Tony Thaxton explores the weirder side of music, celebrating and telling the story behind those strange albums that make you wonder how and why they exist. Doing deep dives on albums released by pro athletes, actors, fictional characters, and more. Support this podcast:anchor.fm/bizarrealbums/support
Muhammed Ali is one of the greatest boxers of all time. One of the most famous people of all time. A Boxer, activist, and philanthropist. But did you know that in 1976, he teamed up with his friend Arther Morrison to make a children's album about dental hygiene? This is the story of The Adventures of Ali and His Gang vs. Mr. Tooth Decay, from 1976.
After becoming the breakout star of Welcome Back Kotter, John Travolta caught the attention of Bob Reno at Midland International Records. It didn't hurt that he was already a singer with Broadway experience. This is the story of John Travolta's self-titled album, from 1976.
Actress Barbara Eden stole the show on I Dream of Jeannie. But before she got into acting, she’d always had a love of singing. So after a couple of successful seasons on television, Barbara got to make an album for Dot Records. This is the story of Miss Barbara Eden, from 1967.
In 1970, two comedy writers from the Carol Burnett Show and Get Smart decided to try to capitalize on the popularity of espionage movies and shows. But this one would be different...with a cast made up entirely of chimpanzees. Those chimps also played in a band called The Evolution Revolution. This is the story of Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution.
At the beginning of 1989, The Arsenio Hall Show debuted. It was a hit. At the end of 1989, Arsenio released an album by his overweight, rapper alter ego, Chunky A. This is the story of Chunky A's Large And In Charge, from 1989.
Free bonus episode in honor of Record Store Day 2020. This is an episode of Bizarre Singles from the Patreon feed ( patreon.com/bizarrealbums ) on Ted Cassidy's "The Lurch". Ted Cassidy played Lurch on the Addams Family tv show in the 60's. Just re-pressed for Record Store Day by Jackpot Records. Visit recordstoreday.com to find a copy!
A self-described housewife, Elva Miller would go into the recording studio and record songs simply as a hobby. Then, a series of events lead her to signing a contract with Capitol Records. This is the story of Mrs. Miller's Greatest Hits, from 1966.
Special thanks to Eliza Skinner.
Support the show on Patreon! patreon.com/bizarrealbums
He played in bands in his younger days, but eventually found a career in comedy. Once his comedy career took off, Chevy Chase tried to bring his comedy and music together This is the story of Chevy Chase's self titled album, from 1980.
A mother reads her son’s palm and makes some predictions about his future. One of those predictions was that his daughters would be the biggest girl group in America. Despite no musical experience, or even interest, the girls were told by their father they would be taking music lessons and forming a band. This is the story of The Shaggs’ Philosophy of the World, from 1969.
In 1969, the New York Mets had one of the biggest turnarounds in the history of Major League Baseball. Fans took to calling them the amazing Mets, so they surprised their fans by making an album. This is the story of The Amazing Mets, from 1969.
Thanks to John Ross Bowie!
Follow him on social media, @johnrossbowie.
In 1970, the Harlem Globetrotters got their own Saturday morning cartoon. The show’s music supervisor was the man with the golden ear, Don Kirshner. So, that meant the show had a surprisingly good soundtrack, thanks to uncredited studio musicians. This is the story of The Globetrotters. from 1970.
In the early 1970’s, NASCAR racing had seen a big surge in popularity. Jim Donoho, the son of Nashville racing promoter Bill Donoho wanted to get some of the most popular NASCAR drivers to make a country music album. This is the story of NASCAR Goes Country, from 1975.
Saturday Night Fever was released in late 1977, bringing both John Travolta and disco to the masses. Less than a year later, Cookie Monster, Grover and the rest of the gang from Sesame Street hopped onto the disco bandwagon. This is the story of Sesame Street Fever, from 1978.
Just 3 years after graduating high school, Crispin Glover was cast in one of the biggest movies of all time, Back To The Future in 1985. He followed that with the critically successful River’s Edge. Then, he took a few years off of acting and pursued other creative projects. Writing and illustrating books...and making an album. This is the story of Crispin Hellion Glover’s The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be from 1989.
Special thanks to Matt Gourley and "Weird Al" Yankovic.
Hogan’s Heroes was not exactly your typical sitcom. Debuting on CBS in 1965, it was set in a German POW camp during World War II. And it was a hit. So, in 1966, the supporting cast made an album of popular World War II songs. This is the story of Hogan's Heroes Sing The Best of World War II, from 1966.
He dominated standup comedy. He was a cast member of Saturday Night Live when he was 19. He was a movie star. In Eddie Murphy's own words, his ego said "I can do anything!", so he recorded an album. This is the story of Eddie Murphy's How Could It Be from 1985.
Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan, two of the biggest stars in the history of professional wrestling. They had an on again/off again friendship both in the ring and out. In 2003, when he was more or less retired from wrestling, Macho Man wasn't happy with Hogan and called him out....rapping. This is the story of Be A Man by Macho Man Randy Savage, from 2003.
May 22, 2020 was the 40th anniversary of the release of Pac-Man, the video game that made video games for everybody. Two Ohio musicians living in Georgia, Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, loved Pac-Man so much that they decided to write a song about it. And it got them signed. This is the story of Bucker & Garcia’s Pac-Man Fever, from 1982.
NBC’s Miami Vice was the hottest show on television in the mid 80’s. The show’s breakout star, Don Johnson, told the head of CBS Records he wanted to make an album. So they signed him. This the story of Don Johnson’s Heartbeat, from 1986.
In March of 1965, The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company held it’s Centennial Celebration party in Minneapolis, Attendees that night would receive a copy of the souvenir album, Hamm’s 65- Bursting with Freshness.
This episode was recorded live on February 18, 2020 at Able Seedhouse & Brewery in Minneapolis, MN.
One year after his departure from Van Halen, David Lee Roth released his first solo album, Eat ‘Em and Smile. It was a double platinum success. And then, he re-recorded all of the vocals and released it in Spanish, under a new title. This is the story of Sonrisa Salvaje from 1986.
Special thanks to Brian Keith Diaz for the Spanish intro and Zach Comtois for the guitars.
Morton Downey Jr. was a pioneer of what would come to be called “trash tv”. After his controversial talk show became a massive success, he tried to return to his roots by releasing an album. This is the story of Morton Downey Jr. Sings, from 1989.
In 1974, Lou Reed had a top 10 album with Sally Can’t Dance. His label, RCA Records, pushed him to release another album quickly. What they got was a double album of nothing but noisy feedback and guitar effects. This is the story of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music from 1975.
Robert Stigwood was on fire. He was the manager of the Bee Gees. He produced the films Grease and Saturday Night Fever. Those soundtracks combined sold over 70 million copies for his label, RSO Records. For his next project, Stigwood produced a jukebox musical film made up entirely of Beatles songs. The cast included some of the biggest stars of the seventies…The Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, and even Steve Martin. How could it possibly fail? This is the story of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, from 1978.
She was already an heiress. She was already a model. She was already an author. She had become an actress. So, of course, there would be an album. This is the story of Paris Hilton’s album, Paris, from 2006.
Professional wrestling exploded in the 1980’s. Particularly the World Wrestling Federation. With one album already behind them, Vince McMahon decided it was time for his company to record a follow up. This is the story of Piledriver: The Wrestling Album II from 1987.
Johnny Cash. The country music outlaw. The Man in Black. The man who once sang the lyrics, “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”, released a children’s album in 1975. This is the story of The Johnny Cash Children’s Album from 1975.
A former writer for Gilligan’s Island named Joel Rapp, his wife Lynn Rapp, and a synthesizer pioneer named Mort Garson team up to release an album of music…for plants. This is the story of Mother Earth’s Plantasia from 1976.
Steve Young was a writer for David Letterman for over 20 years. While record shopping for a segment on the show, he stumbled into some mysterious, corporate souvenir records marked "internal use only". Little did he know, they would change his life. This was the subject of the 2018 documentary, Bathtubs Over Broadway. The film's soundtrack made many of these available to the public for the first time ever. This is the story of Bathtubs Over Broadway- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, from 2019.
A free episode of Bizarre Singles from the Patreon.com/bizarrealbums page! This one is about the rap single released by actors Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, "City of Crime" from the soundtrack to their Dragnet movie from 1987.
“The first time I heard that Ed was taking singing lessons I made a citizens arrest on his tonsils for assault with a deadly weapon.
After listening to this album, however, I think I’m liable to be sued for false arrest. Ed can sing. And quite well, too.
I’m certain you’ll find “And Me…I’m Ed McMahon” as delightful and as pleasant a surprise as I have” - Johnny Carson.
This is the story of And Me…I’m Ed McMahon from 1967.
An animated opening movie title sequence spawned one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time, The Pink Panther. In 1981, The Pink Panther released a so-called "punk" record. This is the story of Pink Panther Punk from 1981.
From the first ever live Bizarre Albums show. This time, instead of an album, telling the story of Michael Jackson's ill-fated Ghosts music video from 1997. Recorded live on October 18, 2019 as part of Podcast Party at the Pack Theater in Los Angeles, CA.
Elvis Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker was not a Colonel. In fact, he wasn't even a legal US citizen. Many people believe he was a con man and would do anything to make some money. One of his craziest plans was to release an Elvis Presley album...of just talking. This is the story of Having Fun with Elvis On Stage from 1974.
MTV aired episodes of the old Monkees tv show in 1986, which was also the twentieth anniversary of the band and the tv series. It exploded and Monkeemania had returned. The following year, a tv producer wanted to capitalize on their popularity a reboot of The Monkees...The New Monkees. This is their story.
After opening his own salad bar and gym in Beverly Hills, Richard Simmons started getting national attention when his energetic demeanor was attracting celebrities to work out with him. Once the 80's hit, Richard Simmons was on tv, selling books, and of course, making an album. This is the story of Richard Simmons' Reach, from 1982.
The Three Stooges started out as a vaudeville act back in the 1920's. They starred in 190 short films and in 1959, they branched out into making records. Originally released as The Three Stooges Sing Six Happy Yuletide Songs, the album has been reissued several times, and also with the name, Christmas Time with The Three Stooges. This is their story.
Following the surprise success of his Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk album, Meco Monardo set his sights on making a Star Wars Christmas Album….only two years after the debacle of the Star Wars Holiday Special. This is the story of Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album, from 1980.
Long Island’s Twisted Sister were 1980’s MTV/heavy metal darlings. After reuniting in the early 2000's, they announced they would make one last album....a Christmas album. This is the story of A Twisted Christmas by Twisted Sister, from 2006.
Dinosaurs was a sitcom that was born from an idea that Jim Henson had shortly before his passing in 1990. Eventually his son Brian took over the Jim Henson Company and was able to make the show for ABC in 1991. The show was a hit, so of course, that lead to an album in 1992. This is the story of Dinosaurs - Big Songs.
After his band Them broke up, Van Morrison was courted by Bang Records and Bert Berns to record some solo material. After a promising start, it quickly went downhill, eventually resulting in Morrison recording over thirty nonsense songs that he made up on the spot just to get out of his record deal. The tapes had come to be known under many names, "The Contractual Obligation Session" being one of them. In 2017, the session was officially released on The Authorized Bang Collection. This is the story of how it all came to be.
Record producer Domenico "Meco" Monardo saw Star Wars on it's opening day in May of 1977. He ended up seeing it 11 times in the theaters. He loved John Williams' score and dreamed up a disco version that he thought could be a hit...and he was right. This is the story of Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk by Meco, from 1977.
On the heels of the success of Sam Raimi's 2002 Spider-Man movie, Marvel announced a Spider-Man musical. Bono and The Edge from U2 were tapped to do the music. It seemed like everything was falling into place...then...budget problems, delays, firings, injuries, and even a death eventually lead to the most expensive show in Broadway history. This is the story of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, and it's accompanying album.
It's Halloween! Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street was a hit in 1984. But it was after A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors that it totally crossed into the mainstream. Freddy Krueger merchandise was everywhere. Including this album from 1987 by a group of studio musicians calling themselves The Elm Street Group. Special thanks to Will Hodge for the contact and Eban Schletter for the spooky music.
Happy Halloween! Within a few weeks of it's tv debut in 1964, The Munsters became one of the top ten shows on television. The show premiered in September and before the end of the year, there was already tons of merchandise, including this album.
Star Trek started gaining a cult following after it's television debut in September of 1966. A few months later, Dot Records approached the producers about making some sort of Star Trek album. The result: Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space, from 1967.
In 1966, rock bands started to get much more ambitious in the recording studio. On television, Batman had premiered in January and was a huge success. So, Jan and Dean made a rock and comedy concept album about Batman...well, at least that was the plan.
Academy Award winning actor Joe Pesci seemed to always have a connection to music, whether that was playing guitar in bands or helping with the formation of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. In 1998, Pesci released an album of his own, as his character from the hit comedy, My Cousin Vinny....Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just For You.
In 1998, after nearly fifty years of producing records, Sir George Martin decided to make one final album. A record for himself, as he put it. He asked some of his friends and heroes to come and perform Beatles songs for it. Recording artists such as Phil Collins and Bobby McFerrin took part...but so did comedians and actors such as Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Goldie Hawn, and Sean Connery. This is the story of Sir George Martin's final album.
Laverne and Shirley was a wildly popular American sitcom in the 70's and 80's. Michael McKean and David Lander played the roles of Laverne and Shirley's upstairs neighbors, Lenny and Squiggy. Occasionally they appeared in episodes playing music as Lenny and The Squigtones. In 1979, Lenny and The Squigtones released an album on Casablanca Records.