By Tom Hamling
Mark Batty Publisher, Paperback, 9781935613251, 128pp.
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Celebrity Vinyl is a laugh-riot reminder of what happens when famous people decide to (unsuccessfully) give singing a try. The number of celebrities, and pseudo-celebrities, that have indulged such hubris boggles the mind: Burt Reynolds, Shaquille O’Neal, John Travolta, Eddie Murphy, Leonard Nimoy, Alyssa Milano – the list goes on and on, as do the laughs. Over 100 photographs of the album art that houses these celebrity recordings are paired with gut-punch funny captions.
The collection started when the advertising agency that author Tom Hamling worked in elected to transfer its audio library to CDs. Since then, he has spent close to a decade acquiring celebrity vinyl, rooting through record store bins and traveling to far-flung flea markets. Hamling says of his ongoing quest to collect these curiously compelling objects, “Sometimes I feel like Dr. Richard Kimble in search of the one-armed man. Except my one-armed man is the inaudible shriek of Jennifer Love Hewitt.”
Celebrity Vinyl is a pop-culture microscope that reveals the nuances and blemishes of vinyl and celebrity cultures from a bygone era. Every example is accompanied by riotously hilarious captions that dissect the album’s artwork and graphic design, as well as the celebrity in question.