Sam Sacks’ “Sing It Again, Sam!” is an Album I Want to Be Buried With

There are vocalists in this world who have the ability to create audiophonic magic.  You know of these artists.  The ones with the five-octave vocal range.  The ones who can hit that high note and sustain it for what seems like an eternity.  The ones whose raw power and emotion can bring you to applause and tears and cheers.

Well, let me introduce you to Sam Sacks.  He can also bring you to tears and cheers.

Tears for hearing him, and cheers for knowing when he’s finished.

What, you’ve never heard of Sam Sacks?  This guy couldn’t carry a tune in a shopping cart.  If he sang the Star Spangled Banner, I would assume it was written by Francis Scott Off-Key. (Yeah, I know it’s an old ESPN Charley Steiner joke, but it’s still a funny old ESPN Charley Steiner joke).

Even today, I’m still not sure if this LP was a carefully orchestrated put-on or a sincere – albeit misguided – effort to humiliate a guy into thinking that he could record an album and sell millions of copies.

There’s a review and dissertation on the WFMU website about Sam Sacks’ LP, but suffice it to say that Sam Sacks went into the studio to record about a dozen different songs.  The producer turned on the tape recorder, Sam Sacks introduced each song, and then started singing.  Well, that’s what he he called it.  Then, eventually, he would sing faster and faster, and the musicians would have trouble keeping up with him.

For example…

Here’s Sam Sacks’ take on the Paul Anka hit “Diana.”  If you click on this YouTube clip… do NOT say that I did NOT warn you…

That performance surely slices like a hammer, doesn’t it?

Sam Sacks recorded an entire album of standards, introducing each song – belting out each performance without any concept of tempo or pitch.  The three-piece orchestra try to keep up with him, they try to follow him, they try to anticipate his next step…

And if you think Sam Sacks’ singing is sour, just remember that there are plenty of artists who found success in a “so bad, they’re good” musical genre – anybody remember William Hung?

If I was to take anything significant from the Sam Sacks LP, I would say that if this album was a put-on, it’s hilarious.  If it was actually true to its concept, then again Sam Sacks is totally hilarious, almost like listening to your uncle Morty trying to recreate what he heard on the radio the other night.

Here’s the album in its entirety. How many songs can you hear before you look for a pair of knitting needles to shove in your ears? Ha ha ha ha ha…

Man, I wish Sam Sacks was still around today. I’d love to hear his take on songs like “Happy” or “Get Lucky” or “Royals.”

Then again, maybe that might not be such a good idea.

But it definitely goes in the coffin with the rest of the afterlife vinyl. I need a good laugh in the next world.