1980, Epic # NJE 36198
Ozz – Potential rock and roll superstars doomed by the album cover design department. No self-respecting 80′s rocker would be caught dead buying an album with this cover photo. It looks like the dude snuck up on stage during an Earth, Wind, & Fire Show in a circus tent.
The music is actually not bad. A bit dated, but certainly not what you’d expect from the cover. Apparently, modern metalheads have come to consider this album a bit of a “lost gem”. Check it out:
“Bring Out the Jazz”
1985, Earring Records
When I found this I honestly thought it was going to be a recording of a high school jazz band. I have to admit being a bit disappointed to find out Personal Effects is actually a nerdy synth-pop group from Rochester, NY. Not sure what look they were going for on this cover. The mid-80′s were a weird, confused time…
In a band called Margaret Explosion
All Sports Band
Radio Records / Atlantic #RR19321
Finally, here’s a record that reminds me of why I got into collecting bizarre records to begin with! A completely fabricated, major-label group specifically designed to cash in on the 80′s teen fad of… sports.
All the top American sports of the day are represented. Car racing, from before car racers were rednecks. Baseball, from the days when baseball players were skinny and doing coke instead of steroids. Football, because he’s the black guy. Boxing, because he’s not wearing a shirt. And of course, karate, the king of all 1980′s sports.
Here’s a vid of Dick Clark talking with the band on American Bandstand. Apparently the actual musical performance was just too valuable to post on Youtube.
1985, Heartland Records
I’ve never seen a record with such a difference in the band’s look between the front and back covers. The front cover looks like a band that might have opened up for The Fixx on their “One Thing Leads to Another” tour. The back cover looks like the band that played your weird drunk uncle’s second wedding.
Facebook, like everyone else.
“The #1 Bar Mitzvah Band”
From the liner notes:
“The STEVE FORTGANG Entertaining Orchestra has become the #1 Bar Mitzvah Band in South Florida probably because they enjoy what they do… They thrive on making your party a success! The band is outrageous and their “good-time” attitude is contagious! Perhaps Steve is #1 because of the many “Specialty Dances” and “Contests” he MC’s, and the hit records, albums and Booty Shirts that are awarded to the kids as prizes.”
Steve Fortgang, “Maniac”:
“Beach Balls” Original soundtrack
Phoenix Records, 1988
Read my blog about this record here!