About the only thing these three LPs share in common is they are all eponymous titles. Cold Blood (1969), Pee Wee Hunt Plays and Sings Dixie (1957) and Donny Most (1976). Spoiler alert - none are particularly good. Yet, they're still well worth a quick look and listen....
Cold Blood (1969)
Silly me. I thought I had stumbled upon something obscure and interesting. Turns out, Cold Blood is a fairly well known group that just passed under my radar all these years. The best way to describe them: Janis Joplin with The Tower of Power as a backup band. Or, if you like, Tina Turner with Ides of March as the backup band.
You'd think this would make for something special. Unfortunately, it's pretty forgettable. All the songs sound alike and run together. But then, I'm not much of a Joplin or Ike & Tina fan either, so maybe I'm a bad judge.
The frontwoman here is Lydia Pense who gained in popularity (a la Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company) and eventually went solo. The group achieved a small degree of notoriety via their third LP called Thriller. It was used as an example in a Congressional Subcommittee meeting on Violent Behavior and Sexual Assaults in 1978. From the meeting:
"The inside of the album cover, after you buy it, is a woman stabbing a man in the back. Again, it's the same model, ... This one is called 'Cold Blood' by Thriller."As always, Congress does exceptional research into the entertainment they condemn. Here they cite the band as being called Thriller and the album as "Cold Blood".
Anyway, here's a track called "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" from their debut LP. Sorry for the horrible scratching; the record, as you can tell from the image, isn't exactly in the best of shape.
Pee Wee Hunt Plays and Sings Dixie (1957)
Just like the title says - just a bunch of dixie music. Can't say as I'm a lover of the genre; but, I suppose, if you are, this is for you. I'm not ashamed to admit it - the cover lured me in. Always a sucker for some vinyl cheesecake.
From the back cover:
If you dig happy, romping two beat music... if you can't resist the rich toned yawn of a slide trombone, then Pee Wee Hut's Dixies will flip you - in high-fi yet.
"Muskrat Ramble" by Pee Wee Hunt
Donny Most (1976)
It's hard for me to comprehend a world where Ralph Malph seriously thinks he can be the next David Cassidy, but in his debut LP, he gives it the ol' college try. Truth be told, he's not a bad singer (better than Anson Williams in my humble opinion). But this goofy ginger from Happy Days just isn't teen heart throb material - even with his massive bell bottoms and 'sexy pose'.
The text on the back cover is classic:
As my partner and I sat in our offices on a Wednesday in September discussing what to write for the liner notes of this album, we soon discovered that we had a slight problem, and the following conversation occurred.
Dick said. "How about telling them that Donny has been in show business since he was in grammar school, and that he cut his teeth singing in the resort areas of upstate New York."
I said, "No. no. that's no good at all" Then I said, "How about telling everyone what a big hit Donny is in ABC Television's HAPPY DAYS, and how lucky we were to get Artie Mogull, President of United Artist Records to sign Donny. Everyone knew Donny was a great actor, but now everyone can hear it for themselves that he is a super singer too."
Dick said. "Are you crazy, that's terrible, we should say that we took Donny to Springfield. Mass. to break his first single on station WHYN. and 28,000 people showed up to see the two shows that Donny did."
I said, "No. that's wrong too." Then I said. "How about..."Sample Tracks:
"Hold it I think I've got it" said Dick. "Why don't we just say that this is Donny's first album, we think it is great and if you can't dance to this music you've got no right having feet"
—Danny Jordan & Dick Smedley
"Bony Maronie" - That 1950s classic given the Most treatment.
"Now You're a Lady" - A ballad about a girl becoming a woman (can we presume Most brought her to womanhood?) It's interesting that Most makes the bold move to use the word "damn" in this song. I'm sure pre-teen girls who bought this LP in '76 thought it was excitingly naughty.
"Rock Is Dead" - Prophet Most, predicting the downfall of rock & roll twenty years before Nickelback.