Space...the Vinyl Frontier: Science Fiction Soundtrack Records

Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space Vinyl
Today's post pays homage to several beloved Science Fiction soundtracks on vinyl. The continued fascination with all things 'outer limits' has spread to nearly any tangible item you can think of. It pleases this writer to no end that a wondrous collection of Sci Fi titles are available on sweet sounding vinyl records....

Lift off begins with a sonic blast and the formidable Leonard Nimoy 'presenting' Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space. A rarity to be sure, and filled with delightfully cheesy 1960's flavored electronic sounds, including Spock's unfaltering logic in the form of spoken word and bad poetry. An essential part of any Sci-Fi or Star Trek lover's collection. But do play it, won't you?


Star Wars Original Soundtrack Vinyl
Undoubtedly, the most popular Sci Fi soundtrack of this time or any other can only be the magnificent Star Wars by John Williams score. Perhaps the most recognized music (at least around any Sci Fi Convention) there is no denying it's an amazing piece of our musical history.

With a slick gatefold cover and requisite Darth Vader portrait on the back, look for this double album to come with a thin booklet of still shots from the film, or a film sheet with factoids about the process (with none of Lucas' ego). But then you already knew that didn't you? This one obviously goes fast, so grab it while you can.

The Empire Strikes Back Soundtrack Vinyl

It goes without saying that The Empire Strikes Back is the next installment in the ORIGINAL trilogy (which are the only Star Wars films you'll see on THIS blog! Humph.) This time with Darth on the front cover, daring you to open the gatefold and listen. This particular theme is another instantly recognizable piece of musical history, with few matching its commanding presence. John Williams never fails to bring us the goods, because really, can you imagine any of these films with different music?? Quelle horreur!


Return of the Jedi Soundtrack Vinyl

And finally, this trilogy of albums wouldn't be complete without The Return of the Jedi Soundtrack. Surprisingly, this one tends to be the rarest of them all, commanding top collector's prices. Perhaps it's because of the little photo pamphlet which is included, featuring (you guessed it) a famous shot of Jabba and Princess Leia--the latter adorned in her infamous slave bikini. It would be fascinating to learn just how many of these 1983 copies still retain their pamphlets, and in what condition...ah well, the mystery lives on! (oh, and in case you're wondering, YES, the copy available in my Etsy Shop does indeed have it's precious pamphlet included, and in excellent condition I might add!)


There's Something Going On Out There Vinyl
Now that we've gotten the big guns out of the way, we can move on to some lesser known gems well worthy of this intergalactic trip. There's Something Going On Out There is a compilation of themes from some of the genres biggest films; Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Flash Gordon, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Additionally, there are a few Horror themes in here from such notable films like Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, The Bride of Frankenstein and Psycho. A tasty little collection to have all on one vinyl record.


Starman Soundtrack Vinyl

Here's a great title that you don't see very often; the Starman Soundtrack. John Carpenter fans rejoice, this is a piece of memorabilia you may have missed. Sadly, there are no tracks composed by John on this soundtrack, he handed the reins over to Jack Nitzsche, an accomplished composer in his own right. Albeit a bit repetitive, the music certainly creates a mood consistent throughout the entire album. Classic cover art completes the package, suitable for framing or display rack. You'll be all the envy of your fellow Sci Fi nerds with this one, so just smile when they ask, "where'd you get that??!"



Twilight Zone - The Movie Soundtrack Vinyl
Of course any Sci Fi collection wouldn't be complete without at least one album from a Twilight Zone, in one form or another. This is the soundtrack to Twilight Zone - The Movie by the master himself, Jerry Goldsmith. This film is a conscious nod to the original, done 80's style, with some of the industry's best directors.
Yet another stellar cover, just looking at it invokes a creepy feeling that something is just over the horizon, and coming to get you, Barbara. Proof that Sci Fi and Horror genres will always make for interesting bedfellows.


Place all chairs and trays into their upright postions, extinguish all smoking materials and you may now unfasten your seatbelts. We hope you have enjoyed today's trip around the Science Fiction stratosphere of vinyl collecting, please come again! If you'd like to take a look at more Sci Fi titles on vinyl, have a peek in my Etsy Shop  and simply enter any word into the search box at the top of the page. Keep spinning that vinyl!

Video Post: Horror Soundtrack Vinyl Collection Part Three

Yes, I'm back again with another installment in my video post series of Horror soundtracks from my personal collection. I think I surprised myself with the fact that I had enough titles to do three videos...and actually I've got one more planned for you which will include Halloween and Horror themed music, all on devil-icious vinyl!


Unfortunately, the video storage space ran out before I could finish the last two soundtracks in the lineup:  Trick or Treat and the Company of Wolves. Both of these are special in their own right, so I thought I'd talk about them below....

First up is the Trick or Treat soundtrack by the hard rock band Fastway. This music is very fitting for the film, and has a special place in my heart, if only for the fond High School memories it evokes (and I don't have many of those). The cover art on this album is so great, combining Halloween with Rock N' Roll. What more can you ask for?? Besides, with Skippy from Family Ties as our hero, Gene Simmons as the ultra-cool radio DJ and a cameo from the prince of darkness himself Ozzy Osbourne, you can't help but love this cheesy 80s film at least a little, right?


Then there's the soundtrack to Neil Jordan's beautifully shot Company of Wolves. This little gem isn't as well known as the rest, but deserves every bit of credit for its own wolf transformation scenes. Angela Lansbury perfectly plays the Grandmother in this Little Red Riding Hood story, played by the ethereal Sarah Patterson, George Fenton's music is equally as ethereal and atmospheric. This one will cost you a bit, if you can find it on vinyl and on DVD, but it's worth every precious penny.


And there you have it fellow vinyl lovers, one more view into my modest vinyl collection. Stay tuned for MUCH more to come! Keep spinning that vinyl, and if you need a few horror soundtracks to fill out your collection, check out what I have available for you in my Etsy Vinyl Shop and don't forget to pick up the coupon code from the sidebar of this page for a special discount at checkout! Enjoy!

The Stray Cats on Vinyl: Retro Rockabilly Radness

It's almost unfathomable that so much sound can come out of a three piece band, but then again, The White Stripes showed us differently with just two. Now, of course everyone has heard of The Stray Cats, and Brian Setzer in particular. The purpose of this post is to celebrate their catalogue of vinyl, and perhaps alert some of you to a couple of albums you may not have known about. They are so much more than 'Rock This Town' or 'Stray Cat Strut' or even 'Sexy & 17', which are great songs, but it's what you didn't hear on the radio (or MTV in the early days) that really sets them apart from the rest, showcases their talent and timeless appeal.

The Stray Cats - Debut Album 1981
The boys relocated from Long Island to the UK at the brink of 1980 because of the Rockabilly Revival going on there. This explains why a couple of their albums are difficult to find, and why there's more of their music out there than you might know. Their self titled debut album is a UK-only release, and has more raw energy packed into its 12 songs than most groups put into their entire repertoire. Great cover art (as all of the Stray Cats albums have), it's easy to see the blood, sweat and tears that went into making it.

Stray Cats - Gonna Ball 1981

Next came Gonna Ball, (available for sale in my Etsy Shop) also a UK-only release and a damn fine album it is. Released the same year as their debut in 1981, this served as the TKO of their one-two punch. With none of the over-played hits on its track listing, this second album shows you what The Stray Cats are really made of, and just how talented they are. You'll also find this in a Japanese pressing, costing even more than the original UK pressing. But hey, it's got that cool OBI strip and Japanese characters all over it, right?

The Stray Cats - Built For Speed 1982

Then came the familiar and first simultaneous US/UK release; Built For Speed (also available for sale in my Etsy Shop) which includes some songs from the first two albums, perhaps as an introduction to the US market. And as we well know, it came around at the perfect time after the launch of MTV and the New Wave blast. Beyond a doubt, this is one hot-rockin' of a record. Even if The Stray Cats aren't necessarily your cup of tea, there is no denying their musical abilities and dance floor appeal.



Rant 'N Rave with The Stray cats 1983
Next up came Rant 'N Rave with The Stray Cats in 1983. This is probably the height of their American success, and a foretelling of their breakup only a year later. Proving  that third time's a charm however, this one is packed to the hilt with foot-stompin' three-minute tunes guaranteed to put your boogie into full swing. Nary a bad song, it truly completes the trio's trio of albums in full circle. Good thing too, as they're coming near the end of their high ball flyin' success...at least as a band. Soon, Brian will take off for an extremely successful and continuous solo career, and Phantom & Rocker will make a go of it for the next few years.





The Stray Cats - Stray Cat Strut EP 1983
Finally, as an after-dinner mint, there's this tasty little EP, again a UK-only release, containing two of their established hits, and two live tunes which is a nice little treat to have if you're a serious Stray Cats fans. Short, but oh-so-sweet, you can't help feeling like you're right there with the boys, gettin' all sweaty and riled up. A winner, to be sure.

After this came the album 'Rock Therapy' purely to fulfill a contractual agreement. Frankly, it has more 'billy' than rock for my taste, but if it will round out your collection, then indeed it's a must-have. Featuring a more country-blues flavor, where Setzer actually plays a banjo. If your tastes allow for this kind of flavor, by all means look for it. I'm a 1977-1983 kind gal myself, so it doesn't quite fit on my artistic palette, however I am a great fan of Brian Setzer, and this album only proves his range both as a musician and singer. Keep rockin'!

Video Post: Horror Soundtrack Vinyl Collection Part Two

There are a few more selections from my Horror Soundtrack collection that I wanted to share with you, so I've made a second video blog post installment for them. Hopefully, I will get better at making these videos, and get brave enough to appear on camera, so keep a lookout for more to come. My friend Joe at Turntabling.net has alerted me to the fact that there is a burgeoning vinyl community on You Tube, and I hope to become a part of that after getting a few more videos under my belt.

Please subscribe to my new You Tube channel, I promise to make interesting and informative video posts about all things vinyl, so there'll be something for everyone. If you have a particular record you'd like to see covered, or have any questions you'd like to see answered via video post, please feel free to let me know!

Stay tuned for much, much more to come. For now, here's my Horror Soundtrack Vinyl Collection Part Two video post. Enjoy!


Video Post: My Horror Soundtrack Vinyl Collection Part One

Reluctantly, I am taking cue from the masses by creating a You Tube channel for video posts, my favorite videos and clips and who knows what else. Being famously camera shy, this is not a medium I would normally consider, however we must all get out of our comfort zone if we want to succeed in life, right?

So this is my first installment of video posts dedicated to Horror Soundtracks, featuring a selection of my most and rare and coveted titles on beloved vinyl. Keep in mind that this is the FIRST time I have ever done anything like this, so please be kind...Enjoy!

Turntable Choices For The Uninitiated Vinyl Collector

Audio-Technica AT120LP
My friend Joe runs the successful vinyl blog Turntabling.net and has written a great post on which turntables work best for him, being a DJ, Audiophile, cross-country traveler and all-around music appreciator. This is a subject that I am personally overwhelmed by, not being a techie at all, and with so much out there to choose from. I thought it would be great to provide a link to this super helpful post, in the hopes that it might answer a few questions for those of you out there who may be somewhat new vinyl collectors, and are wanting to have something decent--and not overwhelmingly expensive--to play those slabs-o-wax on.

I myself am about to take the leap from low-grade, cheap-o 'record player' to a respectable turntable, and was so relieved to get honest advice from a trusted friend and fellow vinyl junkie. What's especially cool is that he not only talks about two different turntables, but a portable player as well!

So not to fear, fellow non-techie vinyl lover, all will be well. There is nothing wrong with playing your records on a thrift shop player (hoping that you've at least replaced the needle), or your Dad's dusty old record player from 30 years ago. Heck, I've got a 1969 console stereo (with original speakers!) modified with a new (cheap) preamp and Radio Shack player. But we all gotta grow up sometime, right?? Check out another post of Joe's about USB Turntables to help answer any questions you may have about them.

In addition to running the Turntabling.net blog, Joe is currently working on a book of WTF Album Covers that is going to be hee-larious. You can read all about it on his Facebook Page and marvel at the atrocities he has dug up from all over the world! Enjoy!

Vinyl Blog Post Series: Best Horror Soundtracks - The Monster Club

Today's post focuses on The Monster Club Soundtrack, and it most assuredly is one of the most excruciatingly rare titles that I am aware of as a buyer/seller/collector of rare soundtracks on vinyl. To date, it remains the single most expensive record in my personal collection, and probably the most rare that I have ever had the pleasure of acquiring. Thus far, that is....
There are precious few soundtracks that I haven't been able to get a hold of, or have only been able to locate once or twice in the relatively short time that vinyl has re-taken over my life. This is in no way 'tooting my own horn', it's simply a testament to my tenacity and obsessiveness....or perhaps I've just been really, really lucky.
The Monster Club is an English horror-comedy film from 1981, starring Vincent Price and John Carradine as 'host and victim' respectively. It's an anthology style of movie, meaning there are three separate stories, with tie-in sections in between, sorta like Creepshow. Truly, a delightful, campy little cult flick done Hammer style (Studios, that is, not the rapper). Back in my days of selling rare and out-of-print VHS tapes, I had the Elvira hosted big box Thriller Video version of it, talk about an added bonus! Soo cool...

If you haven't seen The Monster Club, do yourself a favor and purchase a copy from Amazon or any other marketplace platform. Don't let the price deter you, because I assure you it's worth every penny if not for the film itself, then for the added bonus of the entire soundtrack as a special feature. This is the only way you will get the music from the film, I can almost guarantee that, as the vinyl pressing of it really is that rare. My copy is said to have come from a band member of The Pretty Things, who are featured on the album and in the film.

What makes the soundtrack so amazing (in my opinion), is that side one features all the rock-n-roll and New Wave tracks, while side two is almost exclusively classical and instrumental. Soundtrack veteran John Williams (yes, that John Williams of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc fame) composed the incidentals, rounding out the album with class.

Did I mention the album art work?? Oy! Fantastic! It has a sort of Jack Davis (Mad Magazine) look to it, brilliantly colored and expertly drawn. Pure display art in its own right. And no, my copy is not for sale, it's goin' to the grave with me if it's the last thing I own on Earth. Yeah, I really do love it that much. And hopefully, you will too.

Oh, and I almost forgot...here's a video of my favorite song from the album; B.A. Robertson's 'Sucker For Your Love'. Remember to keep your tongue firmly placed in your cheek, kids. Enjoy!

Obsessed Bliss with The Stranglers

For those who know me personally, it will come as no surprise that this post is about yet another musical obsession. Not a new obsession, mind you, just one that sneaks up ever so quietly; only to grab me by the ears, mind and heart by it's clenched claws, and refuses to let go until I have exhausted my entire vinyl catalog of a particular artist or band....today's such obsession is for The Stranglers...

Being a late bloomer in almost every aspect of my life, I had of course seen The Stranglers name all over the place, and maybe unknowingly heard a track or two, but really only became acquainted with them when I happened upon the Feline album (currently available for sale in my Etsy Shop) at a local garage sale. After becoming not only obsessed, but possessed by 'Golden Brown', a track I knew I had heard a few times before but couldn't place, it was easy to see I was going to be on the hunt for more....a lot more.

Next, for me, came The Raven album, followed by IV Rattus Norvegicus, Aural Sculpture, All Live and All of the Night, Dreamtime, and La Folie (but only on CD--and we don't talk about those things here). Obviously, these are not in chronological order, nor are they in order of preference.

Christmas 2010 brought me an extra special find; Apollo Revisited which is especially difficult to find on vinyl. A glorious 180 gram 2 LP set, a gorgeous gatefold with an interview written on the inside panels. Being a live album, it of course contains some of Hugh's familiar antics with the audience, just as All Live and All Of The Night does, which I just love. The dichotomy of his raunchy cockney English with his smooth, deep and sensual singing voice is just the icing on the cake for me. Mmmmmmmm....sigh.

Favorite Stranglers song? I knew you were gonna ask me that...as common as it is, 'Golden Brown' haunts me far more than any other Stranglers track. However, 'Strange Little Girl' (also available for sale in my Etsy Shop) is very high on the list, as is 'Straighten Out', 'Nice N' Sleazy', 'Peaches', 'Waltzin' Black' and so, so many others.

A lot of people don't care for their later stuff; Dreamtime and newer, but I really do love it all. That being said, dollars to donuts says that once I get my grubby little mitts on more of their earlier stuff; EP, Black & White, self titled, etc..I'll fall fast into another manic obsession, and will have to write about The Stranglers again. Stay tuned, won't you?