Halloween, Creature and Monster Themed Records for Kids

As you MUST know by now, Horror and Halloween themed records are my favorite, but they don't all have to be super scary. I thought it would be fun to feature some children's Halloween and Monster themed records from my personal collection and Etsy Shop....

In the late 1960's and all throughout the 1970's in particular, monster, creature, horror films and Halloween were prominently displayed on the shelves of toy stores, in comic books and magazines. The Aurora monster kits were at their height of popularity, and kids couldn't get enough of it. Remember when cereal boxes came with flexidiscs? These were little flexible records that you could actually play, which often featured Halloween or Monster stories of Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, Mummy and other nocturnal creatures.
Many of these records were pressed on the Kid Stuff, Power, Pickwick and Peter Pan Records labels, along with Troll and a few other, more obscure labels, making them quite rare and desirable. All of them have the BEST album covers, featuring artwork from such infamous artists as George Peed and Jack Davis. And yes, sometimes the artwork was waaay better than the records themselves, but they're all in good fun.

Sometimes they were your favorite TV and film cartoon characters, like Casper, or beloved Disney characters with spooky stories, sound effects and songs...
It is interesting to see what was 'acceptable' to market to children in the late 1960's and 1970's. None of these beautiful and and creative works of art would even be offered nowadays, particularly if it has a specifically Halloween theme. The title immediately below is actually one of my very favorites of the bunch. But be warned: it's definitely NOT for small children! Keep this one for the adult Halloween Party...

I hope you've enjoyed this little photographic journey of children's Halloween and Monster themed records. If you have some favorites that were not pictured here, tell me about 'em! I'm always looking to add to my collection and the shop's inventory for fellow Halloween vinyl junkies.

Record Store Day 2012 Summary & Open Call: How Did Your Local Shops Do?

Wow. What a whirlwind weekend of record shops, listing, mountains of records and a LOT of money! I think it's safe to say that Record Store Day 2012 was a smashing success for record stores around the world, although I haven't heard much feedback yet. As we near the week-mark, I have read precious little of the general consensus of the day, aside from several tweets and blurbs about eBay flippers (from both sides of the fence). I was hoping to see a lot more info about how other shops fared last Saturday, so if you have any info about your local shops--domestic or International--please share it here.
As for me, I spent soooo much money, but found soooo many great titles for myself and my Etsy Shop as you can see by these photos. There were no actual RSD exclusive releases available for me though, as I wasn't about to stand in line at 7am and fight the great unwashed for a copy of the new Garbage single, or the unreleased White Stripes single, or even the coveted Pretty In Pink soundtrack pressed on pink vinyl. But I will have them all someday, oh yes I will....

But let's be clear, Record Store Day is far from the only day to go record shopping. Of course I have to scour my local record stores all year round to find the various and sundry rare titles for myself and my vinyl shop. I'm not a fan of crowds, and make a point to shop during the quiet hours in the middle of the week. However, I wanted my dollars to be counted as part of the local revenue on this special 'all-vinyl' day, as most places put their vinyl on sale. So who am I to miss out on a discount??

Hopefully, you were able to obtain some of your most-wanted titles, and/or maybe a few you didn't know you wanted until you found them amidst the vast sea of vinyl waiting for a new home. Maybe you discovered a new shop or an old one you previously didn't know about. Perhaps you encountered some of the RSD frenzy, and have a funny story to tell about it. Please feel free to share your RSD experiences, thoughts and finds if you wish, I'd love to read about them here.


I've decided to jump on the RSD2012 bandwagon and have a WEEKEND SALE in my Etsy Vinyl Shop! All vinyl is 15% off now through Sunday, April 22nd @ 10pm PDT. Prices have already been discounted, so you're good to go.

AND don't forget to pick up the COUPON CODE located on the sidebar of this page; enter at checkout (before making payment) and you will receive a further discount on your entire purchase as my way of saying THANK YOU for checking out my little vinyl blog. Please remember to use the coupon code before making the payment so the system can calculate your discount. Reductions after the fact will not be honored.

Have a blast checking out the Record Store Day exclusive vinyl releases at your own local record shops tomorrow, that's where I'll be! And don't forget to be on your best behavior.Viva Vinyl!

Classic Sci-Fi & Horror Films and Music of the '50's, '60's and 70's: Current Remakes

As any Sci-Fi and/or Horror fan knows, any cult, classic or important film of the genre is going to be remade, rehashed, and usually reviled. This post celebrates the points of origin (in vinyl format, of course) from whence came our beloved movies, TV shows and character heroes.

Themes from Horror Movies (in Ghoulish High Fidelity) is an undisputed great piece to start with. Indeed, a very rare and desirable album featuring themes from some of the greatest classic Horror and B-movie of the 1950's and 1960's. Films such as: This Island Earth, Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Came from Outer Space, the Horror of Dracula and The Mole People. Dick Jacobs and his Orchestra do a fine job of setting the mood for these classics, and Bob McFadden narrates throughout, using Dracula-esque and Igor-like voices. A very special treasure for those old enough to remember these pioneer pictures, or those of us 'in the know'. Thankfully, precious few of these have been remade into today's garbagefests...so far.

Dark Shadows is being remade as we speak, by Tim Burton and his usual crew. The snippets and teasers made available to us clearly show Tim is taking a very different approach than the original. We shall see. But the original will forever ring true regardless of how the film turns out. Sadly, Jonathan Frid, who played the original Barnabas, very recently passed away. At least we can enjoy his cameo in the upcoming film as a bittersweet farewell. This album is an excellent remembrance of the soap opera, featuring dialogue from both Jonathan and David Selby, who played Quentin.

Hammer presents Dracula - Hammer Studios are remaking many of their classic titles at this very minute, which should prove interesting. This album is a great one-two punch; featuring a full length 'spine-chilling story' narrated by THE Dracula (since 1958) Christopher Lee himself on side one, while side two includes themes from four Hammer films; Fear in the Night, She, The Vampire Lovers and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde. Additionally, what makes this album so classic is that it requires you to actually listen to it to enjoy the story--what a concept. ; )

There's Something Going On Out There is a title included because of the incredible span of film themes it promotes, about half of which have been remade. From Superman to Psycho, this album still proves the classics, the originals will always be the best. Each power-hitting theme instantly remind of us of each film they come from. For example; Tubular Bells from The Exorcist; the Jaws theme, Star Wars, Close Encounters and Superman all from the genius that is John Williams are included here. Great stuff.

Most film music isn't made to impress like it used to be, aside from a few modern exceptions, and nowadays, most people don't pay attention anyway, which is tragic. But at least we have these classics. And as long as we continue to enjoy them, share them and keep them alive, they will live on well past the shoddy offerings of today's Sci-Fi and Horror genre films.

Death of a Music Man: R.I.P. Dick Clark, You Will Be Sorely Missed

Dick Clark circa 1957
Photo courtesy of DJ AM Gold
Dick Clark: November 30, 1929-April 18, 2012

What a loss. Dick Clark was the familiar, youthful host of American Bandstand, Dick Clark's New Year's Eve and a beloved hero of my childhood. Saturday mornings would never have been the same without American Bandstand. What I loved most about the show, was the mid-way point where Dick talked to the kids in the audience, the band or artist would perform, then he would have a brief interview with them. And no matter what kind of music it was, Dick was always the consummate professional, and seemed genuinely interested in whoever the guests were. Even before I knew 'what was cool', I knew Dick Clark was the coolest. I even watched Pyramid everyday after school, without fail.

Rest in peace Dick, the music world deeply mourns your loss, and New Year's Eve will never be the same without you.

Rescuing Records in the Darndest Places...

Yesterday turned out to be the most amazing day for locally hunting down records while out and about. It never ceases to amaze me that 'treasure titles' seem to find their way into my grubby little paws, almost by accident. But then, there are no accidents, as some of us believe. Seek, and ye shall find, it is said. So what option do I have other than to get out there and hunt it down, right? After all, it is my duty to find those just cool records you are all looking for, n'est pas?

The day began with the usual round to my local thrift store haunts, which produced better-than-average results. For example, one does not simply walk into a scuzzy Goodwill and find hard-to-find titles like; The Selecter, The Specials, a Beck 12" remix and The Sugarcubes. The Universe was smiling down upon me this day, because surely these titles would not have lasted another 24 hours. I was definitely one happy camper, and not expecting much when we made our next stop...

Nothing prepared me for literally rescuing records from a fate worse than death at a local Goodwill Outlet (otherwise known as 'The Bins'). Records are literally tossed haphazardly into huge plastic rolling bins along with unwanted toys, clothing, household goods, furniture...you name it. Now being a seasoned thrift store shopper, I'm used to 'digging for gold' so to speak, but this experience really threw me for a loop. At first I thought; 'There's NO WAY any of these have survived the trip into these bins, they must all be trashed..." Not so. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find that a lot of these records hadn't been played much, or at all even. However, I did find that most all children's records were damaged so badly, there simply was no saving them, but I did keep the covers, because you just never know when you'll come across a record without it's cover that is not only desirable, but sell-able (is that a real word??).

There is a certain amount of unpleasantness which comes with shopping in places like this, and most of it is directly related to the average customer base--which can vary greatly depending on what area of town you're in. Being a female record collector, I'm used to the sneers and derisive looks from middle aged men, they no longer bother me. It's the rude and unsociable manner in which they refuse to implement common courtesy while digging though the 'trash'. People, have you not read my posts on record shopping etiquette? While I realize I can't expect too much from these bargain basement type places, there simply isn't any call for outward rudeness and lack of cooperation. Ugh.

Ah well, it's all worth it in the end. There is a massive satisfaction I get from knowing I have truly rescued these records from the landfill (or something far worse such as fodder for record bowls and the like). Some will indeed be added to my inventory, and some will find their new homes within my personal collection. But beware, young record collectors, leave the dirty work to the pros. This process isn't for the squeamish. All records do not fare well in moldy thrift shops, and need a lot of TLC to make them presentable to you. I'll spare you the gory details of the things I have had to scrape off of records in my day, but suffice it to say that you don't wanna know. All you need know is that some of us brave the wilds high and the lowest of the low to bring you the much-desired music of your life on delicious vinyl. You're welcome.

Hip, Cool & Old School: Ten-Inch Records Are Back In Style

Back in the day, ten-inch records used to be called 78's, but 78's played at a slightly different speed. Thankfully, today's resurgence of 10" titles play on the standard 33 1/3 speed on any record player or turntable. Collecting these mid-sized beauties has become my latest fixation within my vinyl obsession, and I've found some amazing titles already! Let's have a look...

Harpsichord 2000 2x10"
Shooting my wad first with this one, simply because I am still in shock over finding it. Harpsichord 2000 is an album I used to own on CD years ago, but has been long gone from my collection. I came across this dazzling Italian import purely by chance (don't you just LOVE happy accidents??!), while shopping for vinyl on Discogs; one of my not-so-secret places to procure hard to find titles at great prices from fellow vinyl dealers and collectors. Harpsichord 2000 is a double 10" inch delight; filled with electro, lounge-y deliciousness.

Squeeze 10" EP Compilation

After reading Vinyl Junkies by Brett Milano, (featured in this previous post) I had to go out and get this Squeeze 10", which is indeed a keeper, albeit I was slightly disappointed when it arrived in the mail. I was expecting a tiny 10" cover to match, but alas, it has a standard 12" cover with the sides cut out to look more interesting. Ah well...it has a great selection of tunes on it, so in the collection it goes.

Nina Hagen Band 10" EP

Nina Hagen isn't actually one of my favorite musical artists, but I totally respect and appreciate her style. So when I came upon this wee compilation (for a mere 3 bucks), there was no passing it up. This was actually the first 10" to come into my collection, even before I began actively seeking them out. I like the fact that it's from 1980, and kinda beat up...soo punk rock.

Oingo Boingo 10" EP

Mmmmmmm Oingo Boingo! This one seems like it should be really rare and super expensive...but it's not. That's ok, it's a great addition to the collection, and has a great selection of hits from the early days. What would have made this REALLY cool is if it had 'All The Pieces' on it. Remember my post awhile back on the delicious little bootleg 7" I found? Sheer bliss...

New Musik - Straight Lines 10" EP

This guilty-pleasure-treasure from New Musik is quite the conundrum. For some strange reason, I know every word of every song, and have absolutely no clue as to how or why. I don't remember their band name, never seen any of their videos, don't even remember hearing them on the radio. I just picked it up because it was a 10" and the cover looked kinda cool. Anyway, it's simply New Wave Brit-Pop, and it makes me feel like I'm 14 again. Nuff said.

Iggy Pop - Candy 10" LE Maxi Single

Last, but never least, I just snatched up this limited edition Iggy Pop UK import of 'Candy' on orange vinyl because...well... I don't think it's necessary to explain why I had to have it, it's bleedin' Iggy Pop for crying out loud! It even has a little photo booklet in the gatefold to make it that much more cool. Leave it to the Brits to put out all the cool shit...

by Jamie Leary/Red Flag Media

And speaking of cool shit...the upcoming Record Store Day 2012 is going to have many amazing releases for us, my fellow vinyl hounds. There are a few 10" titles, a surprising number of 7"s and lots of LP's by various and sundry bands and artists living and dead. This Special Releases link has all the titles that will be available...but no prices. Clever, huh? I'm not much for newly pressed vinyl, but I'm damn sure gonna try to get my hands on the Pretty In Pink Soundtrack, pressed on PINK vinyl, yo!