I’m starting to buy vinyl, not to be a pretentious hipster or audiophile, but because I love music. Buying vinyl allows me to get some old stuff that is hard to find on CD and also to get my hands on some great stuff from places like the Salvation Army or other thrift stores.
Because I am trolling resale shops, hoping to stumble on a rare gem or two, I’m running across a lot of crazy stuff that I can’t even imagine anyone ever having owned. It’s no secret that there are thousands of crazy, kooky, ugly, bizarre LP jackets. They can be interesting pieces of bad pop art. Some of it has comedic value — good for a cheap laugh. I found some records yesterday that made me giggle, made me shake my head in disbelief… I didn’t buy any of these albums, but I hope you can appreciate the pics.
Rockin’ Easy — It’s entirely possible that many of us Generation X-ers were conceived with the sweets sounds of albums like this playing in the background. What I’m quite sure of is that our parents didn’t “make whoopy” on an unsteady rowboat, in the middle of some scummy pond.
Win This Record (?), David Lindley & El Rayo X — I don’t know what the heck the name of this album really is. Is it Win This Record, or does that mean that the distribution strategy for this record was to give it away as some crappy prize to a radio call in contest? Was “caller number 5” the lucky guy or gal to pick up this rockin’ piece? Clearly, the smash hit on this album is “Talk to the Lawyer.” I’m speculating that’s a song about a couple heading for divorce. The can’t agree on who gets the sofa and who gets the china. An argument ensues and one of the disgruntled soon-to-be-ex spouses says, “Talk to the Lawyer.” What else could it be?
A Brand New Song, the Carroll McGruder Trio — There’s no beating what I assume to be their stage outfits. I tried to look up this album and find a track listing, but I was unsuccessful. This is …err was … a southern gospel group. I’ll betcha lunch that this is a record full of ole’ time gospel covers, with not a “brand new” song to be found.
Champion of Love, Glad — Just how does one become a “champion of love”? Is there a playoff system? How do you score the match. The lads look like So Cal version of Menudo. Given their appearance, maybe the band name should be GLAAD.
The Last of the Romantics, Englebert (Humperdink) — Boy, someone really thinks quite highly of himself. This album was released in 1978. I’m quite sure that there have been plenty of “romantics” in the last 34 years. I’m sure she’s thinking, as he holds her steady with a death grip on her face, “Please release me, let me gooooo….” An aside: everytime I hear or see this guy’s name, I can’t help but giggle at John Lennon having called Paul McCartney “Englebert Humperdink” in the early 70’s.
A Lover’s Question, Jacky Ward — “A Lover’s Question,” “Fools Fall in Love,” and “Big Blue Diamond.” I don’t know what question the “lover” asked, but I just can’t see Jacky knowing the answer. “Fools Fall in Love,” obviously, suggests it’s not good to fall in love. So why the “Big Blue Diamond”? We are left to conclude that only a “fool” would “fall in love” and give his girl a diamond worth four months rent at the trailer park.
Hollywood in Rhythm, Ray Coniff — Maybe it’s me, but I don’t understand what the connection exists between a skinny mannequin and “Hollywood.”
Swingin’ School Songs — Perfect mid-century collegiate material. Fight Songs from some of America’s most well-known universities are found on this disk. I want one of those sweaters, but I just want the block “S” to be green — Go State! The “artists” are Dave Pell and his Octet. I’m assuming the gleeful collegians on the cover aren’t the octet since there are only 5 of them.
Heleno — Our man, Heleno (presumably), appears to be a mafia tough guy dressed up for a night out at Studio 54 circa 1979. Supposedly, you can’t judge a book but its cover. But you might be able to judge an album buy it. I’d bet a baker’s dozen donuts that the music on this album is measurably worse than the cover itself.
Whipped Cream & Other Delights, Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass — For reasons I still don’t understand, there were two copies of this record in my parent’s album collection. I never once put this on the turntable, but I was always interested in the cover. You can find this album anywhere. By the amount of copies floating around at garage sales, flea markets and second-hand stores, you’d think this album went 10x platinum back in the day.