Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs - Their Second Album

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs – Their Second Album
MGM, 1965
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2010
Price: $4

Well, I just finished reading the turbo-harrowing The Hunger Games, Jenny is at Ballet class and I'm trying to bide the time between when that class gets out and I get to have a corn dog at the Burger Stand and also trying to forget the ache in my loins from when the dog fucking flat out racked me this afternoon because I kept yelling “Squirrel! Squirrel!” and pointing at the trees despite there being no squirrels anywhere. In his unrestrained excitement, well, there's a dull ache in my nuts. And that sucks. But you know what doesn't suck? THIS ALBUM (and the Burger Stand's corn dog, which, if you haven't had, you should because it's not only the cheapest thing on the menu but it's really fucking tasty!)! Though Sam is best known for “Wooly Bully” which is used in every film set in the 60s, there aren't any real hits on this album. At least none that I ever heard on Oldies 95 in my formative years. Lead off track “Ju Ju Hand” was apparently a single, and it's easily the album's most forthright jam (even if it's a bit of a “Wooly Bully” rehash (see also: the Troggs)), but the rest of it is a more restrained affair. There's the almost parody-esque “Magic Touch,” which sounds like they're having a laugh on the slow dance songs from the 50s. Psychedelia is present whenever the carnivalesque organ comes into the picture, which it does pretty frequently. There are lots of references to magic, black magic, voodoo, witchcraft, and well, I guess they were going for that sort of spooky vibe. Then again, the album cover says it all. That's why I bought this record in the first place, I mean, look at that fucking thing! How could any self-respecting record collector (even an amateur novice like myself) turn down such a goddamned baffling, if beautifully designed, cover. I mean, is that guy gonna grab the lizard's tail and throw it in the pot because the “Love Potion #9” needs a lizard's tail? What's the guy next to him grinning about? Why is Sam the Sham looking so fucking awesome? What is that blonde guy digging for! IT's dangerous! And lastly, dude on the right, what's with the big fake frog! Love it! Spazzy garagey joy!

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