Crappy Album Covers #240 — Overdone

Hits: 22

The Funk/R&B/Disco group Parliament has built thier image on over-the-top costumes and stage settings. Parliament’s 1976 LP “The Clones of Dr Funkenstein” is no exception.

George Clinton seems to be saying “Hey! Who put boobs on this clone?!?”

Manowar, if you have read my last entry on them, were noted for their independent business practices, a more than overt homosexual slant in their depictions of themselves, and really loud concerts (139 dB, it is rumored … the pain threshhold is 120 dB). Their concerts are slightly quieter than planes taking off from an aircraft carrier, but louder than a jet engine. Just remember, that to put this in perspective, a jackhammer is a mere 120 dB. That’s 1/80th the sound energy of a Manowar concert.

Crappy Album Covers #239 — More Exotica (or how does the chick keep her bra on?)

Hits: 12

More exotica, yet, due to the surfeit of strapless gowns, strapless brassieres, and strapless halters, we return to the same eternal questions. How do they stay on? Why aren’t the chicks modelling for WonderBra instead of propping up the Exotica industry? In this phot lies part of the answer. The chick couldn’t keep hers on. Crouched and arms folded. Bad sign.

What the heck is Modesto doing wearing cutoff jeans?

But Maya Angelou just keeps this mystery eternal. Angelou is a poet, and this 1957 record is reputedly a poetry reading, perhaps meant to be performed with a dance accompaniment.

Angelou (Born Marguerite Ann Johnson in St. Louis Missouri in 1928) is a person who may well be placed in the category of “lives well-lived”. She is many things to many people: a writer, a peformer, a dancer, a civil rights activist, a university professor, a playwright (also performing in Porgy and Bess). In the late 70s, she wrote many movie scores, and composed for R&B singer Roberta Flack. Her most notable book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, is the 5th most banned book in schools in the United States for the years 2000 to 2005, according to the American Library Association. This means that it’s a book children will be spending their saved allowances to put on order on Amazon. When will the censors ever learn?

Crappy Album Covers #238 — Extreme Exotica

Hits: 11

Juanita Banana appears to be a major musical comedy act in the French-speaking world. She appears to have been doing this for quite a while.Below is a YouTube video with Juanita Banana. It is completely in French, but I think the visual humor survives translation. It appears that it is someone else lip-synching her, but going by the comments on YouTube, it appears legit.
This is a rare depiction of violence. Is it a fair fight? Girl drops dagger, guy has a bull-whip? But never mind that. The real question on everyone’s mind is: how does her bra stay up?Chaino, born Leon Johnston (1927-1999) was a fellow of questionable origin (I have heard stories that he had been the last born of a nearly extinct African tribe, for example), but what is not questionable was his contribution to the Exotica trend in the late 50s and early 60s. Allmusic tells us he was born in 1927 in Philadelphia.

Reviewers say that his recordings, with Chaino normally as the sole musician in multiple percussion tracks, was once described as being like the best sex you never had. Reissues of his recordings have appeared as late as 2008.

Juanita Banana:

[media id=98 width=400 height=300]

Crappy Album Covers #237 — Lamers!

Hits: 20

There’s Lennon, McCartney;
Elton John, Bernie Taupin;
There’s Bacharach, David;
and Holland/Dozier/Holland;

But do you recall
the most earth-shat’ring duo of all
I’m talking about –
Nimoy and Billy Shatner;
Singin’ with their shiny prose
And like a moss infection
You would even say it grows
People who were non-Trekkies
Used to laugh and call them names
You’d wonder why they’d still make records
‘Cause most of what they sing is lame

I am feeling vibrations …. Ooooh lots of vibrations … ooooohh ahhh. no, wait a minute, I’ll switch off my cell phone, sorry.

My crystal ball tells me, uh, it tells me that, uh, you like to stare down women’s cleavages. There’s a ladies’ lingerie shop in your future. That, and something to do with dressing rooms and pinhole cameras.

Millie Jackson is at it again, with another tasteless record cover. But this one is an artistic masterpiece compared with her earlier entry into this CAC blog.

Crappy Album Covers #236 — More family Bands

Hits: 17

The previous version of this posting was accidentally deleted. This was God’s way of telling me that my soul will burn in hell for eternity for making CAC entries, especially those mocking Christian-oriented family bands. Oh well… in for a penny, in for a dollar…
In this photo, the father is illiterate but can sing. So that’s why Little David signs all the contracts and does the legal work in clearing copyrights. He named the band “Little David and Family” himself, knowing that Dad couldn’t read anyway, so shilling a bit for himself won’t hurt.
There is something about family bands that seems to say that the family that dresses together stays together. Even down to the heavy-rimmed glasses. Why don’t they wear Groucho noses while they’re at it?

No info on The Simmons or “The Touch of God” could be found. Clearly most of them look a bit touched.

Crappy Album Covers #234 — Judgement Issues

Hits: 11

The jumpsuit was never a big hit as a fashion item, being more of a centerpiece in prison haute couture instead. Here are the four escape convicts of the lavender and sky-blue wings of a co-ed maximum security prison who call themselves ABBA: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn, and Anni-Frid, with a Spanish rendition of the 1977 hit “Thank-you For The Music”. A hit record from that album appears below, sung in Spanish.
Abba will likely be the most successful international act to come out of Sweden for a long time to come. Their trademark harmonies, a “wall of sound” style borrowed from Phil Spector, and simple tunes that anyone can sing and relate to, made them the giants in music that they were, with hits that stick in your mind decades after they were composed. The band lasted as long as the marriages: Agnetha to Bjorn and Benny to Anni-Frid. They broke up in 1983, although they have later appeared as a group as audience members for performances such as “Mama Mia!”

In 2000, they had reportedly turned down a 1 billion-dollar (US) offer for them to re-unite and do a 100 concert tour. It would have been nice to see them re-unite, but the reasons they gave for not doing it were compelling and reasonable: that they feared becoming similar to the Robert Plant reincarnation of Led Zeppelin: fogeys who are only a cover band for their own material. I hear you, Abba.

By the late 70s, they were a bigger money maker than Volvo or Saab, having to date sold over 375 million records worldwide. They are expected to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some time today, probably earlier today.

Californian classicial musician Terry Riley is here with his 1967 LP “A Rainbow in Curved Air”, his second of 12 records so far. This LP has wound up on many CAC journals, likely because of the placement of the author and title, relative to Terry’s expansive forehead.

Riley performed in many innovative concerts in the 1960s (music for vacuum cleaner and harmonium, and was one of the first to use tape loops in concerts and recordings), and later composed for the Kronos Quartet.

Here is ABBA, with their Spanish hit “Reina Danzante”, which english speakers will also find familiar:

Crappy Album Covers #233 — Men with Chronic Shyness

Hits: 7

Look at the guy in the foreground. Now let’s see if I got this right: there’s a lady both in front and behind him; there are nothing but ladies elsewhere in the photo; and all this guy can think about doing is fiddling with the knobs on his sound equipment. I think these girls must come to certain conclusions about guys who fall in love with their gadgets too much. But nevertheless, this is all the International Pop Orchestra could come up with for the cover to their record “An Exciting Evening At Home”.
Musician, producer, and husband of Melanie Ciccone Joe Henry is here with his 1996 recording, Trampoline.The painting gives the feeling like a bed is being used as a trampoline. A bed in a psych ward.

Being husband to Madonna’s sister hasn’t hurt his career. Among the recordings Joe and Madonna recorded together was the single “Guilty By Association”.

Crappy Album Covers #232 — Puppets and other non-humans

Hits: 8

Weela Galez (1913-1995) will apparently be remembered for this album cover, where she is wearing brightly-colored clothes and yelling about the death of her turtle. However, The turtle only died because she hugged it too hard over the death of her dog. Not having learned her lesson, she will now proceed to crush the monkey depicted to death over the death of her turtle.

Discaimer to all PETA activists: No monkeys, dogs, or turtles were harmed in the making of this record or this journal entry. Happy?

Don & Seymour. No tangible info exists on this apparently musical duo.Not even the date of release of this LP, except that the puppetteer’s name is Don Travis.

DON: And for my next number I will attempt to play guitar with Seymour’s face.

SEYMOUR: Hold on a Sec! That’s cruelty to puppets! I’ll sue!

DON: But how do you expect me to play guitar? My hand is already up your —

SEYMOUR: DON! Now, that’s getting personal!

Crappy Album Covers #231 — Chicks as Marketeers

Hits: 7

A staple of CAC blogs is this 1955 record, entitled “Music to Remember Her”, whose cover features the disembodied heads of attractive women. It is a concept we’ve seen before on this journal, with similar creepy results.

Jackie Gleason (1916-1987) was best known for his role as Ralph Kramden in the sitcom The Honeymooners, as well as his role in the 1961 film The Hustler, playing the starring role of pool shark Minnesota Fats. He is less known as a musician, but for over a decade, he lent his talents to his penchant for romantic Jazz numbers, which this particular record is a likely example.

Another frequent flyer on the CAC blogosphere, is Cher’s 1978 Pop/Disco album “Take Me Home”. The main criticism I have read others as saying is WTF about that ridiculous costume she’s wearing.

But slow down a minute. Look at her. She could wear a Glad garbage bag over her body and still look hot. Sorry for breaking ranks with the rest of you guys. I would GLADLY buy the record, pin the cover on my wall, and throw away the vinyl (I hate disco anyway).

That being said, I don’t get much of an impression of this record being a collector’s item, despite the fact that the album went gold, and has Gene Simmons on backing vocals. The gold status is widely considered to be due to the “viking” outfit that Cher is sporting. Remember the Universal Law of Selling Records: scantily-clad women never cause a drop in record sales, even if their presence has little to do with the record’s theme or concept.

Crappy Album Covers #230 — Don't Let Go The Coat-Tails

Hits: 61

Naked or semi-nude women on album covers by tribute bands are over-used. So, why not have a sexy woman sitting on a pile of money? Sex and money! What’s not to like?

The Nashville Fiddles at least had the decency to put their band name in something a tad larger than fine print this time. In fact, it is more prominent than the person they’re tributing — Johnny Cash.

Beatlerama … “The fabulous new sound from England”. One problem is that not all members of the Fab Four played guitar, and where is the drummer?

This is the second volume of Beatlerama released by a group called “The Manchesters” — their name is there in the fine print in the lower left corner. See it? You might need a magnifying glass.

What sets this tribute album apart is that they didn’t use any scantily-clad ladies this time.

Crappy Album Covers #229 — Dummies and their Ventriloquists

Hits: 23

No pertinent info seems to exist on Harry and Terry, except from other CAC blogs who want to make fun of them. I am not even sure which is Harry and which is Terry.

This is not the first ventriloquist album I’ve featured on my CAC series, and it must be stated: A record about a ventriloquist dummy? What is the point?

The big draw of a ventriloquist act is supposed to be the audience being exposed to the illusion of a talking dummy. But if all there is is a spinning record or CD… what’s left? Then it’s just a comedy record with one guy doing voice-overs.

Crappy Album Covers #228 — Music for fitness and recreation

Hits: 15

Jack La Lanne is still going strong with his fitness business. If you check his website, you will be assaulted by a patritotic call to arms to get off your lard ass and start excercising.

I’m not sure of his public speaking skills, but he seems to think he has it. And hey, thinking you have it is half the battle, isn’t it?

He still sells his Moulinex-like power juicers, too, for as low as 99 bucks, as seen on TV.

No idea who composed or performed on this LP, but at least it’s easy to tell what it’s about.

Crappy Album Covers — Sidebar: CACs brought to life

Hits: 37

A while back, I poked fun at a an album cover by Sterling Blythe, called Sterling Blythe Sings (CAC #47).

Mark Portillo, keeper of the blog called Drop Me Off In Harlem, started a concept where simple animation to familiar, and not-so-familiar album covers could bring out many salient features, or poke fun of drawbacks, of the album cover.

In the original cover, Blythe sat on what appeared to be a tree branch. But since the branch didn’t seem to be connected to anything, it looked like he was floating. Now, thanks to the magic of animated GIFs and a bit of retouching, he really is floating.

Appearing in early April will be this 1969 album cover from King Crimson, entitled “In The Court of the Crimson King”.

Well, not exactly this cover. This is another one of Mike Portillo’s handiworks, exaggerating the already-exaggerated madness of the cover through the magic of animation.

 

Crappy Album Covers #227 — Songs about being s**t out of luck

Hits: 24

Porter Wayne Wagoner (1927-2007) seems to be well-known for his hard luck songs, like the one that makes the title to this LP. “The Cold, Hard Facts Of Life” is exactly about what is depicted on the photo. Hubby comes home earlier than expected, and finds his wife fooling around with another guy. Nowadays, it would be more like “Guy and gal get married, they honeymoon, then Guy finds the gal is a guy.” Introducing the new cold hard facts.

Wagoner ushered in the career of Dolly Parton and hosted the Grand Ole Opry for many years. He has reportedly had over 80 hit singles on the country charts.

More down-and-outer music can be expected from Latino Joe Bravo in the name of Skid Row Joe. Porter Wagoner actually wrote a song about Skid Row Joe, and in this LP we find Joe doing a cover version.

Now you can hear both songs and become depressed in two different languages:

 

Crappy Album Covers #226 — The Demon Alcohol

Hits: 24

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

Hits: 27

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

Hits: 28

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 edgier for 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 #223 — More Bodily Functions

Hits: 24

FYI, this was an album cover released, according to my reliable informants, during the fifties, and was meant to be a gag album cover with no actual vinyl LP inside. If it did have an LP inside, you would hear the tunes listed on the back cover, which consisted of titles such as “Just Sittin’ and Rockin'”, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”, and “At Last”. It may have been purchased at the same joke shop that sold “Half ashtrays” (for your half-ash friends).  A cardboard insert inside explains the gag.
Well, if you are a CAC fan like I think you are, you probably figured sooner or later I would display the Pooh-Man album 1992 cover “As Funky as I Wanna Be”.  Old jokes, re-told on countless blogs I visited that display this CD cover, consist of banter such as “giving birth to a guy with shades must be painful.” And if you hold the record upside-down, well… then we get really gross.

Lawrence Lee Thomas sings the three sacred topics in the Rap Trinity: money, sex and murder. He knows that no rapper has ever lost a dollar singing about those topics, and he’s going to make a mint and wave it in your face, like a good rapper should.

For all the hoopla, I think all the publicity for his album must be coming from blogs like these. This LP never made it into the Billboard Hot 100, but only just made the R&B charts at #38. That being said, this album was the high water mark for MC Pooh, and as far as I can tell, he has never returned to this level of artistic achievement since.

Crappy Album Covers #222 — CAC Makers with a Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

Hits: 218

Go to Rhino Records(Live) on Westwood Boulevard! Go to Rhino Records on Westwood Boulevard!

If you sing the above lines multiple times in a music-less, out-of-tune voice while clapping your hands, you have a good idea of the “music” that lay within this 1969 double LP. Rhino didn’t exist in 1969 you say? No problemo! We have a YouTube video from 1969 below, produced by Zappa himself.

Double LP. Lord have mercy. Frank Zappa himself was the talent scout that got this guy signed on to the Bizarre record label.

It is likely to be mostly due to his association with Zappa that this used double LP has sold on Amazon for $84.00. A true collectors item, since Frank Zappa’s estate is expressly not considering releasing this on CD. Must have had something to do with the time that Fischer was allowed to hang out at Zappa’s house and started to make an ass of himself and trash his house. I guess if Zappa were alive, he wouldn’t release it on CD either.

Somtimes being crazy means you are some kind of mad genius. Sometimes it just means you’re crazy.

Sometimes being a mass murderer means you can sing birthday tunes. This is John Wayne Gacy (1942-1994), otherwise known as Pogo The Clown.

So I now stand corrected. In this article, where I write a short article about him, I claimed that he never made records. But I found this one.

This record cover shown was found on Myspace.com. A birthday record with piano accompaniment by Lucille Adams. There is a serial number on the upper right that says “JWG-33-1994”. I would suppose the the “JWG” in the serial number (Pogo’s Initials) would make that a vanity pressing. “33” are the number of people he murdered; and “1994” was the year he was executed by lethal injection.

Wildman Fischer, from the aforementioned double LP, on YouTube:

Crappy Album Covers #221 — Unique Reiligious Concepts

Hits: 24

“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”.

 

%d bloggers like this: