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Re: Bastard Albums

Bastard Albums
July 20, 2011 05:55PM
Inspired by the Unalbum thread - albums that for some reason or another got picked up by a different label and re-released in their entirety under a different name.

Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat. Became Archetypes. (Which I found in a cut-out bin of 8-tracks in 1980, making it my first VU album. Ralf and Florian by Kraftwerk was in the same bin. I have no idea what truck backed up to the loading dock of a podunk discount store and dropped off those tapes...)

Sparks - Music You Can Dance To. Became, rather laughably The Best of Sparks.

Sparks - Interior Design. Became Just Got Back From Heaven.

I came across one of those two Sparks albums under yet another name a couple of months ago, but I can't recall for sure which one it was. I think it was Interior Design again, but I can't remember what name was slapped on it this time.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 20, 2011 10:37PM
I remember looking in a bargain bin, before almost any of Sparks' stuff had been released domestically, and seeing the spine that read "The Best of Sparks". Utter happiness was followed by enormous disappointment, and I *like* that album.

The Jason and the Scorchers Are You Ready for the Country Vol. 1 was re-released as Both Sides of the Line, minus the bonus tracks.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 21, 2011 01:06PM
Some time around the high-water mark of "Innocent Man," one Billy Joel had a straight-to-the-cutout-bins album called "California Flash" re-released that had been previously sen the light of day as ...

It truly sounds better with the old cover. Don't confuse "better" with "good."
Re: Bastard Albums
July 21, 2011 02:21PM
I've actually heard this record. (I was a Billy Joel obsessive in my teens.) It's mindbogglingly awful, but I've always had a certain affection for it, simply because it's so completely different than anything Joel would go on to do. Fan's of "Just the Way You Are" and "New York State of Mind" would probably have a seizure listening to this.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 21, 2011 02:27PM
This is absoutely hilarious. I figured Kay was joking, but it is true! From wikipedia:

Genres Hard rock, psychedelic rock
Years active 1969 (1969)–1970 (1970)
Labels CBS/Columbia
Associated acts The Hassles
Billy Joel
Jon Small

Attila was the name of a band featuring a young Billy Joel. Billy was a member of a band called The Hassles; he and the drummer, Jon Small, broke away from the Hassles and formed Attila in 1969. The instrumentation was organ and drums, with Billy Joel also handling the bass lines with a keyboard, like the Doors' Ray Manzarek. Their creative partnership ended in 1970 when Joel allegedly ran off with Small's wife, Elizabeth,[1] although this did not end their collaborations, as Small produced Joel's Êîíöåðò video as well as the Live at Shea Stadium performance.

They released only one album, Attila, in 1970. Attila is often selected by critics and other music journalists as one of the worst rock albums of all time.[1] Joel himself has gone on record as describing the album as "psychedelic bullshit".[1]

End of the sixties, I was in a two-man group. We were heavy metal, we were going to destroy the world with amplification, we had titles like 'Godzilla', 'March of the Huns', 'Brain Invasion'. A lot of people think just came out of the piano bar... I did a lot of heavy metal for a while. We had about a dozen gigs and nobody could stay in the room when we were playing. It was too loud. We drove people literally out of clubs. 'It was great, but we can't stay in the club'
—Billy Joel, Interview with Billy Joel by Dan Neer in 1985
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic.com writes, "Attila undoubtedly is the worst album released in the history of rock & roll -- hell, the history of recorded music itself. There have been many bad ideas in rock, but none match the colossal stupidity of Attila."[1]

One track from the album, "Amplifier Fire, Part 1 (Godzilla)," appears on Joel's 2005 boxed set My Lives.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 22, 2011 03:17AM

"... it's so completely different ..."

Is that the critical equivalent of "She's got a great personality?"


Having a bad day? Spin the "Atilla" album and feel the stress melt away as the realization that you didn't record and release that steaming pile is driven home track after track.

It's no understatement to say that the Attila record is a listening event like no other. It'll give you a whole new appreciation for the relative genius of the Tufnel/St. Hubbins songwriting team.

Are some of you kidding about having never heard (of) it? It's been mentioned in other threads hereabouts.

It's better than that wretched Sleigh Bells CD, if only because it's so piss-your-pants hilarious. Being out-of-your-mind high the first time you hear it helps a lot.

I've quite seriously never laughed so hard in my entire life. At least not up until I played that video game "Bully" and encountered the poop-flinging monkey videogame-within-a-videogame lurking over in that tent at the carnival. Perhaps it simply caught me off guard, but I thought I'd never stop laughing.

Billy Joel's Atilla and poop-flinging monkeys. Not so far apart as one might think.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 21, 2011 02:48PM
after reading this thread, but mostly from seeing the cover, I now need to hear this album. It's more important to me than anything else has ever been, or ever will be, in my life. Knowing that I've existed on this planet for 42 years without hearing the worst album ever recorded is alarming. I will hunt this down, and I will own it.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 21, 2011 02:53PM
I've gone 37 years without ever hearing Metal Machine Music. I can wait a few decades longer on this Billy Joel fiasco. Especially, since I consider the average Billy Joel album attrocious.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 21, 2011 03:06PM
Believe me, the Attila record makes the average Joel album sound like a Dylan masterpiece. It's abominably bad. Joel's never been able to convincingly rock, so you can imagine what an entire record of him ferociously ROCKING OUT, DUDE sounds like.

But, like an Ed Wood film, it's fascinating in its utter awfulness. Not fascinating enough to listen to more than once, mind you. But, to Kwk's point, it should be heard at least that one time, just for the sheer mindfuck of it.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 21, 2011 03:37PM
Well Metal Machine Music is a challenging (ie, awful) album by a master, so it's interesting in that it was a major statement by a rock and roll monster. It's a grumpy kiss-off by the ultimate, and original, NYC punk. Plus it informed No-Wave and inspired future artists such as Sonic Youth and Big Black. In that respect, it's a success. Just my opinion.
But this is different. I know Billy Joel wrote some fine songs and all, but let's face it, he was in the same category as Michael McDonald, and inspired such challenging acts as Bruce Hornsby and John Mayer. So the opportunity to hear him rockin out all metal-style is exhilirating. Well maybe not exhilirating, but definitely stupid.
So maybe it will be like Family Guy. Every time I watch an episode I know I'm watching garbage, and I know I should be watching the Discovery Channel, but oh how it makes me laugh.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 22, 2011 10:57AM
Ok, you've piqued my curiosity. I listened to one song, chosen at random. It's recorded horiffically, and has some crazy lyric about a "twenty foot mustache", but the gonzo keyboard is not worse than, say, anything Keith Emerson was playing around that time period, and it's kind of fun. I dig it.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 21, 2011 06:51PM
KWK...I think we can all agree that Billy Joel is the Family Guy of pop music.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 23, 2011 04:53AM
which slab of meat is billy joel?
Re: Bastard Albums
July 24, 2011 11:26PM
I read Jacob Slichter's So You Wanna Be a Rock 'n Roll Star last week, and...wait, you don't know who Jacob Slichter is, do you? Okay he is the guy who, at age 32, ended up playing drums for his old Harvard classmate Dan Wilson (and Wilson's former Trip Shakespeare cohort John Munson) in the band Semisonic.

Okay, so anyway, Semisonic's debut album The Great Divide was dropped by Elektra (as was the band) while they were recording it. They ended up signing with MCA and finished recording their debut for a second label. As far as I know, the album title wasn't changed, although they probably weren't far enough along in the process to have landed on a proposed title when they were dropped.

And Dan Wilson has since been responsible for co-writing much of Adele's 21, just so you know.
Re: Bastard Albums
July 25, 2011 12:15AM
Dan Wilson also wrote that Dixie Chicks hit, "Not Ready To Make Nice."
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