Fright from the bins: The Osmonds, The Plan, 1973 

Plunk down two round nickels at your local Value World for some serious Mormonic fun

With people struggling to understand Mormonism now more than ever, I can think of no cheaper entry into the world of Joseph Smith than plunking down two round nickels at your local Value World for a copy of The Osmonds' concept album about their faith — a career move which frightened fans off faster than brother Jay Osmond snorting like Rob Zombie on Crazy Horses did. The seriouso ballads, the prog-rock intros, the depressing inner-sleeve pencil drawings of a devout life ruled by a big hand in the sky — none of this looks like any Mormonic fun, especially when you consider how the Osmonds introduced us to multiple wives hi-jinx with their misunderstood sophomore hit "Double Lovin''! Well, maybe not their intention but here's the real plan not outlined by this somber album's lyric sheet you might want to consider.

The Osmond musical dynasty began with the birth of Alan Osmond in 1949, and soon every two years after, with one year off for goodly behavior, another Osmond would spring forth from Mama Olive Osmond's indefatigable and overworked womb. Wayne followed in 1951, then Merrill in 1953, Jay in 1955. Donny in 1957, Marie in 1959 and disrupting the orderly assembly line, Jimmy came along in ... 1963!? Do the math. Jimmy is what's known in Osmond lore as an accident (aka "God is testing us"). We should note that there were two other older, non-performing Osmonds, George Virl born 1945, and Tom born 1947 and both were deaf but still utilized for their smiling and waving abilities on Osmond Christmas specials. —Serene Dominic

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