Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Countdown 2007: Superheroes Christmas (Power Records/Peter Pan #8199)

I've owned this record since around the age of 6, and because of it, nothing says Christmas like Wonder Woman beating up a Germanic Nazi type and the image of Batman in a fake beard.

Track Listing:

01 Light Up The Tree, Mr. President (Superman)
02 Christmas Carol Caper (Batman)
03 Prisoner of Christmas Island (Wonder Woman)

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Justice League

One of the better animated adaptations of comic book properties of late was the (now-concluded) Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated shows that aired on the Cartoon Network, which, being a comic book fanboy, I absolutely adored. I especially enjoyed Unlimited, which explored DC continuity itself more so than past animated attempts....and any cartoon that finally brings one of my favorite DC characters to the screen (The Golden Age version of the Vigilante) is alright in my book.

Track Listing:
01 - Justice League (theme)
02 - Justice League (end credits)
03 - Justice League Unlimited (theme)
04 - Justice League (Starcrossed theme)
05 -Justice League (Starcrossed end credits)
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Christmas Countdown 2007: Merry Christmas from Lee Majors (or, a close facsimile)

I used to love both The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman as a child, which led to one of my three first childhood celebrity crushes, Lindsay Wagner...the other two being the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman and Lynda Carter...I was a weird kid. Don't even get me started on Jessi Colter and Lily Munster, because then it gets really scary...

Anyways, for this installment of the Christmas Countdown, I bring you this bundle of bionic audio joy from 1978.

Track Listing:


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Welcome Home, Brother Rabbit: "Song of the South" Radio Spots

Disney's Song of the South (1946) is a film swarming with possible controversy. The Big Mouse is afraid to release to the home video market for fears of backlash from ethnic groups. The fact of the matter is that it's never been available here in the U.S....ever...in any home video format. Hardcore Disney enthusiasts have to rely on gray market bootlegs made from either Japanese or British VHSs and/or laserdiscs (two countries where it is readily available).

From Wikipedia:

Although the film has been re-released several times (most recently in 1986), the Disney corporation has avoided making it directly available on home video or DVD in the United States because the frame story was deemed controversial by studio management, despite Uncle Remus being the hero of the story. Film critic Roger Ebert, who normally disdains any attempt to keep films from any audience, has supported the non-release position, claiming that most Disney films become a part of the consciousness of American children, who take films more literally than do adults. However, he favors allowing film students to have access to the film. In the U.S., only excerpts from the animated segments have ever appeared in Disney's DVDs (such as the 2004 two-disc release of Alice in Wonderland (1951), television shows, and the popular log-flume attraction Splash Mountain is based upon the same animated portions).

Despite rumors of a forthcoming DVD release, Disney CEO Robert Iger stated on March 10, 2006 at a Disney Shareholder Meeting that it had been decided that the company would not re-release it for the time being. At the annual shareholders meeting in March 2007, Iger announced that the company was reconsidering the decision, and have decided to look into the possibility of releasing the film. In May 2007, it was again reported that the Disney company has chosen not to release the film. However, rumors to the contrary continue to surface.

Even early in the film's production, there was concern that the material would encounter controversy. As the writing of the screenplay was getting under way, Disney publicist Vern Caldwell wrote to producer Perce Pearce that "The negro situation is a dangerous one. Between the negro haters and the negro lovers there are many chances to run afoul of situations that could run the gamut all the way from the nasty to the controversial."

When the film was first released, the NAACP acknowledged "the remarkable artistic merit" of the film, but decried the supposed "impression it gives of an idyllic master-slave relationship" (even though the film was set after the American Civil War). Today, the organization has no position on the movie.

In 2007, Movies.com listed the film as the fifth most controversial film of all time.

I just find it a shame that this incredibly important piece of film history has been suppressed by it's license holder. There are talks from time to time of a release, so here's my advice to Disney:

I own a few of the Disney Treasures tin box releases, one of which being Mickey Mouse In Black & White Vol. 1, and on it they have these pleasant little video disclaimers prior to any of the animated shorts in which the content may be "questionable" hosted by Leonard Maltin, in which Maltin explains, in short terms, something to the extent of the early Disney animators were all uneducated hicks and, well, in that particular part of our history that type of crap was "acceptable" to the general public (of course, I'm paraphrasing and those aren't Maltin's words, but that's about the gist of it). Slap one of these babies on there, first off...

I can understand Ebert's stance...so, you market Song as one of these Treasures releases which are slightly pricier than the normal DVD release, and aimed at an audience more sophisticated than children, i.e., the collector's market (Note: I use the term "sophisticated" loosely in reference to any group). Make sure you stack it chock full of supplementary material which points out that a.) this is Disney's first effort at mixing live-action and animation, b.) how fucking sorry we are as a human race that wonderful actors like James Baskett were persecuted (he won an Oscar in 1948 for his performance in this film, yet was unable to attend the Atlanta premiere because that city was segregated in 1946), and c.) make note of the controversy surrounding the flick. Don't hide from it, because hiding from it makes you look like you've done something you deserve to be guilty about...

Song of the South info

For this post's download, here are two sets of radio spots for the film, one from the 1972 general re-release, and another from the 1973 double feature re-release with The Aristocats:

Track Listing:
01- 1972 60 sec. spot
02- 1972 60 sec. spot #2
03- 1972 30 sec. spot
04- 1972 30 sec. spot #2
05- 1972 20 sec. spot
06- 1972 10 sec. spot
07- 1973 60 sec. spot
08- 1973 30 sec. spot
09- 1973 20 sec. spot
10- 1973 10 sec. spot

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Swamp Thing OST- Harry Manfredini (1982)

One of the first really shocking moments I experienced as a young comic reader was due to Alan Moore. As an annual birthday gift, an older relative would provide me with subscriptions to an even number of DC and Marvel titles....

Around 1983, I was up to about 3 apiece from the two companies, and when said kin asked me what titles I'd like to try in that particular year's birthday go-round....(insert hyper-active 9 year old voice liberally)

"Well....I wanna keep getting Green Lantern and All-Star Squadron, I like those....um....Swamp Thing! I wanna try that...I like the movie (the Wes Craven film was in heavy rotation on pay cable at the time, so naturally I had seen it about 10 times by this point probably)...."
So...in eager anticipation, I awaited for my first issue to arrive via the postal service. Little did I know that the first issue I would recieve would be the infamous "The Anatomy Lesson" (Saga of the Swamp Thing #21, February 1984), which blew my nine year old mind. No wonder I'm so fucked up now (RFLMAO!!!), because around the same time I was reading Frank Miller's Daredevil and above-mentioned relative had introduced me to the works Howard Chaykin (of whom I'm still a huge fan), mainly the then-current American Flagg!....

Needless to say, I was a faithful subscriber until Moore ended his run....

Thank God my upbringing was fairly liberal....in the words of my father, around the time I was 13 or 14: "So...looks like yer gettin' old enough to wanna go runnin' around on the weekends. Well...be home for school on Monday....and don't bring the Law with ya..."

Anyways, here's the Harry Manfredini score to the film that started a long-time love for Moore's works, bog monsters, and probably alot of petty larceny...

Track Listing:

1. Main Title (3:19) - Harry Manfredini
2. Cable And Alec (0:56) - Harry Manfredini
3. Cable's Capture (2:30) - Harry Manfredini
4. Ferret Meets The Swamp Thing (2:01) - Harry Manfredini
5. SwampThing To The Rescue (3:42) - Harry Manfredini
6. At The Lab (3:17) - Harry Manfredini
7. Airboats, Guns, Grenades (3:49) - Harry Manfredini
8. Cable Escapes (0:59) - Harry Manfredini
9. Swamp Thing And Cable (3:53) - Harry Manfredini
10. Bruno's Transformation (1:37) - Harry Manfredini
11. Arcane's Transformation (5:08) - Harry Manfredini
12. The Final Battle (4:35) - Harry Manfredini
13. Swamp Thing's Farewell (2:44) - Harry Manfredini

This would also explain why I own a DVD of the laughably terrible Return of the Swamp Thing...LOL!

Download link (hosted by Rapidshare)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Batman the Audio Book (1989)

Who do I think of whenever I think of Gotham City? Why, Roddy McDowall, of course....

Anyways, thanks to Mostly Ghostly Music Sharing Blaaahhhggg!!! for sharing this. Dostoyevsky it's not, but it's a decent time-killer....

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Christmas Countdown 2007: Mexican Santa Claus/ Buck Owens

1959's Mexi-cinema production of El Santo Claus (aka Santa Claus here in the States) is kinda like what I'd imagined would happen if one produced a holiday special while high on weed, or possibly after a few hits of blotter acid. This is why it's become a "classic" amongst those of us who find joy in watching stuff so bad, it's funny. I find the film incredibly endearing...I mean, what's not to love about terrible unintentional racial stereotypes, Santa living on a cloud in outer space (next door to Merlin's castle) and his long-time war against Satan?

The thing I find more amazing is that this flick was a staple of holiday season matinées for well over two decades (!!!!).....and folks wonder why those that grew up in the 60s and 70s are so....well, fucked up? (I count myself amongst that crowd, having been born in 1974)....

Another thing I find endearing is the work of musician Buck Owens....I blame my parents and their insane need to watch Hee-Haw. I've loved Owens' stuff for years, and his Christmas tunes are some of the most screwed up stuff you can listen to during the holiday season.....it's usually either about how some sad little kid can't understand where Daddy is ("Daddy" and/or "Mommy" in a Buck tune is usually a careless ne'er-do-well, who doesn't have time for such trivial things as a faithful marriage, spending time with children or sobriety)....or, the confusion a child has for the whole concept of "Santy Claus". All just jolly funtime stuff, kids....

So, for tonight's installment, I decided to throw up the original radio spot for the K. Gordon Murray dubbed English release of SANTA CLAUS, and a little Christmas Buck. In along with the late Mr. Alvin Owens' stuff, I've included the track "Satan's Got to Get Along Without Me", which recently turned up on the soundtrack for the film THE DEVIL'S REJECTS, because like me, director Rob Zombie is a hardcore Owens fan. I thought that the tune sorta fit the theme of the film: Santa Claus' ongoing war against the forces of Satan.

You've heard about that one, right?

Track Listing:

Santa Claus (1959)

01- Radio Spot

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Buck Owens Christmas

01 Satan's Got to Get Along Without Me
02 Here Comes Santa Claus Again
03 All I Want For Christmas Is You
04 Because It's Christmas Time
05 Blue Christmas Lights
06 Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy
07 Santa's Gonna Come In A Stagecoach
08 Tomorrow Is Christmas Day
09 Good Old Fashioned Country Christmas
10 Christmas Time's A Coming
11 It's Christmas Time For Everyone But Me

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Countdown 2007: The Go-Gos- "I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With a Dalek" (Oriole 1964)

My youth was filled with many a day sitting on my lazy ass after school in front of my parents' (what at the time seemed HUGE) 25 in. color Admiral television set, watching the local PBS affiliate. Everyday, like clockwork, everything dropped at 5 p.m......because it was at that hour that I made the effort to spend some quality time with Dr.Who.

For the uninformed, Who is a long-running (like 4 decades long) BBC television series about an eccentric alien time traveler, known only the Doctor (hence the title: "Doctor.... Who?"). If you've never heard about it, you must have either just been born within the last 10 years or have been living a hermit's existence....it seems anytime I mention watching PBS as a child, the response is general either about the children's programming....or the Good Doctor.

In 1963, one of Doc's more popular bad guys, the alien robot/cyborg Daleks were introduced, and a brief period of Dalekmania engulf the UK, from which was this novelty Christmas single by the Brit-Pop group the Go-Gos (not to be confused with the 1980s girl-group) group from Newcastle, was released the following Chistmas...

Now, thanks to a childhood obsession and the wonders of the inner-nets (curse you, eBay!!!), I can share my copy of this delightful little ditty:

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas Countdown 2007: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Joy of Joys!!! It truly is the season of miracles! And.....Martians!!

Ahem....after nearly 2 decades (!!!!) of searching, one of my of my Christmas wishes has finally been realized....

One of my first experiences with the world of B Movies was 1964's Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a low-budget cheesfest that I first had the pleasure of viewing during the Christmas of 1988...and it has since become a holiday tradition of mine to view it. It's quite possibly one of my favorite "bad movies" of all time...

Prior to seeing it, though, I was aware that there had been a Dell comic book adaptation published in 1964 (thanks to religious reading of Overstreet's Comic Book Price Guide), and a few years ago, after years of searching, I actually came across a copy which I purchased.

The credits of the film itself mention that the movie's theme song, "Hooray For Santy Claus", was at one point released on vinyl, but I've never been able to track down a copy. I believe it may be a case of an extremely limited release .45 single...or, this release announced by the opening credits of the flick may be non-existent.


Years ago, I was informed that Dell (a branch of what would later become Western Publishing, the folks behind numerous children's books and, in the 1970s, Golden and Peter Pan children's records) had released a read-along vinyl packaged with copies of the comic (Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Golden Records SLP170) at some point in the 1960s, and for years I'd had hoped to run across a copy.

Well, tonight, after a visit to the local Goodwill thrift store....that hope has finally bore fruit. And, it only cost me 90 cents....though my copy no longer possesses the copy of the comic shrink-wrapped to the back of the album, it's of no matter, seeing as how I already own a copy of the funnybook's newsstand release version....

So, to kick off what I hope will be the first annual Christmas Countdown, I've thrown together a little Santa Claus Conquers the Martians package for download, so that other can find the joy that I've found over the years in this little holiday season cult classic...

Track Listing:

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

01- Hooray For Santy Claus- Milton DeLugg and the Little Eskimos

Monk Seven is a Japanese techno artist who recorded this delightful little ditty using samples from the film:

Monk Seven

01- Santa On Mars

A few years back, oddball European musician Senor Tonto recorded a cover version of "Hooray for Santy Claus", which I've included the single of in this package:

Senor Tonto

01- Hooray For Santy Claus
02- Hooray For Santy Claus (instrumental)

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Also, as my first gift to my readers this Christmas, here's a download link for the film in MPEG format (hosted by Internet Archive)

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) Download (567 mb)

Marvel Superheroes Power Records Part Two: "Man-Thing: Night Of The Laughing Dead" (Power Records, PR16, 1974)

When I was a kid, I loved that little corner of the Marvel Universe (circa 1970s) that darker, more horror themed characters resided. This would explain why I own complete runs of the Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider series, Tomb of Dracula, and Marvel Spotlight issues #12–24 (the run of the series that featured Daimon Hellstrom, also known as the Son of Satan).....

And then, there's Man-Thing.....

Coming from a long line of funny-book muck monsters, Ted Sallis, aka, the Man-Thing....y'know, the "Fear Burns At The Touch Of.." guy who first appeared in Savage Tales #1 (May 1971), has always held a special place in my heart. I just love the big dumb lug. So, please...refrain from any of the "Giant-Sized Man-Thing" jokes that seem to be so popular amongst the kids today....at least until you give this download a listen.

Included with this download is a file of JPEGs the complete comic...

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Batgirl Theme- Billy May

Another piece of Bat-Lore that was born out of the 1960s television series was the Barbara Gordon Batgirl. Presented here is an mp3 of the "Batgirl" theme from the short 1968 un-aired pilot starring Yvonne Craig.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Burgess Meredith- "The Capture" & "The Escape" (ABC Records #10798) 1966

God Bless merchandising tie-ins.....in what other atmosphere would you find the creation of a novelty spoken word record performed by Burgess Meredith...in character as the Batman villain the Penguin?

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Frank Gorshin – “The Riddler” (A&M 804, 1966)

Being a comic book fanboy, my love for the 1966-68 ABC-TV BATMAN series knows no bounds...so, when I ran across this novelty single that Gorshin released as a merchandising tie-in in 1966, I immediately knew I had to have it....

Sure, it's a regular fixture it seems for oddball music sharing blogs to post this....but I figured what's one more time gonna hurt?

Track Listing:

01- The Riddler (A Side)
02- Never Let Her Go (B Side)

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Monday, November 5, 2007

The Ferlin Husky Project Part 1

I love "Hillbilly" movies. This attraction stems from the fact that I, in fact, could probably be considered one, having grown up on the banks of the Ohio River in Adams County, Ohio and a family line that extends back into the darkened recesses of the hills and valleys of Northern Kentucky....

Lum n' Abner (both the radio show and the series of films from the 1940s), the various incarnations of Li'l Abner (in the comic strips and various films, my favorite being the 1940 Mascot film, which literally adapts the first few years of the strip....and has Buster Keaton (!!!) as "Lonesome Polecat")....

H.G. Lewis' ventures into hillbilly territory (notably This Stuff'll Kill Ya! and Year of the Yahoo!, which at some point I'd love to reconstruct Claude King's soundtrack), Snuffy Smith comics, vintage Mountain Dew merchandise....you name it, I find it endearing...

From this fascination with rural folk was born what I've come to dub the FERLIN HUSKY PROJECT....

In 1966, Husky (a fairly popular country and western singer of the period) starred in two of my favorite "Hillbilly" flicks, Las Vegas Hillbillys and the always enjoyable sequel, Hillbillys in A Haunted House, and after years of searching for them on VHS, I finally scored copies of the now OOP (Out of Print, for the layman) VCI DVD releases a few years back, and made a disheartening discovery.....no formal soundtracks were ever released for these two films steeped in country and western music of the era.

So, I set out to try, using my own personal collection of vinyls, cassettes, 8-tracks (though I haven't found a decent A/V bridge for that format) and CDs....with a little help from LimeWire and other various torrent sharing applications, and reconstruct a formal soundtrack for both films. So far, some progress has been made, but I fear soem of the tunes are exclusive to the films themselves, or tracking down recordings have been a bitch....but still, I struggle on...

So, here I present my work so far, and bear in mind these downloads are a work in progress...and at some point in the near future there will be updates, but as with many things of this type, who knows when that'll be...

Las Vegas Hillbillys Track Listing:

01 -Ferlin Husky- I Feel Better
02-Bill Anderson - Bright Lights and Country Music
03- Connie Smith - Nobody But A Fool (Would Love You)
04- Del Reeves - Woman Do Funny Things To Me
05- Sonny James - The Minute You're Gone
06- Del Reeves - Belles Of Southern Bell

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Hillbillys In A Haunted House Track Listing:

01- Merle Haggard - Swinging Doors
02- Merle Haggard-Someone Told My Story
03- Sonny James - The Cat Came Back

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