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Underworld – Second Toughest in the Infants (1996), Butthole Surfers – Locust Abortion Technician (1987), Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters (1973), Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)

December 11, 2019

[Album 702, 703, 704, 705 / 1001]

If you like an album name, does that necessarily guarantee you’ll dig its contents?

Or if you like the music on an album, does that suggest its name will be equally appealing?

Does it matter?

Probably not – but the questions lend themselves nicely to the 2 x 2 matrix format.

And of equal, if not greater, importance, such an info-graphic also provides me with an opportunity to review 4 albums for the price of 1!

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effectiveness (7)

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IS My Kind of Album Name / IS NOT My Kind of Album

In high school, I ran cross country.

At an invitational meet, our team placed second. For our efforts, we each received a commemorative T-shirt featuring the ALL CAPS text, “2ND PLACE TEAM.”

I loved that shirt; mostly because I thought it was such a fabulous thing to boldly proclaim in capital letters.220px-Second_Toughest_in_the_Infants

So when I saw the Underworld album title, Second Toughest in the Infants, it brought back some fond fashion memories. And it’s an even funnier thing to advertise, what an unusual thing about which to boast!

Alas, 73 consecutive minutes of techno / progressive house / progressive trance /  ambient / experimental (thanks wikipedia for the genres) still isn’t really my cuppa.

I gather that techno / progressive house / progressive trance /  ambient / experimental enthusiasts hold this one in high regard (and it did work reasonably well as background music for marking student websites).

But even if I’m not totally jazzed about the music, I’m certainly enthusiastic about the album name!

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“I don’t know what I expected”

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IS NOT My Kind of Album Name / IS NOT My Kind of Album

Let’s see.

Creepy clowns on the cover.220px-ButtholeSurfersLocustAbortionTechnician

The band name.

The album name.

The album contents.

I feel a bit like Michael Bluth – I don’t know what I expected!

There are a few stretches where I think, OK that’s a good riff, there’s an interesting pattern.

And then more creepiness arrives, leading to an unsettling listener experience overall.

Which I imagine, given all of the above, was likely the point.

So, I suppose, mission accomplished!

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IS NOT My Kind of Album Name / IS My Kind of Album

When I hear the term Head Hunter, I think…

a) A hockey player that delivers dirty body checks

b) A corporate head hunter, or someone who looks for qualified candidates to fill a Head_Hunters_Albumparticular vacancy.

Neither of which strike me as a solid foundation for an album name!

Yet Head Hunters is as solid an album as I’ve heard, featuring terrific performances all around, especially by the drummer, Harvey Mason.

And it is an album that I feel like I’ve heard before, likely because I recognize it as being sampled elsewhere many times!

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(at 0:40)

Cassandra : Guys like that are 12 for 10 cents.
Bobby : You mean a dime a dozen.
Cassandra : Maybe where you shop.

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IS My Kind of Album Name / IS My Kind of Album

Double Nickels on the Dime? Maybe where you shop.

Though I gather these guys were quite economically savvy: how else could they record 40+ songs/song fragments and somehow only spend $1,100 in the process?!220px-Doublenickels

There are some highly creative track names (There Ain’t Shit on T.V. Tonight, The World According to Nouns, Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth?) & there’s a terrifically scrappy energy that’s likely only possible because of the lack of time spent over-recording/over-mixing/over-playing.

If I’m fortunate enough to see this Minutemen album in the shop, I’ll be sure to invest.

Something tells me I’ll need more than a couple of nickels!

Verbalize the Positive

One of my students was listening to Head Hunters the other day – the future is bright!

From → 1970s, 1980s, 1990s

17 Comments
  1. Those two are my kind of music too.

  2. Holy Moly 4 album reviews in one post! I’m this is a Word Press record, Geoff!
    When I think of Headhnter I think of the Krokus album! haha. That’s the Metal Head in me leaking out.
    Cool review and well played by your student listening to Head Hunters! Good way to score extra marks before exam time!

  3. I’m with Deke…Headhunter is Krokus…love that album!!!

    • Maybe the term Headhunter’s not so bad after all – if it’s good enough for Herbie/Krokus/John/Deke, good enough for me!

  4. Four classics for me right there! The Minutemen title was a slap at Sammy Hagar’s ‘Can’t Drive 55’.

  5. I haven’t spend any, or enough, time with any of these. Heard The Minutemen a few times, but that’s about it. Head Hunter is sitting on my list somewhere… though there’s always something else to listen to.

    • And if I was thinking, once I’m done the 1001 I’ve listened to what I needed to – I couldn’t be more wrong! It only seems to lead to more and more things to be heard

  6. The Head Hunters artwork is so recognizable despite never having picked up the album! I may feel the same way that I’ve heard the songs sampled elsewhere.

  7. I see what you did here. Those negative reviews flew right by under the radar!

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