8/10/14

Popeye's Songs About...Health Safety Friendship Manners (Golden, 1961)

I'm just going to go ahead and apologize for this right now.  I love Popeye.  If I saw this on a blog, I'd be downloading it.  In fact, I have several other Popeye albums, and stories, that I've gotten from other places.  When I saw this at my local thrift store, I snatched it up.  Add to that the fact that the originals, Jack Mercer and Mae Questel, are present, and it makes it all the more desirable.
There's just one problem:  it's awful.  I mean really, eye-gougingly awful.  I hate to just throw superlatives out there with no explanation, so I'll do my best.
First off, for the most part, it matters not that it's a Popeye album.  It could be Captain Kangaroo, Donny and Marie, or Baby Snooks singing horrible, musically identical songs about washing your hands and not playing with matches.
Secondly, Mercer and Questel were icons, and defined the characters they represented, but they can't sing seriously in character....think about it.  In the cartoons, there may be a line or a brief tune here and there, and Popeye always could handle his theme song, of course, but this is different.  The songs are not only rotten, but they are obviously having trouble at several points...and Olive Oyl's shrill warbling is downright painful.  
Also, it's kind of lame that Wimpy and Swee'pea are present, but have to be voiced by Mercer and Questel also (even though I believe that was exactly the case in the KFS cartoons, which were done during the time of this LP, but I still don't like it.)  There are points where you can't tell if it's Olive or Swee'pea that's singing, or even if it matters why.  Even the title of the record is a grammatical mess.
You would think there would be more moments that were funny if taken out of context, but I only found one.  There is literally a line where Popeye says "I try to always be a good influence...now just let me light my pipe," that cracked me up for a moment, before the pain of the next song began.

You've been warned: LINK.


3 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Speaking of Golden Records, I found a 45 of several Tom Terrific and Heckle & Jeckle songs at a flea market for a buck!

Sampoerna Quatrain said...

Sweet! HELL MIX, volume two?

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Who knows. I still don't have a proper way to record it otherwise though I did get someone interesting in buying it off me as well (the creator).