I am not a big Syd Barrett fan …

Syd Barrett

… And nor am I a big fan of Pink Floyd. However, I do have a copy of Dark Side of The Moon, an album largely about Pink Floyd’s founding member, but an album made in 1973, long after Syd Barrett (1946-2006) left the band and just before he left the music business.

I was reading on several blogs about Barrett’s many contributions in terms of introducing several innovative guitar techniques. But for that, I get an overwhelming impression of erratic, irrational behaviour, and of him being a burden on the other members.

Say what you like about his genius, his musical artistic output was very scant, and what he did needed the constant intercession of people like Roger Waters and David Gilmour. It appeared that the most difficult job was getting Syd into the studio to perform on his own album. And when he did, he only rarely performed with the rest of the band.

I see him more as a curiosity, a spectacle, than as a musician. It is politically correct to take the musical snob’s way out and lionize him as a mad genius, because what he actually did put out were never great hits. This ensures that a kind of “cult legend” aura is maintained.

Cultists often refer to tracks as “Interstellar Overdrive” as one example of Syd Barrett’s genius. The instrumental was recorded in the late 60s while he was still with Pink Floyd. I sat through the entire 17-minute performance to see for myself. True, he uses a lot of tricks that were innovative in the late 60s. Also, recalling that The Beatles were recording Sargent Pepper in Abbey Road Studios in a studio next to theirs, it must be granted that no one on either side of the pond had that sound until years later. But I wasn’t impressed by his guitar solo that I heard so much praise about (there was only a brief one in the entire 17 minutes), nor was I impressed by the composition in general. Original doesn’t always mean good. Just ask members of The Shaggs. The song kind of resembles today’s trance music. Except this one took live, and reasonably talented musicians, free of our current addiction to beat boxes, tape loops, and Auto-Tune software. Well, but not free of addictions of another kind, I suppose.

Interstellar Overdrive was repetitive, and had a monotonous rhythm. I don’t think a person should listen to it sitting down like I did. You need to throw a party where recreational drugs are abundant, and the music is loud. Then, you “get” the music, or more precisely, you “dig” the music.

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Crappy Album Covers #123 — Nature Photos


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:

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’:


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.


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Crappy Album Covers #41 — Jackdaws II

And that’s all I have, folks! I have to take a break to prepare for work when September starts, and I will be taking a few days off of posting. I will likely fall back into my infrequent mode of posting as I have done in the past, since my work absorbs most of my time.

But it was enjoyable, and your response in terms of comments and hits to my site have been, in terms of my own experience, tremendous. Since I have started this series in the last week of July, I received more hits than in all of the months since February when I started my blog.

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Crappy Album Covers #40 — Jackdaws I

I refer to anything I could not put into any specific category as a “Jackdaw”. I am aware that jackdaws are also a species of bird (C. monedula), but I have heard them use a lot by libraries to refer to uncategorizable books, and on the other end of the spectrum, primary source documents. In modern usage I see that the word “jackdaw” is used by some libraries to describe or give a name to their search engines.

We’re only down to a few crappy album covers, which I either felt little inspiration to comment on, or were just pushed aside in the search for an album cover that suited the theme of the day. That is not to say that these are obscure. Some are, but others have remained as common fodder by crappy album cover web pages all over the net, just as was the case in previous posts.

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Crappy Album Covers #39 — Still More Gays

Paddy Roberts, whom allmusic.com claims is in the Rock genre, released this album in the mid-60s, probably the last decade where “gay” only meant “happy”. Likely not an album for queers. Not even queer dogs.In 2006, this album was re-released on CD, bundled with another album, “Funny World”. No detailed information on Paddy Roberts could be found anywhere.
Sticking to the 1960s, this was apparently one of a series of queer parody albums consisting of males singing in effeminate voices. These were released by the Camp Records label, and were advertised in a gay magazine called Vagabond in 1965. J. D. Doyle tells the whole sordid tale, at great lengt (with MP3s).You know this album will not be complimentary toward gays when you notice all of the stereotypes are in the artwork, along with the choice of color. This label had produced songs with titles like “I’d Rather Fight Than Swish”, “Florence of Arabia” and “London Derriere”.

But it has variously been called a “Queer stag” album, and other things. Nearly all of the credits are pseudonyms, and one name stands out: Rodney Dangerfield. That doesn’t sound like a pseudonym.The rest, it is claimed, are famous people, but being the mid-60s, no-one would reveal their names publically.

However, Doyle is doubtful that it is the same Rodney Dangerfield as that fellow Crappy Album Cover maker that got “No Respect”.

Jose Angel’s album “Madre Soy Cristiano Homosexual” translates (I think) to “Mother, I am a Christian Homosexual.” The date of release is unknown. Here is an MP3 of the title track.By all accounts, this is a story of a man who comes out to his mother, that he is a gay Christian. Imagine this confession takes place today. Of course the mother probably flips out. Not over being gay, but over being one of them “Christians”. With all those “Christian Right” people ruining the United States, how dare he come into the house and disgrace the family that he now cavorts with a band of greed-obsessed Jesus freaks?

This photo was taken after Mother disowned him from the family inheritance, and told him he is no longer welcome in their house until he kicks this Christian habit. Maybe living on his own would be good for him.

This is another Jackdaw. I have nowhere else to place the retro Swedish group Larz Kristerz (this link is in Swedish only). So, they are in this post for lack of a better place.It would appear that all of their albums are called “Stuffparty”, their titles differing only by the sequel number.

They seem to have the 70s kitsch mastered. Probably a little too well, right down to the tasteless hairdos.

I tried to get Google to translate “Stuffparty”, from Swedish, but to no avail.

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