Soupy Sales

A Bag of Soup

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Acknowledging the existence of this particular record might be something that the Motown historians may rather not have to do. Surely, it would make the Motown legend just a bit more tidy to not have to admit that, in one misguided moment, the label released a Soupy Sales album. Not that Soupy Sales doesn't have soul, he just comes from an entirely different universe, and this is meant not only to describe his sense of humour but the milieu of a children's television show as opposed to a recording project. Sales tends to be every bit as unfunny on record as he is hilarious on television, and the songwriting credits provide as much explanation as necessary. When working on projects such as this, Sales seems to have left the creativity up to others, in this case, producer Ron Miller, who has a hand in many of the songs, as well as many other production decisions, perhaps even the concept of making the liner notes almost completely illegible. Miller goes for a sort of fluffy musical satire here, using the Sales persona in a kind of lighthearted manner, much the way Robin Williams allowed his own surrealistic comedy personality to be used in various films. In other words, much of this is nauseating. Left to his own devices, Sales could no doubt make a meat patty out of the song "This Guy's in Love With You"; here, it seems like he is trying to imitate Herb Alpert on LSD. When things do go over the top, such as "Muck-Arty-Park," the jokes are a little too easy and the target way too obvious. "MacArthur Park" is a more funny satire of itself than this piece, which seems like something Mad magazine might reject. One of Miller's song titles might be seen as a probing question about Sales himself: "Tell Me What He's Got (That I Ain't Got)." Talent, Ron, and it's too bad he didn't get a chance to use it on this album.

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