One of the great things about buying records is you get to make a lot of low-risk purchases that represent weird ideas people had a long time ago. For example, when I saw a classically psychedelic-looking cover with a bunch of pink and yellow flowers inside one another that said 'Happy Daze of Harmony,' I was perfectly happy to exchange 99 cents for it. Things got even better after I got home, pulled the record out of its sleeve, and saw 'LEATHERLUNGS,' with song titles like 'Guitarzan' and 'The Interstate is Coming Thru My Outhouse.' It was a dream come true, if that's the sort of thing you dream about.
As great as the record looks, it doesn't sound very good. It was a live recording of a barbershop quartet festival* in the suburbs of Chicago sometime in the 70s featuring five groups: Elgin Chorus, Saturday's Heroes, Stereo Set, The Valley Four-gers, and OK-4. As bad as I expected 'Guitarzan' to be, it's even worse when there's no guitar involved. Another amazing factoid about this record is that on the sleeve, it says "we have carefully edited 2 1/2 hours of performance to bring you these two sides of music and fun." I thank the 'we' from that sentence for easing my pain, because the stuff they included is still not very good music. I'm almost curious to hear what the Elgin Chorus' deep tracks sound like, but I'll probably forget about it once I stop typing this entry.
The music on this album isn't really my jam, and I may never listen to this record again. But the knowledge that there were still barbershop quartets in the 70s, and there was enough enthusiasm to organize them for an event and make a record is something worth having. Even if it's not worth any more than 99 cents.
*I am not joking around about this.