10 Horribly Misspelled Album Titles (and why we like 'em!)
By Adam K. Raymond
Misspelling album titles is one of the grandest traditions in music. From The Zombies' Odessey and Oracle released in 1968 to Ghostface Killah's The Big Doe Rehab released in 2007, misspelling titles, intentionally or not, transcends time and genre. Here are 10 of our favorites and the stories behind them.
1. Rejoyce: The Christmas Album - Jessica Simpson (2004)
Before blaming Jessica Simpson's third-grade reading level for the misspelling of her Christmas album Rejoyce, realize that it's all an act. The spelling of Rejoyce is in fact intentional—anÂ homage to Simpson's late grandmother Joyce Adams Simpson. Jess and Joyce were very close before her passing and the entire album was dedicated to the matriarch of the Simpson clan, who, though certainly a sweet woman, let forth a torrent of suck unlike anyone since Mrs. Olive Osmond.
2. White Limozeen - Dolly Parton (1989)
Believe it or not, the word limousine in White Limozeen is spelled that way because neither Dolly nor songwriter Mac Davis could spell the word correctly. To be fair though, neither could we. Thank you spell check!
3. Odessey and Oracle - The Zombies (1968)
The famously misspelled title of the classic Zombies album is the least intentional on the list. The band wanted to call the album "Odyssey and Oracle" but cover artist Terry Quirk thwarted that. Quirk accidently spelled the title wrong and the band, too nice to tell him about his mistake, decided to run with the misspelling. But like a good rock band should, they made up a story about the title, claiming that the misspelling was meant to be a play on ode, thus odessey.
4. Amerikkka's Most Wanted - Ice Cube (1990)
On Ice Cube's debut solo album, the rapper turned awful, awful actor makes a blunt social and political statement by replacing the "c" in America with three Ks. The 20-year-old Cube was angry when the album was released—angry at the police, angry at America, and angry at John Walsh. According to some, or maybe just Wikipedia, the album is also a critique of Fox's criminal-catching hour America's Most Wanted, which Cube opposed because he said it perpetuated stereotypes of blacks in its criminally bad reenactments.
5. Punk in Drublic - NOFX (1994)
Punk in Drublic isn't the only spoonerism in musical history (the Aerosmith's Night in the Ruts and Wheatus' Suck Fony stand out), but it might be the most famous. Released at the height of pop punk's ascension into the mainstream—both Offspring's Smash and Green Day's Dookie were released in 1994—Punk in Drublic was certified gold and is still NOFX's highest charting album. Not that they care about selling records or anything. The title continues the band's tradition of advocating the use of reality-altering substances, especially in drublic.
6. Youthanasia - Megadeth (2004)
Dave Mustaine and Megadeth, not generally known as international child advocates, used the title of their sixth album to make the point that kids worldwide are being exploited. But you knew that. What you might not have known: the album was banned in Singapore and Malaysia because of the "offensive" art work. Ever the rebel, Mustaine refused to cave in to demands to censor it, saying, "Keeping our records off the shelves does not make the problem of our children being hung out to dry disappear."
7. The Big Doe Rehab - Ghostface Killah (2007)
If The Big Doe Rehab had you thinking that Ghostface was making a transition from hardcore New York City rapper to proprietor of a deer rehabilitation facility, you're just a hair off. When Ghostface usesÂ "doe" in his album title he means "dough," slang for money. In an interview with MTV.com Ghostface explained the meaning of the title: he had a dream in which he was in rehab with a bunch of rich people. When he awoke the title hit him.
8. Get up Offa That Thing - James Brown (1976)
For those who need a translation from James Brown's superbad version of English, "offa" means "off of." As in, "get up off of that thing." As in, get up off your ass and dance. As in get up off of your ass and dance while wearing a sequin cape.
9. piouhgd - Butthole Surfers (1991)
Leave it to a record label to ruin the absurdist statement of artists. When Rough Trade released piouhgd in 1991, it included a false press release explaining that the title should be pronounced "pee-owed" and that it meant "I told you" in Navajo. Not true. Turns out the Butthole Surfers wanted the title to be unpronounceable, in the same way their music is supposed to be unlistenable. Kidding.
10. Sheik Yerbouti - Frank Zappa (1979)
Do you see how Zappa made a play on KC and the Sunshine Band's "Shake Your Booty" by turning it into the name of a respected Arab gentlemen? Pretty good. Sheik Yerbouti is part of Zappa's self-proclaimedÂ "dumb entertainment"—goofier commercial albums made to finance his artier endeavors. The album included Zappa's Grammy-nominated "Dancin' Fool" and the controversial song "Jewish Princess."