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 #93 — I actually think I get this one …

cac_01_riotThis CAC must be the fodder for dozens of CAC blogs; and the singular most common reaction is something like: WTF? They just don’t get it. In Riot’s 1981 album, their third, is the head of a cuddly harp seal on the shoulders of some guy.

Those bloggers are totally off the mark. This is totally understandable. I believe it is a statement on the tendency of urban-dwellers to feel more the rights of animals than for the rights of humans.

If you are down-and-out, alienated, rejected by society, you will find this world a cold, harsh place. But if you walk around wearing the head of a seal, at least people will think twice before smashing your brains in with a club. Who knows, you might even score sympathy points with the chicks this way. At least more points than previously. Yes, I get it. “Fire Down Under” must be a tome about man’s need to overcome alienation by dressing up in cuddly animal costumes of those perceived to be endangered species. Yes, I am making excuses for this cover.

Riot’s expoitation of seals as a hobbyhorse even extends to 13th CD, “Army of One”, released in 2006. I noticed the motif in at least three of their albums.