Crappy Album Covers #261 — Metal Annoyances

It’s one thing to steal a model of a skull from your high school biology lab, but it is quite another to go to auto shop at the other end of your high school, take a photo of a grinder, and then place the two images together in MS Paint. It has been discovered that the image is a fake album cover, and the mea culpas have come out.

Did you get it? Skull grind? Maybe Eric was being too subtle. Blogger Eric Meyer actually did this one in MS Paint while a student at the Universtiy of Minnesota when he should have been studying. Welcome to the CAC Blogosphere, Eric, where the other time wasters have been lurking!

No pertinent information exists on Wolf, or the artist (some guy named Arnold), except from blogs such as this one, who have already pointed out that the so-called “wolf” looks like a pointy-eared baboon with a trench coat, with vultures’ heads for fingers.

I cannot even speculate on the genre, year or country of origin.

Crappy Album Covers #260 — The End of the World

Get ready for the Armageddon Experience! Are you experienced?Notice how tastefully they depict an impression of the end of the world. Notice the lettering, the flaming something-or-other that could just as well be oil soaked up on The Redneck Riviera, set in flame.
The United Nations Press?! You couldn’t possibly be talking about this press?If you have an “endgame” scenario worth discussing, is it really necessary to disguise your message in the cloak of another publication?

Crappy Album Covers #259 — Recordings of Enigmatic Individuals

Lee Harvey Oswald is one of many that lived during the days of the Kennedy assassination. That is, one of many Lee Harvey Oswalds. So at any rate, who the heck knows if this is the real Oswald? Of course, one of these Oswalds were killed days after the assassination by Jack Ruby. The Oswald, whom they refer to as the “lone nut”. I suspect that this is the Oswald the album claims to deal with.

It is hard to say if this LP made it as a “hit” record, even a short 3 years after the assassination in Dealy Plaza in Dallas.

Civil Rights activist. Co-founder of the Black Panthers. Author of the book “Barbecueing with Bobby”. Spokesperson for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. This is the enigma that is Bobby Seale.

This LP likely deals with the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. You see, Lyndon Johnson announced that he had enough of trying to fit into JFK’s shoes, and would not seek a second term. That meant that the democrats had to hold a convention to see who would lead. It was slim pickin’s, what with brother RFK assassinated also.

So what unity did the Democrats have after the Tet Offensive and the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King? Not much. You got Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, and Edwin Muskie. None of these people were a match for the opponent, Richard Nixon, who led a united Republican party to win the Presidential election.

The 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago was held in what has been described as a Potemkin-style setting, in a building with bulletproofed walls, and chain-linked fences topped by concertina wire surrounding the perimeter. Demonstrators, ranging from moderate to radical, who had a myriad of special causes, but with Tet and Martin Luther King fresh in their minds, had what was intended as a peaceful demonstration, but which ended up as being violent. It has been widely accepted that the Chicago Police and the Illinois National guard were the instigators, and even journalists were getting beaten up. Among the roughed-up journalists were Dan Rather, and Mike Wallace.

Among the arrested, tried and jailed were members of what became known as The Chicago Eight, a loosely-connected bunch whose most prominent members included Bobby Seale, Abbie Hoffman, and Jerry Rubin. The latter two were founders of the “Yippie” (YIP=Youth International Party) movement. Bobby Seale was not charged, although he was sentenced to 5 years for contempt of court, due to an outburst he had toward the presiding judge Julius Hoffman. The outburst was due to Seale being denied the attorney he wanted, and being denied the opportunity to represent himself. Seale was ordered bound, gagged, and chained to a chair for the remainder of the proceedings. Hence, the record cover. Because of the contempt of court charge, his trial was never heard, and the Chicago Eight became the Chicago Seven. The four-year sentence for contempt of court was one of the longest in the history of American jurisprudence for that charge.

Crappy Album Covers #258 — Georgy Porgy Puddn’ ‘n’ Pie

This is the one-hit wonder  for drummer and bandleader Rob Kuban and his In-Men, called Look Out for The Cheater, which reached #12 in 1966.

This song even made it to the Rock-And-Roll Hall of Fame’s permanent exhibit of one-hit wonders.

Kuban wasn’t the lead singer on this tune, however. That job was left for Walter Scott (1943-1983) who, in the greatest of all ironies, was murdered by James WIlliams, with the collusion of Walter’s wife JoAnn. James and JoAnn were married in 1986. The marriage must have been short-lived, however, as she got 5 years in prison, while James likely received life imprisonment.

Dick Lucas likes to live on the edge, doesn’t he? He meets a nice lady, they go out for some time, he jilts her, they break up, then he misses her and asks for her to come back.

Most songs which explore the tangled nature of love would say things like “take a chance on me”. This one is even more edgier, with the albumtitle being “Would You Take Another Chance on Me?”

The chick who is standing away from him is clearly weighing her options.

Here are The In-Men, with their only top-40 hit.

Crappy Album Covers #257 — The Gay Life

Playwright and church minister Al Carmine’s (1936-2005) 1973 “Off-off-Broadway” play “Faggot”, was a play which managed to encompass all facets of gay life. The play was likely a celebration of the declassification of homosexuallity as a mental illness, being the first-ever gay musical, and likely the first-ever gay musical, period. Homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness by fiat, by the APA in 1973, the same where can i buy viagra online? year as the play.

Historical gay characters featured in the play were Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Catherine the Great.

George Kennedy’s 1967 spoken-word album “Homosexuality in The American Male” struggles with the “mental illness” paradigm of what we seem to accept today merely as a lifestyle choice.

A track can be heard here, courtesy of April Winchell:

[media id=13 width=320 height=25]

Crappy Album Covers #256 — Why some marketing efforts fail

This post shows that not all women are chosen to grace an album cover for their “prurient potential” “marketing” ability. I can’t possibly think that this album is serious. Must be a “metal parody” record of some kind, must be. 

Shock jock and Arizonan native Dave Pratt have been recording goofy musical parodies for KUPD since he was 18. As you can see, he even displays his own logo. Twice. Is that really necessary?

What is it that makes this album crappy? La piece de la resistance of this record cover has to be the placement of the price tag for the record, which is no fault of the record cover designers. But it is pure genius. The icing on the cake. The only redeeming factor is that, clearly, the chick on this cover was not chosen for her salesmanship ability, thus winning accolades of those who prefer less commercialism. There is a single from this EP that also uses this same chick. 

This is their first-ever album, an EP, really, released in 1995 by the band 12 Rounds. They have been releasing recordings sporadically as recently as 2009.

Crappy Album Covers #255 — Fascism’s Greatest Hits

A couple of posts ago, I gave a couple of CACs from what may be arguably called “the loony left”. To add balance, I thought I would remind you about the Loony Right.

These guys in the photo could well have the word “Ditto!” written on their heads.

I am the way to the city of woe.
I am the way to a foresaken people.
I am the way to eternal sorrow.
Sacred justice moved my architect.
I was raised here by divine omnipotence,
Primodial love and ultmmate intellect.
Only those elements time cannot wear
were made before me, and beyond time I stand.
Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

— Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto III
Inscription above the gate to Hell’s vestibule

Crappy Album Covers #254 — More Chix as Marketeers

I am not sure who decided to put “School’s Out” and “Tumbling Dice” alongside songs like “Song Sung Blue” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.

I would be very, very surprised if these songs were from the original artists.

Another token chick on the cover to act as the sales rep for this LP.

Not sure what country these are from (Netherlands? South Africa?), but we have another lovely saleslady here, with almost unrecogniseable songs (at least in North America). Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit” seems to be there, but the other titles could be the titles of tons of tunes done by any number of artists.

The saleslady appears to be sitting in the deepest peat bog I’ve seen in a while. But hey, they say it’s good for your skin.

Crappy Album Covers #253 — Exploit me! Exploit me!

Coverbrowser.com (click on the graphic) has this “Squirt” LP all over its website.¬† Wouldn’t you? Here is an LP with little toy Mexican musicians, and a face of a pretty young lady next to the title “Squirt Does Its Thing”.

Now, before you get too heatedup over the pornographic possibilities of the photo and the title, “Squirt” is a lemon-flavoured soft drink that was popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This promotional LP is called a commercial “tie-in” with the product. Squirt is still popular in smaller markets, and currently owned by Dr Pepper/Snapple.

Sorry to deflate you. You can stop salivating now.

You can start salivating again. I hear that The Crazy Girls squirt, too.

Crappy Album Covers #252 — The Overthrow of the Proletariat

The Key record label, during the Red Scare, released a series of anti-Communist screeds such as this spoken-word LP. The Office Naps blog tells of other Key releases.

In really good condition, I have seen this LP listed for $78.00

And as for pro-Communist screeds, this one is in the form of song. This is an American release, but I know little else about it.

Trade unions closed the gap between rich and poor to a great extent. Today, this would be called “extreme left”. In its day, it was just “the left”.

Crappy Album Covers #251 — More Phallic Symbols

This is the 1981 LP from the L.A. Boppers called “Bop Time!”. Great concept except for the use of the second hand. Speaking of time, the LP consists of 8 tracks, and is just over a half hour.

This LP now sells in Europe for the equivalent of $39.00 in “VG++” condition. It appears to be a listed on this site as a promotional LP.

If I am correct, this is a 3-record set various artists compilation released in 1970. Hard to tell, since the cover art is missing in the site I was searching at.

But a web site that has this cover suggests that this is only a 1-record compilation, featuring artists such as T. Rex, Ike&Tina Turner, and other signatories to the Blue Thumb Record label during the late-60s/early 70s period.

Crappy Album Covers #249 — Head-Scratchingly Crappy

Out of Abbfinoosty comes this crappy album cover from 1996, called “Comes the Storm.” It’s supposed to look spooky, but it just looks like someone got a little too happy with Photoshop. This album was not listed on the official website, so I had to go to Amazon to find info on it.

I don’t list metal albums on this blog for many reasons. One big one is that you expect them to be over the top and that is what metalheads are looking for.

This looked like a metal album, and whenever I make an exception and discuss it, it is usually for good reason. See the guy on the right?

That’s Billy Joel.

A young Billy Joel, posing with drummer Jon Small, for their 1970 album, Atilla. It was reviewed on Allmusic.com as like making a musical impression of “having a hole drilled through your head.”

Great. I’ll put it on my list of things not to buy.

Crappy Album Covers #172 — Scary warlike thingies

Album_Cover_Crap_315_inspiredology_com Let’s get something stright here. Just because there are scary warlike thingies on your album like the Transformer dude on this Linkin Park record, doesn’t mean it’s a cool record, OK? It might impress a 10 year-old, but not many older people.
Album_Cover_Crap_298_guardian_co_uk Bodies of men with heads of birds as a warlike thingie has been overdone to the point where it has lost its power to scare people, if it ever had it at all. 

There are many scary birds: hawks, eagles, but since the name of this band is called Budgie, well… three guesses as to what species these heads belong to.

Bandolier is Budgie’s fifth album, released in 1975, and combines all the worst elements of the early Yes album covers.

Crappy Album Covers #125 — More Accordions!

Album_Cover_Crap_179_Flickr Yes, the accordion is, apart from bagpipes, the instrument everyone loves to hate. Today we have a double bill. First, the duo Doug Setterberg and Stan Sorenson have this album called “Yust Try to Sing Along In Swedish”. 

Sorenson and Setterberg might be Swedish by ethnicity, but all sources I have place these two in Seattle, Washington some time in the 1960s.  Otherwise, I suspect the title wouldn’t be in english.

Album_Cover_Crap_172_Flickr After Setterberg and Sorenson left the stage, this 400-pound gorilla came on stage, picked up the accordion, and started playing. 

The members of the audience either didn’t notice, or noticed an improvement. “Hey, keep the Gorilla on stage! He sounds like Brian Eno, ” exclaimed one audience member.

“They Said It Couldn’t be Done”, if played at low volume, will likely qualify as the first ambient record, and certainly the first non-electric one. A sort of “PDQ Bach” for the polka crowd.

This was a 1959 release by Dominic Frontiere and his Mighty Accordion Band. Frontiere has gone on to compose well-known television themes, such as The Flying Nun, starring Sally Field; and the 70s crime show Vega$, starring Robert Urich.

Charles Manson covers Beach Boys’ "Cease to Exist"

Charles Manson covers the Beach Boy’s tune “Cease to Exist”, accompanied by talent from The Manson Family. Not great, but I have heard worse from ’60s music. Is it too bad of a pun to say that this song is likely a “cult favrourite”? The video is all imagery, and not badly done. I hear that the Beach Boys later changed the song title and first line of the lyric to “Cease to resist”.

Crappy Album Covers #54 — Scary Stuff, Kids!

album-cover-crap-9_lp-cover-lover1Some of my readers, in particluar the members of the LoudFans mailing list listened to WFMU, at least once, since The Loud Family appeared on there in 2000 or so to be interviewed. They had performed there to promote tracks from their album which had just been released, called Attractive Nuisance.

WFMU also seems to be pretty heavy on this guy: Robbie The Werewolf. Except that this is not a current album. “At The Waleback” was recorded way back in 1964, according to WFMU.

I dispute the claim that this was done in 1964, mostly because of this song: Tiptoe Through the Wolfbane, an obvious send-up to “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”, a folk song made famous by Tiny Tim. Except that Tiny Tim didn’t release his single for another 4 years. But he is ahead of his time in other ways. Back then, the themes he covered were considered sexually explicit, and would not be considered kosher until at least the mid 1970s.

“Tiptoe” is an obvious parody, but if it were released after 1968, it would have had way more impact. The album is considered rare, commanding between $200 and $500.

album-cover-crap-12_lp-cover-loverOnce again, here is a foreign-language record, whose album cover speaks “scary” in all languages.

Columbian musician Calixto Ochoa released “El Dentista”, a 1962 album that presumably drills down into the heart of Latin music.

I have not heard too much about the author, or, regarding the listenability of the album: “is it safe” to listen to most of the tracks?

This is probably what the dentist is asking the patient in this photo.

I hear that, on the whole, some parts of the album will only hurt a little bit.

.

farragoelvisK-Tel International, I have been reminded, is a Canadian company run from its headquarters in Winnipeg, who can be credited for almost single-handedly rescuing Western Canada from its stereotype of rednecks, farmers, and bald, flat prairie.

This is a 1977 K-Tel release, “For Elvis Amateurs Vol. 2, By Popular Demand”, containing songs sung by Quebec singer and Elvis tribute artist Johhny Farago. Could Johnny just shave off his beard so that he looks at least a little more like Elvis? And maybe grow some sideburns or something?

Crappy Album Covers #28 — Bad Ideas

Here, the glam rock group Nelson provides the musical answer to the riddle “why do dogs lick themselves?”

Members Matthew and Gunnar, the twin sons of Ricky Nelson — who, in turn was the son of Ozzy and Harriet Nelson, have the distinction of belonging to a family that has had #1 hits in each of these three successive generations. This seems important enough to mention in the Guiness Book of Records, since they are the only family to have accomplished this.

This second album, “Because they Can”, released in 1995, five years after their first album, did not produce a #1 hit, and Geffen stopped promoting them.

Erotic Terrorism is the 1998 album produced by the British hip-hop group Fun-Da-Mental.

They have released seven albums since their inception in 1995. This album is their third, and the latest was “All Is War”, released in 2006.

I may be a little slow on the uptake here, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how depictions of violence and anger can serve the cause of peace. These can you buy generic viagra over the counter, where, what is product name people are purportedly against violence. Their website even has a “dollar ticker” representing the cost of the Iraq war. But it is just my word against a whole hip-hop/gangsta rap culture. To me, it just looks like immature and hypocritical grandstanding. Sorry, I simply don’t get it.

As for the terrorist angle, guns are now considered a relic of the 20th century. Nowadays if you are not a suicide bomber, all you need is an exacto blade and maybe other sharp office equipment, board a plane and hijack it! I saw that on TV back in 2001.

On a lighter note, there is no information on Foster Edwards, his orchestra, or his album which dates around 1966.

But it must have been a low-budget affair, since the band members worked for peanuts (now, you knew that one was coming).

They would even wear Beatle wigs to appear trendy to mid-60s fashions.

Crappy Album Covers #27 — More people who worry me

Steve E. King just wants you to know that if you don’t buy his album “Prelude”, he’ll personally come over and pop you full of lead.

There is no information I can find on Steve E. King anywhere. However, it is a bit suspicious that he has the same name as novelist Stephen King, who also has “E” as his middle initial. Stephen King also dabbles in music, according to his memoir “On Writing”.

Not much useful is known about “Songs for Swinging Mothers”, but much has been written in blogs about people who worry about this depiction of women engaging in risky activities (swinging while standing) while pregnant. Especially the one standing on the swing. What on Earth is she thinking?
Tino, another person who wants to be your friend.

Tino’s real name is Constantino Fernandez Fernandez. OK, we’ll stick with Tino.

I understand that “Por Primera Vez” translates from the Spanish to “For the First Time”.I could pursure this title for deeper meaning in the context of the picture, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that there are endless worst album cover lists that have this album.

It has been said that Tino has lost an arm in an accident some years ago.

The Soul of Kijana not only unfolds in his music, but women swoon upon beholding his presence. Bizarrerecords.com, the site this picture comes from, gives the impression that this hand-drawn album, like Kijana’s music career, may have been a front for a men’s hairstying salon which he was a part of. So, probably another vanity pressing.

He also shoots laser beams from his eyes.

Allmusic gives no connection to this record. However, there is someone who goes by the name Kijana, who is now much older and singing Easy Listening music. That album, called “Kijana Sings and Swings” was released in 2005 and has a more professional cover to it.

Crappy Albums Covers — Special — Focus on Country Moog

Hello, ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to Strider’s Country Hayride! We only have one instrument for this concert, the Moog synth, played by Gil Trythall.

So far, the 1970 album cover meets the requirements of crappy for the purposes of this series. But today I will demonstrate that this album is crap, through and through.

I pity this generation. They don’t know what “Muzak” is. These days, when you walk into a store like Wal-Mart or Shopper’s Drug Mart, they’re playing sentimental 70s and 80s music, usually all hit songs, piped in — usually over the Internet or a satellite connection — from a central location — maybe head office. It’s still cheesy, but Muzak is entirely in another league of cheesiness. This generation has utterly no concept of the term. This generation needs to spend an hour in a store being forced to decide on a purchase to a musical accompaniment of Muzak, to know what the older generations have had to put up with.

So, the topic of today’s Country Hayride is “What is Muzak?”

Glad you asked. Muzak is also known as “Elevator Music” or if you are a Brit, it is “Lift Music”. Muzak LLC is a company based in South Carolina that registers the Muzak trademark. Muzak is still played over the telephone by some companies while you are put on hold. It is music that is calculated to be deliberately bland and played at low volume, so that you can focus on your tasks at hand and so that it is not intrusive.

Problem is, the moment you think about the music, it annoys the HELL out of you!

It is often mistaken for easy listening, smooth jazz, or MOR, but Gil Trythall will show you that there is no comparison. None.

For the first example, Floyd Cramer made a very mellow tune called “Last Date”. Some may say that it was so mellow it was Muzak. But our hero Gil Trythall sets us straight:

Gil Trythall plays Floyd Cramer’s “Last Date”
[media id=18 width=320 height=24]

For the second example, Gil Trythall tries his hand at the Glen Campbell classic “Gentle On My Mind”:

Gentle On My Mind
[media id=21 width=320 height=24]

Now it seems that whatever Gil attempts, it all ends up sounding like the same anaesthetic music, all the time. And of course, that is the point of Muzak. Well, this ought to wake you up:

Gil takes a hatchet to plays Foggy Mountain Breakdown
[media id=22 width=320 height=24]

“Attention K-Mart Shoppers!” indeed. And for the record, AMG reports that there was since another release of country moog by Trythall called “Nashville Gold”, with the year being unspecified. Also, This present LP (“Country Moog”) has since been released on CD, in 2003 on the Vivid Sound label.

Crappy Album Covers #26 — Phallic symbols

Phallic symbols, their effects, and other weirdness…

Sigmund Freud once was quoted as saying “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” After inventing the idea of phallic symbols, and knowing how much he loved to smoke cigars, there are people who would have disagreed with Freud’s veiled attempt to shield the psychological dimensions of his own smoking habit from public scrutiny. Cigarettes are no different in their role as phallic symbols. 

First, I have got to tell you about Tex Williams. You are looking at the album cover for the biggest hit of his career. “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (that Cigarette) was a #1 hit on billboard for six weeks in 1947, and was the first million-seller for Capitol Records.

Despite the uber-cheesy look of the album cover, it seems that the song is actually an anti-smoking song, but with a certain postwar morbid sense of humor. Scroll down for the You-Tube video (black-and-white, of course).

Pioneer flautist Herbie Mann is a big name in Jazz circles. He helped get Chick Corea’s career started by having him play with a few of his ensembles. He has enjoyed quite a range of crossover success, with 25 of his jazz albums entering the top 200 pop charts. 

The album cover suggests that he has a talent with more than one kind of flute.

… Just ask Herbie’s taxi driver. He saw everything. He should have first suspected something was up when he picked up Herbie and his GF in a swanky bar in Lower Manhattan, and then they asked to be driven to an obscure Pizza Parlour in Hempstead (Long Island), taking only the side streets. 

After about an hour he had to ask Herbie and his lady friend to tone it down a bit because he had to concentrate on driving the car. However it must be said that talent with playing the flute is really a talent the partner has, and not of the possessor of such a flute.

That taxi driver has quite a smirk on his face…

Jerry Williams, Jr., known to his adoring fans as “Swamp Dogg”, is a soul musician, and has been putting out such music since the 1970s. He has been making records under various monacres since 1954, and has his present name since the 1970s. He continues to make records to this date. 

“Rat On!” is Mr. Dogg’s second LP, released in 1971. Swamp Dogg has commented on the relatively recent trend by rap singers to go for names like “Snoop Doggy Dogg”, “The Doggs”, and “The Dogg Pound”. He seems unsure that he had any influence on those musicians.

Tex Williams: Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbKQklwNScA]