Great and Lame album titles

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Great and terrible album covers have been discussed for decades.....but what about those album titles that are brilliant, 'meh' or total crap ?
This morning I was listening to "Liege and Lief" by Fairport Convention, which I've always thought was such a lame title. The look of the words has long irritated me ! Whereas the album before it, "Unhalfbricking", is a fantastic name for an album. Interestingly, both "Liege" and "Lief" are real words, whereas "Unhalfbricking" was a made up name from a game the band members used to play.
But most artists' output contain some great names and some lame ones. The only Beatle titles I like come from 1964 ~ "A Hard days night" and "Beatles for Sale" although "Rubber Soul" is also pretty good. The rest are 'meh'. The Stones had better album titles, even in the 60s.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
For such a deep thinking artist as Gil Scott Heron, I thought his album titles were generally lame. Except "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" which is a compilation, unfortunately.
Stevie Wonder too, in my opinion only came up with 3 good ones, "Talking book", "Innervisions" & "Songs in the key of life." Most of his titles were lame.
Bob Marley {with or without the Wailers} only managed 2 in my opinion ¬> "Catch a fire" and "Babylon by bus" which I think are both great names. But most of his titles were meaningfully 'meh'.
I think all of Motorhead's album titles are as lame as lame can be ~ except the magnificent "No sleep 'til Hammersmith" which is as clear and blatant a manifesto as one is likely to find.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I always thought Maggot Brain was a bit of a weird title for both the song and album. Of course in '71 a lot of weird stuff was put out.

Metamorphosis for Iron Butterfly's album was perfect. It was a clear change in direction for the band with Pinera and Rhino joining. It's a great album, too. I thought "The Smoker you drink, the player you get" is simply brilliant. It describes Joe Walsh to a "t" back then.

I guess the key is to get something catchy, so you remember it. Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa always had weird ones, like Lick My Decals Off Baby, Burnt Weenie Sandwich and Lumpy Gravy. I worried more about the music, so I didn't buy any Beefheart, but have quite a few Zappa/Mothers albums.
 
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BroKen_H

Re-member
Almost all of Soundgarden's albums were great. Ultramega OK.? Pure gold.
REO - You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can't Tune A Fish (A bit lengthy, but fairly original humor then).
afa lame, just look at anything Yngwie did... 100% lame album titles.
 

witzendoz

Senior Member
Emerson Lake & Palmer, one of my favorite ever bands, what were they thinking with this, also the worst album they ever did:

love beach.jpg
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
I thought "The Smoker you drink, the player you get" is simply brilliant
I always loved that one. One of the greatest titles ever. I liked it so much, I used it for a lyric.
Captain Beefheart........always had weird ones, like Lick My Decals Off Baby,.......I worried more about the music, so I didn't buy any Beefheart
I really like the titles "Safe as milk" and "Trout mask replica," the latter of which has one of my favourite 5 album covers. It is glorious.
But like you, I don't care for Beefheart's music, although the name of his band back then was also brilliant, the Magic band. In fact, pretty much everything about Beefheart was A~OK........except the flaming music ! :laughings::ROFLMAO:
 

Orson

Member
Most of the Album titles never make sense anyway. They may have a relation to one track that is obvious but in some cases you would never find it.

'A night at the opera' was a good title for that album. 'A day at the races' had no relation at all to what was on vinyl.

'Shang-a-lang' ............... What the f*** does that mean?
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Most of the Album titles never make sense anyway
That's true. They make sense to someone, though. I remember some years ago, Miroslav saying he never got the meaning of Wishbone Ash's album title, "There's the rub." But once one of us English guys had explained the cricketing connotation, he understood it.
They may have a relation to one track that is obvious but in some cases you would never find it
That's often the case. Many album titles have some kind of meaning to the artist and are factual or conceptual, for example, Bob Marley & the Wailers' "Uprising" or "Exodus" or "Kaya." But they're just lame in the sense of an album title even though they're pregnant with deep seated meaning that their audience would catch straight away.
Gil Scott Heron & Brian Jackson's "The first minute of a new day" and "From South Africa to South Carolina" are both heavily saturated with meaning.....but are lame titles.
'A night at the opera' was a good title for that album. 'A day at the races' had no relation at all to what was on vinyl
Ah, but when one considers that "A night at the opera" is the title of a Marx Brothers movie and so is "A day at the races" then the connection starts to make sense. It even can be stretched to the next Queen album, "Jazz", when one considers that Chico Marx had a swinging jazz band for a couple of years.
Titles often bear no relation to what's on the album. In 1970, John Lennon said of "Rubber Soul" that it was just 4 boys trying to work out what to call an album, nothing deeper. But by 1996 when "Anthology 2" came out it transpired that the title was a dig at Mick Jagger and by extension, their major rivals at the time, the Rolling Stones. Paul was heard talking about how Black artists used to laugh at Mick behind his back, referring to him and his aped "black" styles as 'plastic soul'. So "Rubber Soul" was a Scouse {ie, native to Liverpool} play on words {conflated with the rubber sole of a shoe or boot} that took on a more pointed dig at the Stones. They were to do it with the song titles "And your bird can sing" and "Dig a pony."
'Shang-a-lang' ............... What the f*** does that mean?
It means the same as "Ummagumma" ~ sex.

The white album is the best album title ever
Well, it's maybe a contender for best "album title that isn't even the name of the record" ever. Better than "Led Zeppelin 4."
The irony is that it's another title that's pregnant with deep seated meaning. It's supposed to be a contrast with the psychedelic long-windedness and colour of "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Magical Mystery Tour," a kind of "we're leaving all that stuff behind."
When one considers all that was going on with the Beatles in '68 and them striking out on their own, having rejected the Maharishi, sidelining George Martin, regretting not having more input in the "Yellow Submarine" film, both John & Paul ditching the longstanding WAGS they'd had since the Beatlemania period and hooking up with new partners and getting Apple together in the aftermath of Brian Epstein's death and them putting out a double album that George Martin believed should have been a single one, one can also see the album title as a two fingered salute to anyone that was seemingly standing in their way of doing what they wanted to do. It was them saying "we are no longer the Beatles for sale, we don't need 'help', we're not Sergeant Pepper's Lonely bloody Hearts club band nor are we the wizards on some mystery trip or in need of an Indian guru ~ we are the Beatles, pure and simple, and both the title and the cover reflect this."
Ironically, it was the fans that started calling it the white album.
But either way, it's a lame title.
 

Orson

Member
That's true. They make sense to someone, though. I remember some years ago, Miroslav saying he never got the meaning of Wishbone Ash's album title, "There's the rub." But once one of us English guys had explained the cricketing connotation, he understood it.
Now after that explanation I would have thought it meant something to do with waccybaccy as in 'ready rubbed'. (English pipe tobacco).
Ah, but when one considers that "A night at the opera" is the title of a Marx Brothers movie and so is "A day at the races" then the connection starts to make sense. It even can be stretched to the next Queen album, "Jazz", when one considers that Chico Marx had a swinging jazz band for a couple of years.
Of course ............I remember now.
It means the same as "Ummagumma" ~ sex.
I didn't know that. But I think that one best left alone.
 
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Farview

www.farviewrecording.com
Metallica's Metallica album, aka "the black album"

Whitesnake's Whitesnake album, aka "1987"
 

Tadpui

Well-known member
One of my favorite bands, Spoon, released an album titled "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga". That's pretty easily the worst album title in my collection.

And Every Time I See Someone Type An Entire Paragraph With Each Word Capatilized, It Annoys Me To The Point That I Want To Smack Them, And I Also Think To Myself "Wasn't That Fiona Apple's Second Album Title"?

Actually Apple's 2nd album was titled "When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right".

That's a mouthful! Imagine trying to fit that onto the spine of a CD jewel box.
 

Armistice

Son of Yoda
I always loved that one. One of the greatest titles ever. I liked it so much, I used it for a lyric.

I really like the titles "Safe as milk" and "Trout mask replica," the latter of which has one of my favourite 5 album covers. It is glorious.
But like you, I don't care for Beefheart's music, although the name of his band back then was also brilliant, the Magic band. In fact, pretty much everything about Beefheart was A~OK........except the flaming music ! :laughings::ROFLMAO:
One day I'm going to get out my CD copy of Trout Mask Replica and hang it in a fruit tree to scare away the fruit bats... playing it would probably have the same effect, but that would be cruel. 😉
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
playing it would probably have the same effect, but that would be cruel.
We'd forgive you. The bats might not !
"Come On Feel The Illinoise" was pretty cool... good ol' Sufjan.
I wonder how those die hard Slade fans would feel about that. I'd not heard of that title but it's a good one.
The original cover for the white album wasn't all white and had a different title
:ROFLMAO:

Good title though. Family beat them to it and I have to say, the album is even better than the title.
 
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