The demise of 1050 CHUM Radio

Here in Toronto, there has been a radio station that has historically been one of the most highly rated stations in Canada. Around the late 80s/early 90s, it changed format and severely lowered the power of the transmitter to the point where the reception remained poor, even in Toronto. Recently, there is no music anymore, not even the obscure oldies that I was accustomed to hearing. CHUM had been an all-music station for the almost all of the past 50 years (they were an all-sports station for less than a year in the early 2000s).

Instead, what I have been hearing in the past couple of weeks has consisted of nothing more than an on-air audio feed of City Pulse, the audio feed of our local cable all-news station.  How far we’ve fallen. From fast-talking DJs to fast-talking news reporters referring to imagery you can’t see without a television.

CTV-GlobeMedia, after purchasing CHUM Limited, probably nuked the old format because of licensing laws. They likely own just enough media (newspapers, radio, TV) in the Toronto market that won’t quite land them in jail, or in a lawsuit. The National Post assures us, however, that the advertising is different from CP24’s. And I think they have a radio-only weekend show.

Nowadays, a google search for CHUM AM or 1050 CHUM results in the website for CP24 buy tramadol uk occuring at the top. CTV GlobeMedia acquired CHUM and CP24, while the rest of CHUM Limited got sold to Rogers, including CITY-TV. Until the sale, CHUM Limited was the world’s largest privately-owned broadcaster. CHUM Limited used to also own several radio and TV stations across Canada.

Many people, including myself, will wonder what will happen to the weekly CHUM Charts, which were archived at CHUM’s website. It is an historical archive of what Canadians have been listening to since the 50s. In my opinion, an important bit of Canadiana. An attempt to follow a link set by another blogger resulted in a redirection to CP24. Entering “CHUM Chart” as a search string yielded nothing. In removing the archive, they are removing our collective memory of what made the charts over the past 50 years in the Toronto area.

Some sites that obtained chart info from the CHUM Top 30: Craig Smith (only lists #1 singles). The historical property at 1331 Yonge Street, home to 1050 CHUM since 1959, has now been sold to a condo developer, and the station facilities have now been moved to a new site to coexist with CHUM-FM, on 25o Richmond St W.

CHUM has existed as a radio station since 1944, and was the first radio station in Canada to run an all Top-40 format in the mid 1950s.

(video) Proof that all songs since the late 60s sound like Waltzing Matilda

The comedy rock group Axis of Awesome will set out to prove that all songs since the Beatles’ Let It Be sound like Waltzing Matilda, and that Waltzing Matilda sounds like intro to “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. By syllogistic reasoning, therefore, all songs sound like Journey. This is only a five-minute video, but it’s five minutes of the same four piano chords, without tempo changes or changing the order the chords that are played. That may take some patience. But the fact that it applies so widely over 45 years of music fascinates me, although it could easily apply over 100 years. I could imagine singing “Should auld acuaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?” to those chords. And since Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne over 300 years ago, that would make Journey a band of Johnny-Come-Latelies by comparison.

Waltzing Matilda is heard about halfway through, just after that other Australian hit, “Down Under”, by Men at Work. Quite compelling.

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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.

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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 #42 — Sucking out loud

Thanks to some folks like Bunk Strutts, I have access to some more awful album covers to comment on. Thing is, I will have to make my postings infrequent. Say about once per week. All of my crappy album posts are still listed under the tag “Crappy Album Covers” so you can have a megadose of crappy album commentary and analysis.

First, I will do a couple of albums from my own downloaded collection from all over the ‘net.

Don Costa (1925-1983) did Jazz and pop, playing lead guitar. He produced records for Little Anthony and the Imperials and Frank Sinatra.

Let’s see… If I wanted to break a sublease, and if I didn’t like my landlord, what would I do? Hmmm… Would I possibly invite 500 of my best friends and play my music as loudly and as obnoxiously as I possibly could? I think then that my landlord would show up just as that lady in the rear of the photo is doing, be properly disgusted with us, and kick us out. Maybe even bring a cop along in the process to get us rapped for disturbing the peace.

The album consists of songs that would have made an older generation sing, out of tune, at the top of their lungs (By the Light of the Silvery Moon is an example). In this album they reportedly provide perfect models of such behaviour.

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Perhaps the landlord could have fought back and played this album of a dog barking at top volume and that may have scared at least some of them.

Grr-r-records is your label of top quality barking, yelping and growling that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Just be careful and don’t play it at 45 or 78 RPM. You’ll get a chihuaua instead, and it won’t sound nearly so intimidating.

I get the feeling that the best this record can do is tell the burglar where you have the home theatre placed.

But you know, if you have one of those really old turntables, you could play it at 16 RPM and you can get a deep-throated grizzly bear or lion sound. Now, we’re talking scary.

Crappy Album Covers #36 — Space, Religion, and Getting Down

Laverne Tripp is the sole proprietor of Laverne Tripp Ministries.

He preaches. He sings. Oh, does he sing! To date he has released 78 full-length albums of his singing.

Pardon the pun, but I find the cover kind of, …, well, … trippy. It plays with your mind, in a way.

It also looks like he’s falling. I hardly feel the impression of being “saved” or being “in God’s presence.” I don’t know if it was one of those ’70s attempts to bring God and religion into the Space Age.

Allmusic.com does not list a single one of his 80 or so albums, and does not mention anything about him. Surely, this is because of  the work of Satan.

Tripp still goes on tour around the Southeastern US, and has his own television program on various religious networks and affiliates.

This album is closer to the 1973 listing of the personnel playing in the Jazz group The Stellar Unit. This is either their website, or a fan’s shrine page. I can’t tell.

I think the story kind of goes like this: They were playing in local pizza parlours in Houston, when some guy said, “they sure sound like a stellar unit”.

Curtis Eugene Keen is depicted here with his two marionettes — oh, no, hold on — they’re for real. They are Joe Stroud and Neil Hecht. Their latest lineup adds a female — Peggy Kaye, playing the banjo.

So, we have a trumpet, keyboard, fiddle, trombone, banjo as possible instruments, along with two vocalists (Keen also sings). They play various jazz standardsin the southern US. I am not aware of them being played elsewhere. In fact, I am not aware of any other albums by them.

This 8×10 autographed photo of The Stellar Unit was listed on E-Bay for $3.99. “Shipping and Handling” (whatever that means for an autographed photo) brings the cost up to 10 bucks. I think the seller just wants ten bucks.

I would suppose that they are not sufficiently obscure enough for their paraphanelia to garner high prices.

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This next offering is from a supposed Elton John imitator named Dwayne Smith.

It is hard to get the feeling that you are going to make this album the cornerstone of your dance party with a title like “Get Directly Down”.

It is not known who he is or what he does these days. He could get confused with Jazz bassist Dwayne “Smitty” Smith, until you compare the photos.

Dwayne will play weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.

Crappy Album Covers #35 — Love, Peace, and Good Bodies

This is Cherone, and the cover could have easily been passed over at the record store by you, because it contains, well, nothing all that special. 

Yes, I know that it contains the requisite semi-nude female required by marketers, yes the lights are low and it looks intimate. However, there is a problem here in that there is nothing really distinctive about the album. The best I can say is that, for the most part, it is inoffensive.

When you want to get to know what makes someone tick, like say, your wife or husband, for instance … I don’t think that you mean that you will skin them alive and cut out their guts. 

But I take it that this is an educational record. John Burstein plays Slim Goodbody, the Superhero of health. He appears to be a Children’s educator and entertainer. He would tour around New York City, probably scaring kids with his costume. But he was given a contract by PBS to host the program “Inside Story” in the early 1980s, which this LP is named after. He currently tours and runs his own website.

Happy Louie, Julcia and the Boys put out this album called “Lots of Love and Peace”. 

I have to say that while Love and Peace are universal and should not be hoarded and be the social message for only certain groups, it still looks dumb, since it is strongly identified with the hippie generation of the 60s and early 70s.

Anything is likely, but all things being equal, do you see, even mentally, any of these people smoking pot? Are they the type that would tune in, turn on and drop out?

Now we are going from phony to insular. It is nice that the Murk Family will provide themselves to society as the model for a “Love for All Seasons”. 

It is difficult to write about families pulling together and providing a network of love and support. Most attempts I have listened to seem to always come out forced and hollow. But I think that is what they’re getting at.

Crappy Album Covers #34 — Celebrities doing WHAT?

Ethel Merman (1908-1984), born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman, had a career that went all the way back to the days of Vaudeville. Her first big-time performances, in fact, were on Broadway in 1930. By the time she left Broadway in 1959, she was already a show biz veteran. She appeared in movie musicals with Bing Crosby. She cut her teeth singing the tunes of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. She had an operatic voice that could project to the back rows of a large theater without the need of a microphone, nailing each and every note with precision.

And, sadly, it is in this context that five years before she died, the septuagenarian dropped this bombshell of an album on the public: “The Ethel Merman Disco Album.” Here, Ethel sings some of her all-time Broadway smash hits, set to a Disco beat. Imagine getting down and funky to: “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, or George and Ira Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”. Or Cole Porter’s “I Get A Kick Out of You”. It is Disco ad absurdum, sung by your grandma.

Disco did not live long past the 1979 release date of this record. It was pretty much the final nail in Disco’s coffin. Thank you, Ethel. Thank you. Thank you.

I know that no one asked for this, but here is a comparison between the original “There’s no Business Like Show Business” and the disco version:

Original:

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Disco Version:

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Merman promotes her album on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

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There are Broadway divas into disco, and there are comedians that are into Rap. Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004) is known best for his “No Respect” standup sketch.

Not many comedians who get “no respect” get their trademark paraphenalia (a white shirt and red tie in this case) enshrined at the Smithsonian Institute.

This 1983 album, “Rappin’ Rodney” was the followup to his “No Respect” album. This album was released to lukewarm reviews. His rap parody is clueless in hindsight, but in its day it might have fetched him a few laughs.

Crappy Album Covers #32 — Gays and Lesbians

Kevin Rowland is actually a very good musician. His first solo album put out in 1988, “The Wanderer” is seen as a great, and highly accessible album from this former front man for Dexys Midnight Runners.

This album, released 11 years later, was panned by critics and was a general let-down. For one thing, the album contains all cover versons.

To be fair, this album was released after a bankruptcy and a long battle with drug addiction. He is probably still having “issues” when this photo was taken. He doesn’t look good in drag.

It is my understanding that Rowland has not relased a recording of a solo effort since.

I am as open-minded as anyone. I don’t mind depictions of homosexual romance. Like all pictures that exist, there are good depictions and bad depictions.

And, oh yeah, I forgot. The unintended depictions. Here are The Ministers Quartet, and their album “Let Me Touch Him”. It all started when Ron touched Larry. Then Doug touched Jerry. Then the photograher grew impatient and told them to behave. They all then all tried to pose innocently like nothing happened. This photo resulted.

The Minister’s Quartet hail from Indiana, and their faith has a fundamentalist bent. They still exist, with a few obvious personnel changes.

Click here if you want to sample their sound. Damn good harmony.

As if The Village People couldn’t ramp up the homo kitsch factor any more than they already have, here are those natives of Greenwich Village once again with a new look, way more makeup, and more exposed chest hair, with their album Renaissance. This 1981 album (the pink one) was a bad concept both with the cover art and the music inside it.

http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drf400/f400/f40045bm0s5.jpgThis (blue) album cover was a redesign of a 1998 Polygram CD re-release. I like this one better. Way more relaxed. It was the version of the cover that allmusic.com chose to display.

Unfortunately, it is still the same second-rate music inside. Much of their misrfortunes began with their involvement in the film “Can’t Stop The Music”, which not only bombed, it is the winner of two 1981 “Razzie” awards for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay. They were nominated by the Razzies in 5 other categories. In addition, they were nominated as one of 5 movies classified as the worst musical in the past 25 years (along with Xanadu and Spice World). That was won by the box office bomber “From Justin to Kelly”.

Knowing a good cashing-in opportunity when they see it, the members of Orleans decide they are going to out-gay the Village People (when they were still viable) with this 1976 offering, “Waking and Dreaming”, by taking off all their clothes. The photographer, the same one that photographed The Minsters’ Quartet (see above), told them to cover their weenies. They started to cover each other’s weenies (and one of them asked “What’s a weenie?”), so he just said “never mind” and as the guy in the middle was explaining what a weenie was, the photographer took a  shot above the waist. That left the top half of the photo empty, so that the designers filled it with a large “Orleans” logo.

The saving grace of this album, this time, is inside the covers (uhh.., the album covers). It contains one of the biggest hits of their career, and one of my personal favourites, “Still The One”, and is recognised as a fairly strong album generally, establishing Orleans as soft rock musicians of the first order.

Lesbians will be appearing in a separate post.

Crappy Album Covers #31 — Cliches per square inch

As an asside, I would like to know who bought these albums when they were a teenager, then pinned up the album covers on their wall, and threw away the record?

A Gruson & Turium Empty Cliche Checklist:
Topless chicks? Check.
Lit candles? Check.
Ballroom curtains? Check.
Piano to let the buyer know that this is a music album and not something else? Check.
Classy lettering in a colour that matches the piano? Check.
Title that connects in a suggestive way to the photo? Check.

There is no information on Gruson and Turium anywhere that I can find, or on the album “Silk and Satin”.

Candles which are carelessly placed just distrupts my suspension of disbelief. It only looks like they are posing.

Karab Empty Cliche Checklist:

Topless chick? Check.
Chick has blonde hair? Check.
Chick is wearing tight jeans? Check.
Chick has large gazongas? Check.
Her eye color matches her jeans? Check.
Scabs, wrinkles, bruises, pimples, and body hair airbrushed out of the photo? Check.
Chick is posing on a motorcycle? Check.
Chick is wearing minimum 3″ heels that match the motorcycle color and her lipstick? Check.
Her lipstick color matches her motorcycle? Check.
Her lipstick color matches the license plate? Check.
Font chosen for a “kinetic” feel? Check.
Title has a suggestive connection with the photo? Check.

Turbonegro vs Village People – Creepy similarities

Turbonegro is a Norwegian punk band. As I understand it, their sub-genre is something called “death-punk”. It has also been called “glam-punk”, and so on. Many aspects of their brand of punk has been influenced by 70s arena rock bands such as Kiss.

I noticed in one of their more recent videos that each of these depressing looking characters plays a different “character”. One is a Hun, another is a military cop, another is a marine deckhand, one is neaderthal, and the other two … well, I don’t know what they are trying to be. But in a less “depressive” form, there is another 6-member group from the era of 70s arena rock that would appear to have similar taste in clothes.

Ah, yes. The Village People. There’s a cop, another navy guy, a biker, a construction worker, a cowboy and an indian. No neanderthals, though. I am not a fan of disco, but at least they are a little less preoccupied with thoughts of death.

(Crappy album covers — sidebar) Fun with Joyce (or Joyce's head pasted on other people's bodies)

Some of the photo retouching ideas are kind of kinky, but that’s part of what makes them so hilarious.

It turns out that there are some blogs that have had more than their share of fun with this photo. They have taken their talents in Photoshop to make albums with her head pasted on other very recognisable albums in order to make new and amusing combinations. Let’s take a visual tour.

First of all, here is Joyce (from the last post). Her natural self, being every bit the librarian we’ve known and loved. If she is not a librarian, she ought to be. The rose she holds as a finishing touch to the photo gets the message across that this is not a heavy metal album. I think the rose is quite effective.

Ah, yes … hangin’ out with early Bob Dylan, smokin’ weed and listening to Dylan’s poetry and song. I thought that was Joyce on the album. She’s more hip than we gave her credit.
Once again, Joyce proves us all wrong about her. Here she is as a glamourous diva, the real creative muse behind Beyonce.
For sheer technological prowess, nothing beats the retouching job of this Prince album. Prince is now the woman he always wanted to be.
Now for the ultimate, Joyce’s head pasted on Cher’s body. And there’s more …
Here, Joyce, shows us her other, darker side. She wantsssss it! She wantssss it! (The ring, that is)

And finally, Joyce is seen chillin’ out with her homies from the ‘hood at NWA, yo!

Crappy Album Covers 7 – Courtship and Desire

The background on almost all of these albums were hard to track down if not impossible. In most cases on this installment we shall deal mostly with obscure albums. The coincidence is that these albums have some disturbing connection with the social process of courtship. Maybe they are unable to mate in captivity.

There is no information that I can find on John Bult. Just this lasting impression, the album cover to “Julie’s Sixteenth Birthday”, plastered all over the ‘net. I can’t say what hasn’t already been said about the creepy impression this album gives me, and the incredulity that an album cover like this would actually be thought to sell records.

All I can do now is to say that this blogger seemed to put it best (get your Irish accent on as you read this quote):

Julie looks like a happy birthday girl, doesn’t she? Who wouldn’t want to be the object of John Bult’s inappropriate lust?

He’s doing this right, though. He took her to a nice place with a piano and tablecloths, he had a mug of beer to steady his nerves, and he’s holding her hand as he whispers to her “Whatever you do, don’t tell your dad.”

What can I possibly add to that?

UPDATE: Well, it turns out that I can add something. In fact, it explains everything. Julie, you see, is the daughter of the character of the the fella singing. She’s reached her sixteenth birthday, and she’s going out on her first date. Her father spent more time at the bar getting drunk than with his family, and so he thought he would make up for it by having a heart-to-heart talk with Julie before she goes out. After hearing a small audio snippet, John doesn’t sound Irish at all, but American. From Louisiana, in fact. That said, I still think that the choice of album cover is a case of really bad judgement.


Now for this next album, I wouldn’t bother mentioning the legendary 1983 album by Joyce Drake, simply titled, “Joyce”, if it were not for the fact that it was deemed #1 on their list of crappy album cover of all time by the (UK) Guardian. This blogger says that this one is considered the Mona Lisa of bad album covers. And that is the only thing that makes the record legendary and worthy of any mention. Personally, it doesn’t grab me either way, although I admit she definitely needs a nose job.

I am hesitant to make intelligible comments on the record or the cover, for the first and foremost reason that it was most likely a vanity pressing. And if it is a vanity pressing, then it is no surprise that precious little thought was given to marketing or saleability. This album did not pass by a focus group; it also shows signs of having no makeup artist; nobody did her hair; nobody told her how to dress up. She simply posed for a photo and sang the songs on the record.

Joyce Drake, according to the most reliable sources, is a preacher’s wife, and lives in Sealy, Texas; and has not released another record after this one. We make fun of it because of its profound lack of pretense. We are so awash in Photoshop-retouched images of perfection that when confronted with a record like this, we don’t know how else to react. We recoil whenever someone is not seen to “get with the program”, and to stick to the impossibly high standards we make of all those who put a photo of themselves out to print. Face it: if a person finances their own record, they are likely not going to follow the typical marketing path that succeeded for, say, Madonna. Such a thought may never have occured to them.


On to the next album cover. It is known in psychiatric circles that if you are lacking in feelings you probably also lack empathy or remorse for those who do. This makes what is known as a “psychopathic” personality. While it would be obvious that you can’t “borrow” feelings to compensate, a psychopath would place a drain on those around him or her until they too are deficient in feeling.

I think other possible (and compelling) album titles that would go well with this photo would be: “Can I borrow a shirt?” (look at the one he’s got on), “Can I borrow 20 bucks for a haircut?”, “Can I borrow 20 bucks until I get back on my back again (I’m almost there!)?”, “Would you like fries with that?”, or “Can I get something started for you?” to borrow from Starbucks.


Some guys are poets so they can attract women. Some guys have such musical power that they can summon scantily-clad women with just a little string accompaniment with a 6-string ukelele. Such is the miracle of Dinky.

Maybe she is not being summoned so much as that she was always there and with that music he’s playing, she just can’t keep her clothes on.

No information on this album cover. I could very well have my head up my keester and Dinky might actually be the name of the female. I’ve seen both in my online searches.


I’ve also seen such women rise from harmonicas. Dick Marris has a little woman right here. It must be real, since this album was recorded before the days of Photoshop and personal computers. Those were the days of miracle and wonder, when giants walked the earth. Certainly giant harmonicas were among us back then (either Richard is blowing a giant harmonica or his head and hands are small — but then again, it has to be large enough to seat a “little lady”, if you know what I mean).

A search for Dick Marris also turned out to be unfruitful.

(adult content) Crappy Album Covers #6 – Pleasing your partner

Xiu Xiu is a indie experimental outfit out of California. Despite its oriental-sounding name, none of its members have oriental-sounding names. A publicity photo of the group looks overwhelmingly Caucasian. One reviewer calls Xiu Xiu “the undisputed masters of introspective, creepy, noise-pop”. They have been around since 2000.

This 2003 album cover called “A Promise” shows a nude guy who wants to be your friend. He even brought you a present, look! Will you play?

To appreciate the full impact of how crappy this album cover is, I propose the following mental exercise. You are buying the CD, or better still, the 12″ vinyl version if it exists. The seller places it in a clear plastic bag. Now you are walking out of the store where you are seen with this album in clear view of everyone else in the shopping mall. You might even walk past a biker gang hanging out at the food court, all of whom notice your new album purchase. See the problem? The only way I would buy this album, if I really had to have my Xiu Xiu “fix”, and if this were the last Xiu Xiu album on Earth, would be to mail away to whoever is selling this, and instruct them to mail it to me in a large manila-coloured envolope or cardboard envolope, so that the general public doesn’t see the ugly cover. Also, I wouldn’t play it on my first date.

This album (Music to Keep Your Hustband Happy) is one of a couple of albums I am aware of that was set up to encourage sex play among married couples.

There are some who guide you on “what women want” and the ones here are a guide on, presumably, what men want. I wouldn’t see women buying this. Men would buy it for their wives. The covers must therefore attract the male customers.

Sometimes, however, the way to a man’s heart is by tearing off his clothes. Early Hip-Hop artist Tony Tee offers us a show of his masculinity by showing himself as about to lift a barbell, which doesn’t look an ounce over 40 pounds, in his 1988 album “Time to Get Physical”.

The spandex chick on the cover, going by the body language of both involved parties doesn’t look like she’s propositioning him as much as she is threatening him. Maybe he didn’t pay his share of the rent, or maybe he is hanging out too much in the gym. She is probably accepting sex favours as payment.

Now, there are of course some women who can’t stand real men, so she will date a fake one — one made of wood. And, she’ll live in her own world where wooden people and trees talk. This is the world that Nashville-based Geradine Ragan and her “friend” Ricky (who looks like “Planet of the Apes Meets Evel Knievel”) want you to get to know better.

I must say that the true essence of wooden puppets are greatly under-appreciated. They don’t talk back, they don’t verbally abuse you, they don’t come home drunk, and they are neither too tired nor do they ever have headaches.

The back cover of the album makes a big deal of the devout Christianity of her and her husband. Her husband, a real person named Dave Ragan, shares his life with Geraldine and Ricky, surely making efforts toward tolerance and a peaceful co-existence with this “other man”. Ricky barely tolerates the fact that Geraldine must give the occasional bit of airtime to that husband of hers, Dave. Ricky is probably heartbroken that she decided to marry this perfect stranger without even asking him if it is OK, first. And, obviously, what do the trees think of all this?

Now, with Oscar Zamora and his little wooden “friend” Don Chema, I have the ability to engage in what has so far been my good track record at giving both sexes equal time. That is mostly due to luck, and the abundance of crappy album covers. This Latino ventriloquist is based in the Southwestern US, and seems to be famous more with Latinos than with anyone else.

(Adult content) Crappy album covers #5 – The effects of viagra

Alla Pugatjova (also spelled Alla Pugacheva) is legendary female vocalist from the former Soviet Union whose career goes all the way back to the mid-1960s. “Every Night and Every Day” and “Superman” are two tracks that seem to come from her 1985 album, “Watch Out!”, an album which appears to be in English. So, this is more like the cover for a 45 RPM single, and not an album.

At any rate, the actual album cover was quite tasteful. This one was by contrast cheesy in the extreme. Sometimes I can’t decide where to put certain albums, because clearly there is crossover. I could have grouped it with the Frankenchrist album because of the dune buggy, but I think viagra won out, because of the unnamed dude in the Superman costume. But I have a lot in this category. So many crappy album covers, so little time.

Now that this guy thinks he is Superman, all I can say to Alla is, “be careful what you pray for”.

You can never go wrong with albums that sport naked chicks on the cover. Clearly, Eddie is pleased to see her, and she looks pleased to see him. Fine and dandy, but couldn’t he have chose a better title than “Recorded Live at the Open Face Sandwich Club”? Do we really need to be informed that he was playing in a restaurant where people may have only heard him between bites of their steak slices on rye, and were probably chatting throughout his set? Maybe the chick on his piano could control the crowd and tell those wayward patrons to shut the f**k up and let him play.

Eddie Mack had a short career spanning from the late 40s to early 50s. Allmusic lists his genre as “Rock”. Yeah. He looks pretty rockin’ to me. But then, one must be reminded that it was the early ’50s.

As for chicks getting the guy, the Ritchie Family seem to have no problems going by this album cover. The ladies are the ones in the picture that are fully dressed.

I just worry a little that there is not an even share of guys for the girls. There are 5 guys in the photo for 3 women. That’s one and two-thirds guys for each woman. My theory is that they got one each with two guys acting as “floaters” in case they have one of those “emergencies”. Maybe one of them might get sick. Maybe two of them. I hope the guys wear condoms.

Now we get to see an album where both sexes are in the buff. This is an obscure Various Artists compilation, but it appears from some (unreliable) sources that it was released in 1971. Arranged around their photo like signs of the zodiac are line drawings of people in various sex positions. The title is “The Sensuous Black Woman with The Sensuous Black Man”.

Some advice: premarital sex is only fun until you make the girl pregnant. Then, it’s not cool anymore. The late 60s and early 70s was an era of something called “free sex”, which seems in hindsight not to have been that sensible. Albums like this will tell our kids: “See what we were like? We had all kinds of sex and thought somehow we would never get the girl pregnant.” It’s the magical thinking of teens with adult levels of hormones.

I Can’t Get Behind “I Can’t Get Behind That”

I Can’t Get Behind That — William Shatner and Henry Rollins
Never charted anywhere

From the album “Has Been” (2004)

See/Hear it here, if you dare. You hear it, but you only can view muppets lip-syncing to the song. You can also get the mp3 and the rest of the album from EMusic. My understanding is that no muppets were hurt in the making of the video or the song. I don’t believe it, though.

What do you get when you place the former Captain of the Starship Enterprise in the same studio with a former frontman for the punk rock group Black Flag?

I don’t know, but whatever it is, I can’t get behind that!

We expect an embarrassing level of tackiness from the likes of Bill Shatner (anyone remember “Transformed Man”?), but no matter how much Henry Rollins and producer Ben Folds try to make this sound cool with manic music arrangements, the result is, well, a tax write-off for them both, because I am not sure of any other uses for it. Adrian Belew is on Guitar, Henry Rollins says in an interview. If anyone recalls, Belew made his name touring with Frank Zappa, then David Bowie, and afterward became a band member in the 1980s re-formation of King Crimson with Robert Fripp at the helm. But mostly you hear the manic percussion instruments, not much guitar. The percussion is something along the style of the Hawaii 5-0 theme.

I heartily agree with certain observations. For example, I believe also that there truly is no modern invention more futile than a leaf blower. And “futile” is an excellent word to describe leaf blowers.

As for some kind of overall rating, Shatner’s work must be rated with stars of a different galaxy, for I have none to offer.

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Aimee Mann

Something that is currently under high rotation on my iPod (actually, it’s an el-cheapo SanDisk that does the same thing) is a song called “Calling on Mary” by Aimee Mann. Aimee Mann has had a few good tracks after she parted from ‘Til Tuesday. But for some reason, this one, from what must be one of the moodiest Christmas albums I have ever heard (“One More Drifter in the Snow”), has me addicted. The song has that addictive quality of hitting all the right notes and the has all the right chord changes to keep it engaging. I would like it to be a love song or something, but here it is, a Christmas song. There is definite heart-ache in the music, more so than the words. It is an articulation of feeling I would put up there with George Harrisson. At least in that tune.

One wonders why she hadn’t been bigger as an act. There is definite hit quality in her music. It seems her “image” is of a female who thinks, who ponders, who is moody and introspective. None of these qualities are common in female acts.