This coming weekend, I’ll participate in The World’s Largest Trivia ContestTM. As per tradition, this week is filled with idle reminiscing about memorable answers in past years. This time around, I’m going to focus on one of the recurring question topics that’s become a passion for certain members of my team: album art.
I noted yesterday that questions about album art in the WWSP-90FM’s Trivia have shifted in recent years to asking teams to provide a title on the basis of a description of the unique imagery on the sleeve. Another variant has arisen the past couple contests. The question seeks some trivial detail from the album art, but the name still isn’t provided. Instead, teams are given one of those oblique roundabout descriptions of the cover, and identifying the release in question is only the first step. Once the album is identified, the addition piece of trivia must be spied on its surface. This is tougher than it sounds, because though the artwork of essentially every album that saw major release is widely available online, the scans may be subpar, or the digital images not large enough to discern a detail easily readable on a full-size record jacket.
At one point last year, the description of an album cover was provided. The album cover features a Lincoln automobile being driven on a mountain road. The driver appears to be none other than George Washington. A bolt of lighting strikes downward toward the car. A couple people on my team quickly realized the album art belonged to the Little Feat release Feats Don’t Fail Me Now, but we couldn’t find an online rendering of the album cover large enough and sufficiently sharp in detail to reveal the answer to actual question: What words are on the license plate of the Lincoln?
Teams participating in The World’s Largest Trivia ContestTM draw readily on the voluminous masses of information on the Web and whatever additional reference books they accumulate, but the real difference comes from those resources that are self-created. We couldn’t find the answer online, but one of my teammates who is most dedicated to our album cover mission had, while flipping through his own record collection, long ago taken it upon himself to write down the words on the license plate. We called in the answer: “Hoy Hoy.” And another robust batch of points were added to our tally. The mixture of pride and relief we felt in the moment didn’t officially register in our tally, but it was perhaps just as highly valued to us.
More info about 90FM’s Trivia can be found at its official website or at the radio station’s online home. There’s also a feature documentary about the contest, but it’s fairly hard to come by these days. To see how my team is faring over the weekend, Twitter is probably the best bet.