The Mystery Meat “Profiles”


The Mystery Meat record was privately pressed by five Illinois college students in 1968. Only around 25 copies, each now fetching upwards of $6K, were made. The extreme rarity, combined with the provocative cover art and the visceral sounds underneath it all have made Profiles a garage LP of legends.

Legendary lost albums are not loved for their rarity alone. The Mystery Meat has a primitive sound as any dirty garage recording and then some, but the quality of the songs shine through as early as your first listen and maintain Profiles’ unique longevity.  Soft spoken, innocent vocals and sensitive lyrics contrast frightening drums recorded, it would seem, under a blanket. The muffled rhythm section is really distinct, recorded in the cavernous basement of a school building at Blackburn College, rounded on the high end with fierce Farfisa organ and trebly electric rhythm guitar.

It’s not all about loud scary beat rock, but good, strong songwriting, courtesy of Wayne Joplin, and a tender angle. “Both Have To Pay” and “You Won’t Believe It” stick out for their melancholy sound; the melodies alone seem to convey a love lost. Lead singer Dick Leighninger clearly knew how to put emotion into his vocal, and I can just picture the girl in his mind during these makeshift sessions.  “Don’t Take Me” is an exceptionally bizarre ode to death, “Sunshine Makes It” a swirling and slightly experimental piece. The rest make up an album of tunes so great any listener should be surprised. All originals.

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“Give Me Your Love”

:D CD Reissue | 2005 | Shadoks | buy from amazon ]

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  • ib

    I have not heard this album previously, nor had I even heard of Mystery Meat before reading this post. Great sounds on both these tracks. $6K per pop! Astounding. I just looked them up on the web, and I see the album was apparently pressed and distributed throughout Europe without Mystery Meat’s knowledge. Rally interesting post, Brendan.

    Any truth in the suggestion that Wayne Joplin was related to Janis, d’you think ?

  • Priscilla

    Thanks for exposing me to The Mystery Meat!
    Neat Stuff…

  • Dick Leighninger

    Brended: I was the vocalist on “Profiles”, and can assure you that the repress and distribution through Shadok Records (Germany) was legit. We sold them the rights to preproduce the record and we were financially compensated.

  • Brendan

    Thanks for letting us know, Dick. It’s important to know what you’re getting into with reissues as there are companies like Fallout out there blatantly stealing and selling others’ music. Great job on the vocals by the way, love the record!

  • Steve

    Dick Leighninger,
    Hello. Just wondering if the german copies had Shadok on the labels, as the copy I just found does not. Also the liner notes on the back cover were sideways not vertical and printed in blue. Label reads Director Records . Custom Label. THE MYSTERY MEAT & PROFILES. HIGH FIDELITY. Side 1 – Stereo. DR – 7303. W4RS – 3706. 33 1/3 LONG PLAY. Manufactured by RCA Victor Custom Record Department. Dead wax #W4RS – 3706 – 1, side 1. Dead wax #W4RS – 3707- 1. side 2.

  • Mallory

    Hey, great article! Wayne Joplin is actually my grandpa. They were Blackburn College students (in Carlinville Il) not Illinois College!

  • Amanda Poe

    The drummer of the band is my Biology teacher and he told us about his old band and I had to check it out! Pretty Awesome!

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