“Songs About Drinking” Compilation (1995)

I’ve often wondered how bands come up with their album names. Sometimes it’s simple, and the record is named after the band itself. Led Zeppelin did this at least three times, and maybe a fourth depending on where you stand on the name of the one with the old man and the sticks. Sometimes it takes its name from a song on the record, an approach AC/DC adopted with most of their output, with the notable exception of Powerage. Other times there’s some kind of thematic element the artist is attempting to capture with their music, like Bolt Thrower’s Realm Of Chaos (with it’s Warhammer 40K tie-in) or any album with a title that starts with Songs About (though I’m not convinced that Big Black’s Songs About Fucking is actually about fucking).

Songs About Drinking is that last type of record.

The double album is comprised of 38 songs that are about, well, drinking. With titles like “I’ll Drink To That”, “Liquor Store”, “Beer Song”, “Beer & A Cigarette”, “Busch Pilot”, “Drunk Again”, and my personal favorite “Searching Through the Couch for Change for Beer”, there is no subtlety here. At all. Not even the tiniest bit. No irony either. The label, Too Many Records, is based on the other side of my home state in Spokane, Washington, and while I originally assumed there was some kind of regionality to the band selection, it turns out that’s not the case - these artists come from all over the country. Stylistically there’s a generally punk-ness here, though each band has its own flavor - ska, country, rock… a bit of something for everyone. There are also all kinds of random bits between songs - samples taken from films, kids records, beer commercials, and those scions of beer drinking Bob & Doug McKenzie.

The vinyl version of Songs About Drinking is a 2XLP in a numbered limited edition of 1,200. I believe all the copies are inserted into random jackets from other albums. Mine is actually double packaged, the records inside the jacket for something called Music In Depth f:35d (which is not about drinking but does include a song by Quincy Jones called “Hot Sake (Japan)”), and that in turn is inside some kind of woven outer sleeve. And that in turn is in a plastic sleeve, onto which is taped the tag with the numbering. It comes with a booklet, probably 40 pages or so with what appears to be one page devoted to each band, most of which include lyrics and/or info on how to order music directly from them, which is pretty cool.