and Slovak Republics.

album-cover-crap-34_lp-cover-lover Perhaps there are humorous possibilities in Santa being played by a drunk negro. There is no indication on the album as to who the comedian is, being billed on the cover as the “Clown Prince of Comedy”.

The cover, as you might notice, is rated “XXX” and “FFF” (Fabulous, Funky and Funny).

lpcoverlover.com has this album listed under the category “Black Comedy”. This must be a new definition, since I always thought that this was black comedy (the audio below is by Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)):

[media id=88 width=400 height=24]

This is not the most extreme example, but it could qualify as part of a suite of tragedy skits dressed up as comedy. The folks at lpcoverlover seems to think that “Black Comedy” is comedy performed by black people. They might have to find another name for it.

album-cover-crap-37_lp-cover-lover Santa is thinking to himself, “If I find out where this thing folds up, I could get it into the chimney!”

A reader contributed that the shepherd’s staff is a throwback to the days of Saint Nicholas, who was a bishop somewhere within the third and fourth centuries. He used his inheritance to help the poor.

But few know Saint Nick as a bishop. People mostly know Saint Nick the way Coca-Cola depicted him in the 1930s, which is the way he is seen here. The photographers put a staff (called a crosier) in his hand to make the imagery more religious.

Either you’re going to emphasize the materialism of Christmas or its spirituality. There is nothing wrong with doing either one. But when you mix the two, you just confuse people.

album-cover-crap-35_lp-cover-lover Another black Santa. Well, I guess no one can accuse me of having a color imbalance in this posting, since this entry now has two white Santas and two black ones.

If we are to take this posting as a gauge of how blacks prefer to depict themselves, it seems as though they are seen as either drunk or womanizing. Great way to bash those racist stereotypes!