Posts Tagged ‘Firesign Theatre’

No. 50 Fifty Years Ago (Album Version)

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

We’re going to play the album version of our game of Symmetry, checking out the No. 50 album from a fifty-year old chart. But first, here’s what the Top Ten looked like in the Billboard 200 during the week of October 30, 1971, fifty years ago:

Imagine by John Lennon
Every Picture Tells A Story by Rod Stewart
Shaft soundtrack by Isaac Hayes
Santana III
by Carole King
Teaser & The Firecat by Cat Stevens
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
by the Moody Blues
Ram by Paul & Linda McCartney
Who’s Next by the Who

I don’t think I’ve ever written about Imagine, so . . .

I liked some things I heard from the album back then – the title track, “Jealous Guy,” “Oh, My Love,” “Give Me Some Truth” – enough that when the album showed up about a year later in the used bins I checked occasionally at a downtown St. Cloud store, I took it home.

I thought that “How Do You Sleep?” – Lennon’s takedown of Paul McCartney – was tacky. (I didn’t know at the time that “Too Many People” – the first track on the McCartneys’ Ram – was a shot at Lennon. Even so, as I compare the two songs, McCartney’s was a needle and Lennon’s was a hammer.) And the rest of the stuff I hadn’t heard was just okay.

I listened to it occasionally, but not as frequently as I did Ram or many other albums. And somewhere along the line I quit putting Imagine on the turntable entirely. I have only two tracks from the album on the digital shelves – the title tune and “Jealous Guy” – and I doubt I’ve listened to the entire album since the mid-Nineties, if that recently. It’s not an album that matters much to me.

Beyond Imagine, the rest of that Top Ten would be very good listening. (There are portions of Shaft that some might find tedious, but I’m a soundtrack guy.) I know Tapestry, Ram, and the Moody Blues’ album best (and probably like them the most), but all of those ten except Santana III were on the LP shelves at one time or another, and all except Imagine are either on the CD shelves or here in digital form. And that’s not at all surprising.

But what do we find when we head down the chart to No. 50?  We find a comedy album that I’ve never heard: We’re All Bozos On This Bus by the Firesign Theatre. I knew of the record, but comedy records have never been my deal. If someone played one at a party, fine, but beyond a Bill Cosby album – Why Is There Air? – that I got as a birthday present in 1965 or so, I’ve never owned a comedy album. No Cheech & Chong, no Richard Pryor, no National Lampoon, none.

I suppose I should listen to We’re All Bozos On This Bus but I probably won’t. And since I really know nothing about it, I really can’t assess it in any way. Here it is: