Album Ass: Enoch Light and His Orchestra’s Far Away Places Volume 2

Nothing too exciting here except for the backside of Enoch Light and His Orchestra’s Far Away Places Volume 2. The layout is a bit wonky, what, with 90 degree angles being thrown out the window, but Command Records did a pretty decent job of offering a ton of info while not seeming any bit overwhelming. That Stereo 35mm logo, though…

Ground

A Good Ground was released in 2005 and, as far as I can tell, was the first studio album released on vinyl by Brooklyn indie Gods, Oxford Collapse. Though not as pleasing to the ear as 2006’s Remember the Night Parties (my first introduction to the band), Ground is solid angst music, heavy on rhythmic glee. These guys were really good. It’s just too bad the rest of the world didn’t think so.

Mystic Records Wants Your Money

In randomly admiring the back cover to the 1984 Mystic Records comp, Mystic Sampler #1, I noticed a few key things. I present them in no particular or chronological order. 1) Discogs doesn’t have an entry for Slamulation, the comp album on which the original Suicidal Tendencies line-up released their early track, I Saw Your Mommy (also featured here). 2) There is a red vinyl version of Mystic Sampler #1 (Wantlisted). 3) The cover art to the Mystic Records cover compilation is the only advertised record NOT featured on this back sleeve. The only cover without a cover, is an album about covers.

… a Box!

pmitpAside from Double Plaidinum, these five albums were Lagwagon’s discography for this young listener (some 17 embarrassing years ago), which makes this exclusive box set (limited to 519 copies), all the more exceptional. Have a look, then a listen, then hunt one down online. Released by Fat Wreck Chords back in 2011, she comes with a bonus reissue of the band’s first 7″… worth the price of admission by itself. Happy hunting, kids, and happy Friday!

NW8

NW8In 1971, some long, 45 years ago, B.B. King kicked off his UK tour with the release of B.B. King in London. Featuring Steve Winwood and Ringo Starr (among several other all-stars), BBKiL (as nobody calls it) sits alone in the busied library as the only B.B. King album in the collection. Heartbreaking, I know, and definitely something to be rectified.

Hsalc Eht

JanieJonesI had the pleasure of obtaining a UK original of The Clash’s debut album, neatly titled The Clash a few years back. Of course, there is an alternate tracklist on the UK version that differs slightly from the Canadian and US versions, and since both of those versions came out a full two years after this 1977 original, this UK version is strongly considered the only true full-length debut from the band. For those of you into such things, there you have it. For those of you who aren’t, you can show yourselves out.

Brooklyn Dust Music

DustMajestic and righteous, all in one cohesive and awe-inspiring logo. File under Album Ass, or best logo of all time. On a side note, mainly because I don’t yet own it on vinyl, but how much does “fresh meat” in Underworld’s stellar Mmm, Skyscraper, I Love You sound like “Presley” during the line, “Elvis, fresh meat, a little whip cream?” Intentional? I’d say, yeah! Happy Monday.

Don’t Forget to Register to Vote – F.Z.

FZSimple, yet subtly ingenious, the album ass to the 1971 live album from The Mothers (of Invention) covers all the necessary info, while maintaining the nonconformist mentality that Mr. Zappa has been comfortably associated with. Truth or fiction, this back sleeve certainly is eye-catching.

( )( )

IIWithout question, (yet still, arguably), the WORST back cover to any major album release of any, and all time. Now, there is certainly room for judgment and viable speculation, but k’mon! No track listings… no suggestive band photos… no credits… no nothing! “Look within” I suppose was the point, as well it should have been, but once that (now obvious) objective has been made, the art for Zeppelin II’s album ass is forever implanted (ass humor) in Groove history, or at the very least, made known to the casual passers by in a leisurely, and nonthreatening manner.

PCS Circa: 1997

PCSThinking of remodeling your lackluster bedroom? Why not try some punk-infused industrial goodness, aka LARD?! Math lesson: 101. Q: Dead Kennedys + Ministry = ??? A: LARD! I can throw a stone, hell, SEVERAL stones, MULTIPLE times, at everyone I know, and I won’t find ANYONE who’s into this band. Sounds like I need a new group of friends, does it not? Truth and honesty shoved down your throat with not so much as a chaser… let the LARD begin…

Don’t Bogart that Tape, My Friend

BackBirdsReleased in 1966, or so I’m told, The Yardbirds Greatest Hits captures many of the band’s early British Invasion, blues rock chart toppers into one, neat, cohesive package. But we’re not focusing on this Epic Records release today for its global importance, but instead, for its previous owner’s lamenting admiration for the band.

As can be clearly seen from the five, strategically placed abnormalities on the back cover, this record’s original owner had this, and likely other albums displayed on a wall somewhere, likely in some dingy, smoke-soaked den of excess and euphoria (I like to think somewhere off the Fox River in rural Wisconsin). Five individually places strips of tape were all that was needed to hoist up this audio treasure, which was likely a decent conversation starter for 1966 hoods to drop out and over analyze over. Don’t Bogart that tape, my friend!

By Ruth White

RuthWhat can be more magnificently majestic than the backside of Ruth White’s collection of “Electronic Realizations and Performances” of the following, incomplete, list of classical composers: Verdi, Chopin, Debussy, Rimsky-Korsakov… the answer… absolutely nothing.

Short Circuits by Ruth White.

Oh, Loverboy

loverboyEverybody’s working for the weekend. This couldn’t be anywhere closer to the truth. This, and truth, are skin to skin here… touching… connecting, and letting onlookers know, that what is right, is indeed right. Everybody IS working for the weekend. That’s when we can get all our shit done. Haircuts? Oil changes? Taking the kids to get their throats cultured? Everybody works for the proverbial weekend, and for me, that weekend starts tomorrow. Happy holidays, kiddos! Christmas, for The Groove, begins tomorrow.

Skeew Lartsa

Skeew LartsaFamous covers are not unlike priceless pieces of contemporary art (be that yesterday’s contemporary, or today’s). Very seldom, however, does an album’s backside (album ass?) get its proper notoriety. Subtle yet compelling posterior album art often goes unnoticed, as is the case with the poem featured on the back of Van Morrison’s 1968 classic Astral Weeks. Displayed here is a composition by the man, with no title, and no indication of its inspiration. I dig its almost throwaway inclusion on Astral Weeks, taking up such invaluable real estate, and it has inspired me to look much more closely to the array of hidden treasures just an album flip away.