Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

The Vintage Album Madness Of “Music To BLANK By”

Share this:

music to blank by (27)

Unless you happen to be a record collector or old enough to remember the 1960s, you might not be aware of a strange phenomenon which happened in the LP world back then – the “Music To ______ By” phenomenon.  For whatever reason, a seemingly endless array of records with titles fitting the “Music To _____ By” template were released unto the world.  Some were fairly benign and nondescript (such as the “Music To Party By”  pictured above), but some were downright bizarre.

music to blank by (13)

Music to sell light bulbs by?  Really?  Yes, a lot of industries used records as promotional material.  The “Music To ____ By” format fit this template perfectly.  Thus, you ended up with a lot of odd records which should never have existed, truth be told.

music to blank by (34)

I mean, “Music To Sell Dog Food By” is a bit much, wouldn’t you say?

Still, I suppose a record could be a nice promo for your product.  The real amazement of the “The Music To _____ By” trend isn’t just in the oddities, but in the sheer volume….

music to blank by (39)

We could give you a hundred different examples and only scratch the surface.  Simply choose a random word or two to fill in the “Music To ____ By” template and that record probably existed at some point.

music to blank by (37)

Music To Drink Bubble Up By

music to blank by (30)

Music to Listen to Red Norvo By

music to blank by (38)

“Music To Watch Girls By” is probably the most popular of the many varied “Music To _____ By” offerings.  It started as a Diet Pepsi jingle, then a Bob Crewe instrumental hit, then an Andy Williams vocal hit, and ultimately found its way on to nearly every EZ Listening record imaginable – including a variation by Leonard Nimoy called “Music To Watch Space Girls By”.

music to blank by (26)

We could do an entire article just on the “Music To Watch Girls By” albums, but I’m not sure the internet has that much room.

music to blank by (21)

Music To Love By

music to blank by (25)

Who is this ghostly apparition she’s writing letters to?  It looks it could be her creepy uncle.


music to blank by (22)

The “Music To Stop Smoking By” LP featuring the time honored favorite “Stop Smoking Or Else Blues”.

music to blank by (6)

I like the Music To Relax By cover because it does that mind bending trick of featuring the album cover within a cover

The Music To Bathe By LP is actually a promotional record for Ondine Foam Baths from 1975… which is really odd because it features three topless girls on the cover (lovingly censored by yours truly).


music to blank by (1)

The “Music To Strip By” titles were surprisingly common for a time regarded as so conservative.

music to blank by (10)

music to blank by (2)

A promotional record in disguise.  As the notes at the bottom indicate, this album touts the General Electric Sleep Guard Blankets.


music to blank by (3)

A record to listen to records by?  This makes no sense… further complicated by the question mark after “Edie Adams Sings”.  I think all that gold lamé has affected Adams’ cognitive abilities.


music to blank by (17)

Thankfully, the liner notes on this LP provide some clarification: “This album was recorded in order to help you learn to play the background fills behind a vocalist.”

music to blank by (16)

Music To Moog By – actually a damn fine album.  For more on the interesting Kingsley and his famous song check out: The Pop Heard Round the World: Kingsley’s “Popcorn” and Its Many Versions


music to blank by (35)

Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By

One of the stranger examples.  It gets even stranger when you flip it over…

music to blank by (36)

“Lovage is an herb that is said to be a benefit to relieving abdominal pains due to gastrointestinal gas.  It’s also been touted to reduce flatulence…”
What the ___?

music to blank by (5)

“Music To Park By” and “Music To Move By”.  Thankfully, we have a soundtrack to the two driving options… and a related one below….

music to read road maps by

The text is small, but if you look close you’ll see the title for this LP is Music To Read Road Maps By.   Dear God, there truly is no end to the “Music To _____ By” insanity!

music to blank by (28)

Music To Weld By actually features songs by Judas Priest and Ozzy.  Presumably, this is a play on their “metal-ness”.


music to blank by (20)

After a hard day – Music To Relax By

music to blank by (4)

Music To Sell More Spark Plugs By may be favorite of them all – it’s such an oddly specific niche, it’s incomprehensible that this could actually exist.

music to blank by (33)

Planning on reading the year-end issue of LIFE magazine?  Make sure you have the perfectly customized background music on the turntable.

music to blank by (31)

The Trim Twist is actually a weight loss gimmick posing as a happening new dance move.

Dan The Automator 1989

This from the late 1980s.  By now, the “Music To _____ By” trend had long since passed, and is officially in the parody/mockery stage.

music to blank by (15)

There’s obviously a backstory here I can’t quite put my finger on.  Is mother disapproving of her daughter?  Or is there something much more diabolical at play?

music to blank by (24)

Another living room scene not quite so dark and foreboding… or is it?  I’m not sure I trust this dad one bit.

Well, I think I’ve had about all the “Music To ____ By” records I can take at one sitting.   Alfred sums it all up perfectly.

music to blank by (19)

  • I believe Leroy Holmes released an LP called Music to Read James Bond By. It is actually covers of the John Barry movie scores.

    • Yes, I have that James Bond LP, but it has an infinitely annoying sticker obscuring the cover, so I didn’t include it.
      One day that Sears shoes CD will be up on a site like Flashbak as a nostalgic novelty… mark my words.

  • Freakanatcha

    Having grown up in the advertising business, I’m confident that the creators of each of the promotional albums believed they were the first ones to dream up “Music to ____ By.” I’m sure there were backslaps all around.

    • Whilst “Music to Backslap By” played in the background….

  • timdub70

    Sing along with Mitch while you sell your Champion Spark Plugs..

  • I thought I posted Music to Massage Your Mate By, but the comment seems to be gone. I know Yeoman would love it.

  • Mack Bonham

    I could swear that’s Morgan Fairchild on the cover of “Music to Relax By”

  • vmacek

    This was clearly a big thing then, big enough that you didn’t have room for elderly, froggy-voiced chanteuse Leona Anderson and her “Music to Suffer By”, a personal favorite.

  • Archie Dux

    Music to Moog By: Those flowers are NIPPLES. Nipples, people!