Friday, February 19, 2010


It's not my intent to make this into a parade of terrible records, but on the other hand, I've come into contact with such a glut of them lately, among which have been records so spectacularly bad that I can't hold back!

And it's not hyperbole to say that today's feature may well be the worst song poem record I've ever heard. At this moment, I can't think of one which is more misbegotten in lyrical construct, musical arrangement or vocal performance.

It's called "I Went A-Runnin'", by the Real Pros (on, of course, the Cinema label). This is a unique Cinema record within my collection, with a different style label than I've ever seen, and the lowest number in sequence (lower than anything listed at ASPMA).

This is clearly a one man band ("The Real Pro"?), and perhaps the same performer heard on the classic "Deep Freeze Mama" from the same era. But oh what a difference a lyricist and arrangement makes.

A repetitive keyboard figure leads to an equally repetitive melody, and some truly mindnumbing lyrics, performed by someone who appears to have no interest in either the song or his own performance of it. Have a listen for yourself:

The flip side, "Our Flag", if anything, features an even less competent performance. Some may actually consider this to be the worst of the two songs, and I think that argument can be made, but "Runnin'" gets my nod. The sound quality here is also marred by a fairly beaten up 45 (which I've tried to make listenable), meaning that someone either actually played this one a lot, or deliberately scratched the hell out of it.


Stu Shea said...

While "Our Flag" is truly miserable, "I Went a'Runnin" is not only awful, but thoroughly, criminally misbegotten. Fascinating; thanks for posting!!

Joyce W said...

This is like the perfect storm of horridness. The quavery, can't quite hit the notes vocal, the ponderous lyrics on both songs and the organ playing not even worthy of a roller rink add up to probably the worst one-two punch I can imagine.

What a find!

thisispop said...

I am so jealous! This is brilliant! If you ever decide to sell your copy let you must me know.