Crappy Album Covers #295 — A Fink Fixation

There have been many electrons spilled recently (I can’t say “much ink spilled”, this being the Internet) over a certain kind of woman who seem to always fall in love with jerks, then they meet a nice guy who they tell their problems to, they become friends, then she dates the jerk again, leaving the more deserving “friend” empty-handed. 

Jackie Kannon has those ladies figured out. They are called “rat fink lovers”. And to turn this part of the music-buying market into a cash cow for him, he has music for these rat fink lovers to love their rat fink boyfriends.

In reality, this 1964 album contains many standards that were current with the early-to-mid ’60s “lounge music” that had its heyday back then. The album is considered rare, and a copy was being sold on Amazon, used, for US$49.

This album loses on all fronts. The title is a poorly-constructed pun (“Sing along with Mitch”, I think is the general idea). Alfred E. Neuman is depicted with the trademark Mitch Miller ghoti. 

Mitch Miller (1911-2010) was a household name in the mid-1960s, known for his television series and accompanying record series, “Sing Along With Mitch”, which was active between 1961 and 1964. He was also head of artists and reperoire for Columbia Records.

Why I’ve Avoided Discussing Certain CACs

Crappy Album Covers have been a staple of this blog for over a year now.  I think I may have posted over 400 album covers in that time, and I have particularly, but not always, targeted the unintentionally bad ones.

There have been certain themes/artists/genres I have avoided:

Metal: I’ve said it before that many metal/punk/hard rock bands release sucky/disturbing covers on purpose, because they know their audience will buy the record/cd. Picking on metal or punk bands would be like shooting fish in a barrel. I have made exceptions (Pantera and Stryken, notably) when the album crosses the line of bad taste to unintentional bad taste.

Bob Dylan: I’ve noticed on some blogs, many commenters pick on Dylan’s albums as a source of bad album art. Face it, folks. Nobody buys Dylan for the album cover, so no one cares. However, in a future post, I make a point that there is a Dylan album art concept that is getting a bit repetitive: the blurry-photo-of-Dylan-in-concert idea. Oh, and yeah, there was also that Starbucks promo CD I discussed earlier.

Nobody buys Leonard Cohen for his album art, either. Or Joni Mitchell for hers, even when she draws the covers herself in crayon (Ladies of the Canyon, and Court and Spark, I believe are two examples) .

Most “lounge lizard” acts and Gospel acts are the same way. For the most part, you tend to get a picture of the artist, the album title, and at least a partial track listing. The whole intent is predictability, and a total avoidance of any artistic risk-taking. Lounge acts start crossing the line, however, when they become too grandiose, or too “nerdy”, or show a total lack of thought in the photo/artwork.

This is at least a partial rendition of my thought processes when making these CAC entries.

Crappy Album Covers #123 — Nature Photos

Album_Cover_Crap_168_showandtelmusic_com

The Willy Wall Trio is a group of musicians whose soft brand of jazz seems to have an appeal with many sites on the internet. I have seen titles from this album in compilations and from people reviewing the record. One of the tracks, “Cha Cha 89” does not place this record in 1989 for me, but the Winnebago motorhome depicted here places this record not much later than 1969:

[mp3t track=”http://sj.foodsci.info/wp-content/uploads/misc_media/Willy_Wall_-_Cha-Cha-89.mp3″]

It is quite good, if you like jazz. Two other tracks are “Movin & Groovin” and “Snowfall”. Many have categorized this as “lounge music”, and I would agree, but there is a strong thread of jazz to the music.

Movin’ & Groovin’:

[mp3t track=”Willy_Wall_-_Movin_n_Groovin.mp3″]

Snowfall:

[mp3t track=”Willy_Wall_-_Snowfall.mp3″]

Album_Cover_Crap_180_Flickr If you are in trouble, don’t care what it is, Billy Swan can help. The song has made it to K-Tel infamy, thereby commercializing and commodifying yet another song about human compassion in the 70s. You can’t blame that on Swan, though.

This Missouri native had his start hanging out with Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters in the early 60s, and later on, writing tunes with fellow Missouri native Jospeph Henry Burnette, or “T-Bone Burnette” as he is known.

One can only hope that no swans were harmed in the making of this album cover.