Wednesday, July 10, 2013
"Bulletin Board" by The Partridge Family (1973)
My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Don't bother. Seriously, just don't bother.
There was not a single interesting moment musically on this record, so this time around I'm going to talk exclusively about the LP jacket. Why not?
First, there is a shameless promotional plug right smack on the front that reads "Memo: Our New TV Time! 8 PM SATURDAYS (7 PM Central Time)." Mind you, this is not a sticker or something attached later; it's actually part of the photograph taken for the cover. I can't think of a more obvious way of announcing "hey everybody! This product is completely disposable and will be of no use in six months!" At least they were honest about it...
Except that they weren't. The cover collage also includes a photo of the actors from The Partridge Family TV show, even though none of them play a single instrument on this LP. If you look closely, it does clarify "Starring Shirley Jones * Featuring David Cassidy," so they're at least acknowledging that neither that dreamy Susan Dey nor that dreamier Danny Bonaducci appear anywhere other than in that goofy family portrait. But that statement is also a big ol' load of crap. The starring/featuring bill was true for the show, but when they bring it over the the LP it's just not accurate. David Cassidy is featured alright, he sings the lead vocal on EVERY SINGLE SONG. And there are only three moments on the the entire thing when you can even tell that the backup singer is actually "star" Shirley Jones.
But I suppose my expectations are too high for a creative project that sounds like it was titled at the last minute by a frantic record exec, rattling off the first office supply he saw hanging on the wall. Ah, if only that were true... However, the back of the jacket shows that it was actually a creative decision strung over several years. The other PF LPs are listed there with titles like (I am NOT making this up): "Crossword Puzzle," "Notebook" and "Shopping Bag." I haven't looked into what records they released after this, but I think I can make a pretty acurate guess. Next, they entered their experimental phase with "Water Cooler." After that came the poorly received double LP "Pencil Sharpener / Tape Dispenser." Then they rebounded with their magnum opus "Stapler!" Personally, I think "Trash Can" would have been a much more appropriate title.
On a positive note, the cover art is a realistic portrayal of a bulletin board, so points for that!
So, is it an album? No. I just told you, it's a bulletin board.
Up next, we get some sexy R&B talk-singing with "All Things in Time" by Lou Rawls.