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Crappy Album Covers #215 — Your Miranda Rights

You have a right to remain silent, while Carmen Miranda has a right to sing her fool head off. It almost isn’t fair, is it? Here she is depicted as being attacked by a fruit bowl, and you stand accused.

She’s smiling because she’s hired the best lawyer in the business, and this is how she finances her jewellery.

Portuguese-born Maria do Carmo Miranda de Cuhna (1909-1955) was a Broadway singer and actress, and many believe she was the highest earning woman in the United States during the 1940s. She grew up in Brazil, earning her nickname “The Brazilian Bombshell”.

Below, the Lady in The Tutti Fruitti Hat sings the title track to this album.

Dick Schory and his merry band of percussionists and other musicians made this LP in 1958 or 1959 depending on what website you are looking at. I’ve seen it categorized as Easy Listening and as Space Age Pop. Either one would be possible for that tramadol buy online canada period.

The music has faded into mediocrity (answers.com gives it only two stars and a lukewarm review), but the crappy album cover lives on in our collective memory. This vinyl LP, whose cover depicts Dick Schory crawling out from underneath a pile of percussion instruments, is considered a collector’s item, with Amazon selling a used copy for around $280.00

WARNING: The picture on the Amazon site, on close inspection is of a 1996 German import CD, not a vinyl LP — Not sure if that is something I would pay close to $300 for. A giveaway is the jewel case, but an even bigger giveaway is the “Compact Disc” logo on the back cover. While there is no overt attempt by Amazon to obscure this (it is listed as a CD), Vinyl Renaissance sells the original vinyl LP used for $55.

Carmen Miranda, “South American Way”

Here is an English translation of the same song by The Andrews Sisters:

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Crappy Album Covers #214 — Where they learn to dance

Cuban born Perez Prado (1916-1989) showed himself as the Head Honcho of Mambo University. I guess it was the Latin kind, not the horizontal kind.  During his tenure, Prado was known as the King of Mambo.

Living for most of his life in Mexico, he had a long recording and performing career which extended from the 1940s to the 1970s.

One of his most famous recordings has the unfortunate name of “Mambo #5.” While it’s not on this record, I thought that I would include a video of the original 1950 tune, followed by a cover version of the song (below) done by the Horizontal Mambo Man Lou Bega, performed 50 years later, around 2000. You are guaranteed not to be able to get the Bega version out of your head.

Many of us recognise the name Arthur Murray as being the name behind the international dance lessons franchise. Now, how do you “learn” to dance to Rock and Roll and “do your own thing”?

Big Dave and his Orchestra could be accused of cashing in somehow with some kind of bandwagon, but in fact, Murray picked out the tracks himself, and there was a serious intent to “teach” rock and roll dance to customers.

Speaking for myself, I dance like a 3-legged cow, but if I wanted to pay for dance lessons, I don’t think I would go for something free-form like Rock, but with something more structured that takes somewhat more effort, like tango, foxtrot, or that kind of stuff.

Mambo #5 by Perez Prado

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Mambo #5 by Lou Bega

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Crappy Album Covers #213 — More TV and Movies

Cushy job there, Dean.

Dino Paul Crocetti, known as Dean Martin (1917-1995), played secret agent Matt Helm in the 1966 movie The Silencers.

I can’t see Matt Helm’s agency remaining secret if he continues to chase women.

This looks like the second redesign I’ve seen about the movie Peter Gunn. Same artist, same movie.
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Jonathan and Darlene Edwards

Bunk Strutts has alerted me to a person not known for crappy album covers in the CAC Blogosphere, but seems to be known for deliberately awful music. The mischievous Jo Stafford (1917-2008) convinced her husband, Paul Weston (1912-1996), to embark on a musical parody where Jo deliberately sings off-key and Paul buggers up his piano arrangements. This idea was hatched in the ‘60s, long after Paul had established a career in music, having played with the likes of Irving Berlin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Shore. Jo had worked with Fred Astaire and Frank Sinatra.

All this running with the big dogs can get pretty boring. So, they got the idea that if they play crappy music like the two songs shown below, that people would find it hilarious. But to protect themselves, they should play under pseudonyms. So they played (or failed to do so properly) under the names of Jonathan and Darlene Edwards.

Stayin’ Alive: [media id=40 width=400 height=24]

Nola: [media id=41 width=400 height=24]

http://sj.foodsci.info/wp-content/uploads/uploads/06_Nola.wma

For audio masochists who can’t get enough, you can hear even more bastardized Edwards’ music here.

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Crappy Album Covers #212 — The love of self and others

Common wisdom tells us that you must love yourself if you are going to give love to others. Otherwise, if you see yourself as a miserable chump, others will see you the same way, and only other miserable chumps will be your companions.

The first step in loving yourself is self-acceptance. And with that, being yourself. When you feel comfortable with yourself, others will feel comfortable around you, except your miserable chump ex-friends.

This was the self-help cash cow once milked by Samuel George Davis Jr (1925-1990). That being said this former Rat Packer has won 5 Grammies and 5 Emmies.

Cugat is depicted here, humping jumping on the Cha Cha Cha bandwagon that was all the rage in the 50s and 60s, and which has provided a rich source of crappy album covers for my blog.

He’s doing it wrong. He’s supposed to dance with the lady and put the french bread back on the table.

Xavier was born Francisco d’Asis Javier Cugat Mingal de Bru y Deleufo (1900-1990), but his publicist thought “Xavier Cugat” would not crowd out his picture on the record cover.

Cugat was known for his popularization of Latin dance, notably the Rumba, and has earned himself two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Before and after World War II, his band was the resident orchestra at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. His band has also toured with Enrico Caruso.

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Crappy Album Covers #211 — Domestic Affairs

If you cook either with electricity or briquettes, this album is not for you. I think there was a decade between the mid-50s and mid-60s where there were a spate of “Music for X” albums for every occasion. Cook with gas? Then buy this record!

Harry Fields (?-1988) graduated from Julliard with a Ph. D., and was a contemporary of George Gershwin. His orchestra played regularly for the American troops during World War II. A nice article on Fields gives more detail.

The father works, as is the expectation of fathers of the albums of this period, but on the domestic front, there is the family he provides for.

If John is a farmer, it crosses my mind that in order to work his many acres of land, he needs hands, which is the expected contribution of his family members. The kids seem a little young to be farm hands, and there are only two women, one of whom have to tend to domestic affairs. The other? Well, none of them look like they could pitch hay.

Anyone get the impression that the land they are standing on is not theirs?

 

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Crappy Album Covers #210 — Music From Space

Not much info on this record, or on who did the recording. The cover of “Soundproof: The Sounds of Tomorrow Today” gives the air, not of a futurstic vision of music, but rather the kind of music composed by aliens. If that is the sound of tomorrow, then it is a future dominated by an alien takeover, where we have to put up with their crappy music, and crappy album covers.For that reason alone, I would find out where the rebels are hiding and join them.

I think that the group (or series) might be called “The Sounds of Tomorrow Today”, because of this next LP …

What can be crappier than a cliche space scene than an album which depicts Santa being fired out of a cannon which he couldn’t possibly have fitted in, and being sent into orbit? In addition, the rocket launcher thingamagig they have there looks like it’s floating in the sky.Once again, “The Sounds of Tomorrow Today”, offering us an album entitled “Adventure in Carols”. Not much info on this one, either.
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Crappy Album Covers #209 — Keyboard Obsessions

There was a period of time that just about every “nerdy” musical act wanted to record something by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. They were the Lennon and McCartney of predictability and commerciality in the 1960s and early 70s.

While they took few artistic risks, it is not to say that they lacked originality. Their catalogue is quite diverse, ranging from “The Story of My Life” to “Do You Know The Way to San Jose?” And anyone who thinks where to buy tramadol playing Bacharach is easy hasn’t read the sheet music to the song “Promises, Promises”. Dionne Warwick sings it best.

Dick Hyman, that fella with that unfortunate name, certainly likes to tempt us, with both his name and the album title.

I included this 1965 record because in my last posting, I had “The Man From UNCLE” as a CAC, and now this. If this is a depiction of a spy, he looks like a very tired spy.

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Crappy Album Covers #208 — Television II

I remember seeing the title “The Man From UNCLE” in my TV Guide when I was quite young. Never saw the show, but I at least understood that it had this famous guy Robert Vaughan in the show. The acronym apparently stands for the “United Network Command for Law Enforcement”. Sheesh. 

It’s a James Bond knockoff because Ian Fleming took part in its creation. The series ran from 1964 to 1968, and selected props used in the show may now be found in the Ronald Regan Presidential Library, or so claims Wikipedia. A casual search around the Ronald Regan Library website turned up empty-handed.

This is actually the soundtrack for the Grammy-winning music by Stanley Wilson to the series M-Squad. This was a series about police officers fighting crime in the Chicago area. It ran from 1957 to 1960, and starred Lee Marvin.The entire series has been since released on DVD as recently as 2008.If anyone remembers the short series “Police Squad” which ran for a short time in 1982, M-Squad was the show they were actually targetting in their satire. The celebrated reason for ABC cancelling Police Squad was “because the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it.” Later that year, TV Guide took that quote as “the most stupid reason a network ever gave for ending a series.”
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Crappy Album Covers #207 — Television I

The 1976 movie “Logan’s Run”, of which this is the soundtrack, characterized a utopia, a domed city where everything is perfect for everybody (hardly any work, so you can pursue whatever your heart desires), except that when you turn 30 you have to die.These guys have numbers after their names for some reason, like “Logan 5”, or “Francis 7”. Dunno why. Now, some folks in this utopia thought that dying at age 30 was a dumb idea. To escape execution on the Carousel (why the heck they call it that?), you had to leave the domed city and arrive at some camp called Sanctuary, where sandmen will chase you down and put you to sleep. Sleep of the permanent kind.

We never know exactly why the community needed a dome in the first place.

Henry Mancini (1924-1994) was known for his movie soundtracks. He didn’t just do Peter Gunn, but also “Days of Wine and Roses”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “The Pink Panther”, “Victor/Victoria”, the Tennesee Williams film adaptation of  the play “The Glass Menagerie”, and the Arthur Hailey film adaptation of his novel “Hotel”, to merely scratch the surface of just some of what he did.Mancini was nominated for 72 Grammys, winning 20 of them over his 48-year career. He has recorded over 70 albums and soundtracks.

And for all this they give him a shitty-looking album cover.

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Crappy Album Covers #206 — Strange Instruments

 This 1965 album by Count Basie (1904-1984) and his orchestra plays a few ditties made famous by the James Bond series: themes from Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, Dr. No, and other tunes.

Down on the right lower corner, you can see the original United Artists’ label. There has now been a re-release using the same album cover under Capitol as late as 2002.

During his lifetime, William Basie has won 9 Grammies and has had 4 of his earliest hit singles inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

This 1957 album by New York native Billy Mure is one of the “must-haves” for collectors. Rock hadn’t quite gelled with people, and much of the guitar on this album could indeed pass for rock music, due to its high tempo.

Being from 1957, it is mono, but that is not to say that it doesn’t sound good. Remember, tube amps were standard in those days, so most recordings had the benefit of a warm, loud, clear sound. Nowadays, amps like that cost thousands of dollars, and most recordings are done digitally.

This is another Billy Mure LP from 1960, called “Supersonic Guitars” Volume 2. This one is in stereo this time. I have heard that both of these titles are thought to be quite a find.
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Crappy Album Covers #205 — Covers that tell you to chill

Trevor doesn’t seem to be too worried about any trouble over Bridgewater. Just sitting there with his ale, smiling away. I think the reason he’s smiling is that he came up with the clever title (a play on the Simon and Garfunkel 1970 hit “Bridge Over Troubled Water”), decades before Half Man Half Biscuit did in 2000.

No other info exists on either Trevor Crozier or his Friends.

Tune In, Turn On excludes the “Drop Out” part of the Timothy Leary quotation which has become the battle cry of slackers everywhere, ever since the 60s psychedelic era. The exact quote gives it as “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out”, changing the order of the first two instructions of this Slacker algorithm.

This record appears to have a selection of “The Hippest Commercials of The 1960s”. Hear the jingle for Cool Whip; or what about the smash hit Alka-Seltzer jingle by The T-Bones, called “No Matter What Shape Your Stomach’s In” (Most of the members of the T-Bones became the soft rock quartet Hamilton, Joe, Frank and Reynolds).

There has got to be some metaphorical connection between ’60s advertising and a photo of an obnoxiously-coloured TV sitting on a barren mud flat. Hmmm…

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Crappy Album Covers #204 — Even More Big Heads

Decca records seemed to also have caught on to the “Big heads” aesthetic, and the resulting album cover is designed to catch your attention and make you buy it before it sinks in that the cover is ugly and, well…

I would place this record in the mod-50s to mid-60s. Fritz Schultz-Reichel (his real name) was born in 1921 and acquired his alter-ego of Crazy Otto in 1953. He was touted to do the same for Jazz that Victor Borge did for classical music, and that is to be its court jester, poking fun at many aspects of  the genre.

A reissue was made in 2008 on Apple ITunes on the Hallmark label with a redesigned cover and Otto’s big head again.

Neil Young should be commended for still making records these days. This is his 40th year as a musician and he’s still at it, with his 2009 album “Fork In The Road”.

No more pretty boy record covers for him, like Decade. No, he would play the part of an Amish farmer better than of a travelling troubador. So you do what Amish farmers do when they see something like a camera: you say something like: “what happens if I press *this* button?” SNAP! and there’s your album cover.

If we do a turn on an old ethnic joke: a <fill in your ethnic group> drives by and asks Neil for help. He can barely speak English:

Neil: Can I help you?

Ethnic: Me looking for a fock

Neil: There’s a cat-house down the road a mile-

Ethnic: I no look for cats! Meester, you no unnerstan’. I want a fock on the road-

Neil: I don’t know if any of them are into that. Sorry I couldn’t help you

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Crappy Album Covers #203 — Creepy Similarities IV

1972’s Exile On Main St was one of those Rolling Stones records that grew on the reviewers. It went from having lukewarm reviews in ’72 to being worshipped as Rolling Stone Magazine’s #7 of the 500 greatest rock records of all time in 2003. The Rolling Stones had no albums ranking higher than this. 

But what always creeped me out was that guy in the upper left, who has three large balls in his mouth. See it? Okay …

Reuben Wilson was ahead of his time in 1969 when he decided to depict a lady, with three balls in front of her. Although, we don’t get grossed out by seeing if she could fit them all in her mouth. 

As for the “hair”, they look more like fish scales.

A CD was issued with this cover in 1997.

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Crappy Album Covers #202 — Suggestions for New Year’s Eve

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, and of course, you may find yourselves  in need of party records that would be suitable for the occasion.

How’se about a Knees-up Party for New Year’s Eve? Well, you can rest easy, since it just means a party or dance, and it was derived from the 1938 Harris Weston and Bert Lee song called “Knees Up Mother Brown”. This song title does in fact appear on this recording. In other trivia, England’s West Ham Football Club calls its website by this song title also.

And also, the revellers on the album cover look pretty harmless.

Any record with clowns on the album cover certainly qualify as a suggested record for New Year’s Eve.

While David Rose didn’t appear to have too many hits in this 1954 recording, these were mostly original compositions. Later, he would compose a song called The Stripper, which became the cliche go-to song for sexually suggestive movies and television scenes with humorous effect. The Stripper was intended as a B-side to the single for Ebb Tide. In this case, it was the B-side that charted #1 on Billboard in June 1962 and reached gold status.

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Crappy Album Covers #201 — Even more Monsters!

Marty Gold and His Orchestra, with an album that more than likely hails from around the mid to late 1950s, called “Hi Fi Fo Fum”. Not sure if that is supposed to be Gold dressed as The Green Giant on the cover. This site reports that this album hails from a period when Gold’s work was the most interesting.
In April of 1972, blues artist Bill Maloney and (possibly) a few other musicians put out this album “Pleasure Pudding” under the name Sweet Pie. Recorded mostly live in Wilmington, Vermont. In view of this, the second track has the title “Vermont: A Lazy Man’s Colorado.” This would seem to work best place to buy generic viagra only if you live in the New England area. Otherwise, Colorado can be a lazy man’s Vermont.
One of the tracks is called “Too Drunk to Ball”, a song which predates the Dead Kennedy’s top 40 hit (at least in England) called “Too Drunk to F**k”. As Stewart Mason points out: “[Sweet Pie is] an appealingly freaky mixture of spoken word rambles just this side of stoned babbling and spacy piano blues that sound like what would have happened if Sun Ra had taken his outer-space parade into the honky tonks”. If you are indeed curious, you can buy and download thier music at ESP-Disk.
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Crappy Album Covers #200 — Full of sound and Fury, Signifying nothing

“Empire of the Sun” is the name of a 1987 Stephen Spielberg movie, but it is also the name of an Australian musical duo consisting of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore. The bombastic cover has them depicted as a cross between Michael Jackson and Adam Ant, but the music seems to have been received to warm reviews, and has charted well with the buying public. I have a problem with the title, though: “Walking on a dream?” How exactly does one walk ON a dream? Hmmm.AOL rates this cover as the 10th worst cover of 2009.
This 2009 cover by Ciara has her depicted as a comic book heroine. And this is part of what she wanted to portray, it appears. However, this reviewer gives her efforts spotty reviews, and AOL rates this as the 6th worst cover of 2009, even ahead of Neil Young’s new album cover.You can say it’s overdone, ostentatious, but I just think they could have done better. There was a DC alternate depiction I’ve seen, of the UK release. Much improved. There was also another one, a cartoon depiction of her alter ego (a kind of Wonder Woman goddess), which was even better. Sorry, can’t find the link to that.
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The new OCT designation (Ontario Certified Teacher)

I have seen the OCT promo video (looks expensively done) that justifies the new letters which are touted to put me on some kind of a footing with doctors and engineers, and others who pay exorbitant fees to have letters placed after their name, like FRCP, and so on. In this designation, “OCT” stands for “Ontario Certified Teacher.” OCT also stands for the Ontario College of Teachers, so it can be a bit confusing.

The promo was received by teachers without a single positive comment that I could find. But in the defense of the OCT, there are some things about the designation that I think would set me apart from say mom or dad who may decide on a whim to give their own children credit courses. The OCT accreditation, to me, says that I am qualified to give credit, I know my ethics, and I can deliver it fairly and with confidence that your kid will be prepared for further education in the career of their choice. Someone with no designation has no such guarantee, and they can’t award credit anyway. It means that both public and private schools can’t just hire anyone off the street, they have to have an OCT crtificate also.  Anyone teaching any high school credit from Calculus to Cosmetology will need this.

But they always have, since the college was first started in 1996. The new letters after my name which they encourage me to use will change nothing. It also hasn’t stopped school boards from hiring “emergency supply” teachers (teachers with no such certs, and often no union representation), or from hiring fulltime teachers from “off the street”, and certifying them later. It also doesn’t appear to stop the growing practice of universities and colleges offering high school credits, and using entirely non-accredited staff to deliver them, even as entirely accredited (and horribly underfunded) adult schools exists all across Ontario with certified teachers in its classrooms.

But since its inception in 1996, the Ontario College of Teachers have acted more like the policing arm of the Ontario government more than an upholder of standards. If they were really serious about teaching standards, then they ought to vigorously defend our profession from practices mentioned above. But they don’t. However, they make a big deal out of taking teachers to court and of publicising the fact in their Professionally Speaking publication (many teachers know them as The Blue Pages). I am not against taking legal action against teachers to defend and uphold a standard for professional ethics, but I am against the “public hanging” approach that is taken by the publication of their names and locations in the Blue Pages. I don’t need to know the names of anyone buy cheap tramadol overnight being found guilty of some abuse of power or other.  I don’t even want to know that it’s happening, unless it is a major social issue. It only serves to demoralize. It would be better, if ethics are such a big deal (and I agree it is), to educate us on ethics in a positive way, if that is the supposed lesson of these blue pages.

The Ontario College of Teachers was formed on an act of the Harris government in 1996, called “The Ontario College of Teachers Act.” Many teachers at the time felt that the OCT was imposed on them, against their wishes, serving only a coercive role.

The link to the YouTube promo is festooned with teachers calling for the banning of the Blue Pages and even an end to the College of Teachers, which seem to serve no useful purpose. One colleague quipped to me that our College fees are being used to finance their lawsuits against us. They are also used to finance a large office building near Bloor and Yonge, which will soon be owned outright by the College, thanks to our fee payments, which we have all paid on time like good little soldiers. Meanwhile the other tenant, who obviously is not making as much money (Alliance Atlantis!) is going to have to find another place to set up.

I have a vision for the OCT that they will not, and cannot, justify themselves as a policing arm of the government, because we pay the dues. In that vein, I can forsee a major change in the role of the OCT, in that it can and should separate itself from the government and become an independent body. That way, it can have the teeth to monitor and do something about government decisions that lead to the watering down of standards, such as allowing non-certified teachers to teach credit courses as they do in the college and university system. That should be regarded the same as allowing a non-certified doctor to treat a patient, or an uncertified engineer to build a bridge. If we don’t do the latter, then we shouldn’t be allowed to do the former. At the same time, it can monitor abuses of power among teachers as before, but I don’t need the constant reminders in The Blue Pages. If I am really interested, I can go to OCT’s professional library and check it out. Or maybe they can give me login access to such filthy details. But I don’t feel that the Blue Pages makes me a better teacher. But the OCT designation? Well, I see possibilities, but the OCT has to change its emphasis.

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Crappy Album Covers #199 — Crappy for the Holidays

I promised Bunk I would post a 3 Stooges Christmas record in answer to this post by him earlier this week.

Not much info on The 3 Stooges’ “Happy Yuletide Songs”, not even the year of release. However, to put some context into this, when exactly was the last time that a record, even one that’s 45 RPM, in new condition, was marked at $0.49? But you get three, count ’em, three complete Little Golden Records on a single 45 RPM record!

'Twas the night before stocks closed
and all through the house
the free market was rich enough
to feed only a mouse.
The stocks were all kept in the safe box with care
In hopes that Ed Greenspan would soon reappear.
LP Cover Lover (click on graphic for the link) points out that the cover appears to depict all of the elements of pulling off a heist: the clever Santa disgiuse; the stocks and bonds in the sack; and the guy smoking a pipe in an office chair, obviously enjoying his booty.

The title of this 1966 album by God-knows-who is roughly translated as “A Peaceful and Prosperous Home” (the “um” at the start of the title may be a misprint). When we have holiday images of peace and prosperity, it is usually in the context of family and friends. In this cover, there is nothing more than just this guy with a smirk on his face, whoever he is, with his stocks and bonds to keep him company.

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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.