It’s becoming clear that I buy LPs for all manner of different reasons, to grab new stuff so i don’t miss anything I’d like, to catch up on old stuff I might have missed, to replace warmly remembered cassettes I owned as a teen, because I have an obsessional drive to collect everything by a particular artist, there was swearing in the title, or simply because there was a particularly impressive spiky goblin, or under-dressed lady on the cover. One of my less-impressive motives for LP buying is to simply do it to impress my friends, today’s two fall squarely into this category and I have to say I don’t think it reflects well on me as a discerning vinyl consumer (or person, but that’s very musch a secondary consideration!). I picked up Vampiros lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party in 1997 because (in reverse order):
- I’d read somewhere it was supposed to be good
- I found the title titillating
- I thought it would make me look cool.
I know that there is a school of thought which runs that European film music from the 60’s and 70’s is great, it bears no relation to anything else out there and it’s just genuinely all round cool. I’m here to debunk this myth* it’s not. Vampiros Lesbos, conducted and written by Manfred Hubler and Siegfried Schwab sounds not unlike the end result of gathering together a bunch of the squarest alcoholic session musicians on earth, describing the 1960’s to them, locking them in a studio for 9 days straight with only Gitanes, stale crusts and Creme de menthe to sustain them and then only recording the last hour’s worth of material. To my jaded ears it does sounds an awful lot like an Austin Powers-style parody, and I can’t abide that. The song titles were so promising too! ‘The Lions and the Cucumber’**, ‘Necronomania’ and ‘The Six Wisdoms of Aspasia’.
It’s a lovingly issued LP by the ever restrained and tastefully named label, Crippled Dick Hot Wax on red vinyl. The cover and inner sleeve all feature borderline titillating pictures of unflatteringly lit ladies, with the exception of the back cover picture which is a slightly haunting picture of the actress Soledad Miranda. I found it a real endurance test listening to this yesterday.
Now, whilst I would love to report that I copped Gert Wilden & Orchestra Schulmädchen-Report^ for loftier reasons, or that it is an infinitely better LP, I can’t. Let’s face it I could go on about how with the hip likes of Beastie Boys replicating porno music from the 70’s this was all a bit of a wheeze, but no I bought it solely for the nudity. Nudity? on a record? well it has been my unpleasant duty to examine it all closely again for you today:
- Front cover – topless lady.
- Back cover – a lady who appears to be soaping herself, rather vigorously, in the shower.
- Gatefold – girl in bra holding a kettle, with a lollipop in her mouth (in breach of all good tea-making etiquette); some disappointing pictures of people with their clothes on; young topless lady apparently engaging in the act of biting her pillow for unspecified and unillustrated reasons.
- Inner sleeve – an raven-haired beauty lifting her top to show herself off to a gentleman with a camera; three nude ladies and a gentleman who has his socks and impressively unskimpy Y-fronts on
- LP centre: three separate cartoons of topless ladies.
So there you go ladies and gentlemen, 10 nipples, 3 umm, lady gardens, 1 man in Y-fronts. 1537 doing the dirty work for you; thanks to me you will never have to gaze upon this filth with your own eyes! Issued again by our friends, Crippled Dick Hot Wax, this time on orange vinyl in 1996, I picked this up in HMV, Chester in 1998 and I have absolutely no idea what it was doing there either! I bought it as a public service gesture to avoid it falling into the hands of someone less morally upright than me. Song titles range from the prosaic ‘Blues Party’ ad ‘Follow Me’, to the more descriptive ‘Girl Faces’, ‘Dirty Beat’ and ‘Hot Dance’.
The music? oh, wait there’s music too? Schulmädchen-Report is a lot better than Vampiros Lesbos, it sets off at breath-taking pace with ‘Title theme’ (from Die Dressierie Frau) which is pretty darn groovy and corny in equal measure and I surprised myself by doing an impromptu sexy dance of my own devising to ‘Follow Me’ (don’t worry, I was alone), the whole LP is, predictably, an organ frenzy – eat your heart out Money Mark, it was all here first! To be fair Jon Lord himself couldn’t have bettered some of the high speed keyboard fondling on show here. It tails off around the halfway point, but perks up towards the end with ‘Ballet Elevin’ (not my spelling) which features some sex moaning which would have put Donna Summer herself to shame, or it might have been on ‘Blue Mood’ – sorry it was all starting to blur into one big Teutonic sexadelic rave-up at that point! In fact I am typing this right now dressed only in my socks and… lv hkvbk522.b .a/c….
ATTENTION: 1537 has been removed into a top-secret moral rehab centre for reprogramming and, umm, retooling; no visitors
*with the honourable exception of Goblin Suspiria.
**it is not set down what was done to the lions with the aforementioned cucumber but there is some pained roaring at one point. It is the best track on here. Oh go on then:
^subtitled ‘Schoolgirl Report and more music from sexy German films (1968-1972)’, says all you need to know really.