Simple, 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.
Simplistic? Like, totally!
The cover to Frank Zappa’s 1982 album, Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch holds a prominent place on the back cover to its 7″ single, Valley Girl, and has been, until this morning, looked over and ignored by yours truly. I mean, the totally bitchen LP should be on the “must have” list, like, that would be so awesome, I’m sure! Respect the music your elders dug, kids.
This exceptionally deceiving, unusually vivacious three record comp by Warner Bros. Records titled, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies features not the usual cast of characters you’d typically expect based on the Fudd-y duddy cover. You won’t find Speedy Gonzales, Foghorn Leghorn, or even Daffy & Bugs, but instead, a hearty helping of Frank Zappa, Arlo Guthrie, Captain Beefheart, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Van Morrison, Little Richard, Randy Newman, The Grateful Dead, Alice Cooper, James Taylor, and The Kinks, among others.
Chosen as more of a symbol than a Saturday listen, this diverse compilation, in a way, represents the eclectic nature of the Prudent Groove which, today, turned two years old.
Happy 2nd birthday, Prudent Groove! You weren’t expected to survive, and there were several days when you narrowly escaped angry extinction. Thanks to everyone who stopped by for a photo for their iTunes metadata, left a comment, or got a chuckle out of this nonsense. 730 days is a hell-of-a long time, and 730 posts is exactly 730 too many. Thanks for stopping by!
Warner/Reprise Records took a bit of a risk in late 1969/early 1970. Not only did they offer double LP comps for only $2 (at a time when single LPs went between $4 and $5), but also their “The best, biggest bargains on record!” campaign promoted exclusive albums at insanely discounted prices that were only available via this innersleeve. AND, as if that weren’t enough, their ingenious, cunning, and dear I say crackerjack copywriters presented this financially hazardous campaign with the youthful exuberance found only from the likes of Peggy Olson.
Here are a few examples of how fascinating “The best, biggest bargains on record!” campaign is, including, but not limited to, jokes and sarcastic dialogue (dialogue, from an insert?):
– Offering a coupon printed on the sleeve itself, Warner/Reprise suggests that the protective sleeve that was provided in a previously purchased Warner/Reprise album be destroyed and used to order more records.
– “To expedite your order, and to foil the fools in the mail room…”
– “Dear Fat Cats: Yes, please send…”
– “We can get away with that low price because these celebrated artists and this benevolent record company have all agreed not to make a profit on this venture.”
– “If our Accounting Department were running this company, they’d charge you $9.96 for each double album. But they’re not. Yet.”
– “If you want them (indeed, how can you resist?) you have to…”
– “If you’re as suspicious of big record companies as we feel you have every right to be…”
In closing, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the idea for this campaign was introduced. I would have loved to have witnessed the look on the faces of Warner/Reprise Execs, and I would have loved to have shaken the hand of this campaign’s mastermind. (I would also love to pay only $2 for a double LP!)
1. Frank Zappa.
2. The Mothers of Invention were originally called The Soul Giants, but changed their name to The Mothers (on Mother’s Day 1965?), before settling on their full title for their debut album, 1966’s Freak Out!
3. Like your mother, Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention promote the consumption of vegetables. From Call Any Vegetable, The Mothers explain, “This is a song about vegetables. They keep you regular. They’re real good for ya.” Don’t become irregular. Eat your veggies!
4. Staunch fans of pets, and reptiles in general, the 1970 reinvention of the Mothers included three former members of The Turtles, Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan and Jim Pons.
5. Frank Zappa.
6. Also similar to your mother, these Mothers promote the healthy balance of a nutritional diet, aquatic exercise, and proper education. In the epic Brown Shoes Don’t Make It, we hear, “TV dinner by the pool. I’m so glad I finished school.” Listen to your mothers. They know what’s best for you.
7. The band’s Producer, Tom Wilson, made a name for himself by his acclaimed work with Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, The Animals and The Velvet Underground.
8. Frank Zappa.
The Prudent Groove would like to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there (regardless of your personal prune preference)!