Akira Ifukube - KING KONG ESCAPES (Soundtrack) 2018 Limited Edition


From 2018, here is the super-limited vinyl edition of Akira Ifukube's amazing soundtrack for KING KONG ESCAPES.  Limited to 100 copies, this record was produced on brown "Kong Fur" vinyl.

This record was produced by Cheddar Brothers in 2018, and came with a patch and a sticker, which you can see in the photo above.  The artwork, although distinctive, was unfortunately not produced on a complete jacket, merely a folded card, the back of which you can see better here:

The absence of a proper jacket wasn't the biggest problem with the record, though.  Turns out, when you have a small run quickly produced in Mexico, errors in quality crop up.  Don't worry, you won't know it, because I was able to fix them myself [for example, in between every track was a small "Pbbbt" sound, a literal divider present on the master tape--in other words, this was supposed to be taken out by the people making the vinyl].  One interesting thing in the very first track was what sounded like surface noise (on a disc that had never been played and had been properly cleaned), but when I compared the track to what's on YouTube from a digital source, the tiny sounds were part of the original recording after all.  

For a complete track listing and run times, see here.

A second run of 300 copies was produced later in 2018 which was on silver vinyl, included a normal jacket with corrected artwork (moving Gorosaurus into view), and, hopefully, corrected the various mastering errors.  

Enjoy this often-overlooked rarity!


The Moons - Gammera (1966) and MORE!


This is a celebratory post, because I've recently accomplished one of my own long-time goals that I considered impossible:  I found a picture sleeve for my treasured copy of "Gammera" by The Moons (scanned here in quality)!

If you know the story, when the first Gamera movie was slightly reworked for a release in US theatres, a spacey, surf-rock "theme song" was commissioned.  The film (and song) were released in December 1966, so you will quickly understand why everyone always brings up the Neil Hefti "Batman" theme song when discussing it, as it was everywhere at that time.  In reality, even though the sleeve tells you that The Moons are "...The most Exciting Group Since The Beatles!!" there were no Moons (other than Keith, but he wasn't involved here of course).  In fact, the song was written by Wes Farrell, and brought to life by session musicians (there are a few theories on whether any famous musicians were involved, and I'd think we would know by now if that were the case). The B-side included an "instrumental" version of the song (which, as the only lyrics were "Gammera," wasn't too hard).  No matter what anyone tells you, only promo copies of this single exist, which were sent to radio stations, naturally, to promote the movie.  It's quite rare, especially with the sleeve--lots of promo singles never even bothered to have custom artwork prepared, and this sleeve is basically a mini-pressbook.

You probably know that the production version of a movie or TV song can differ greatly from the released version, which often happens because of variables in mixes or source materials.  I thought it would be fun to take a look at how the song was actually used in the film, and include it in the download below.  The song appears three times:  first, in a brief and sloppy introductory title card (there's a weird jump at this point).  Secondly, at the one-hour mark of the movie, there is a nightclub scene.  In the original Japanese film, it's because the people don't want to stop partying (sort of like what happened later in GODZILLA vs. THE SMOG MONSTER) and are oblivious to their fate.  In the American dub, it takes on an even stranger tone, because the band (and the guests) won't leave because they are repeatedly playing a theme song to the actual monster who is currently destroying their city, in true death-cult fashion.  What makes this even weirder is that there are no singers to supply the "Gammera!" lyrics, which seemingly come out of nowhere quite randomly! Lastly, the song briefly appears again over the ending title card (which says "Sayonara Gammera," believe it or not).

But wait, the history of this theme song doesn't end there.  A couple of years later, someone actually issued a pirate version of the instrumental B-side on a 45 under the title "The Sounds of Lane - Shing-A-Ling at the Go-Go," on the fictitious "Mickey Mouse" label!

A year after that, in 1969, a band from Peru called Los Jaguar's (yes, the name of the band most often includes the apostrophe; perhaps it was an artistic choice) properly covered the B-side, under the cool title "Tormenta en el Mar de la Tranquilidad" (Torment in the Sea of Tranquility) which I suppose alluded to the current moon-landing hysteria, while also giving credit to the original song and its author on the label.  Their version is lots of fun, and is in a lower key and slightly slower, giving the song some much-needed menace.  

Included in the download below are: 1) The original single and B-side, 2) A montage of its uses in the film GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE, and 3) the cool cover by Los Jaguar's, as well as appropriate scans!

The Moons - Gammera (and more)

Lastly, don't miss the super-cool "Gammera" by Hexstatic, from 2010, which uses lots of fun samples from the film and theme song.  There are three different and distinct mixes, and if you click through to YouTube, there is a download link included in the text under this video, which is highly recommended! Enjoy!


KING KONG vs. GODZILLA Campaign Sheet (Universal, 1978-79)


Here is a page from a Universal Campaign Book (circa 1978-79), which went out to television stations and showed their available films, with a focus on the early 1960's.  It's printed on brown textured paper and hole-punched.

Interestingly, the synopsis on the back is very Kong-centric.  This is somewhat understandable, because the failed De Laurentiis KING KONG was still fresh on people's minds (the text incorrectly refers to that film as being from 1977, and if we are being fair, the release date was December 17, 1976, so...almost.) But hey, we should be glad they didn't include the old fallacy about there being "different endings" of the film, right?

Another point of interest is the inclusion of one of the more unique of Toho's famous paste-up production photos, where we see Kong standing on a...uh, stadium? I've always wondered about that one. 

Also, under "Starring," they list Kong and Godzilla (naturally, but they still give Kong top billing), and the only other names they bother to include are the "news presenter" actors who were added to the American version! 


Kermit Schafer's Blunderful World of Bloopers (1970)


In reality, the entire title of this record is nearly as long as the program itself:  "HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE TV SPECIAL KERMIT SCHAFER'S BLUNDERFUL WORLD OF BLOOPERS BROADCASTING'S MOST HILARIOUS BONERS VOLUME 1" (not to mention there is a random "UNCENSORED" trying to float into the title somewhere).

Schafer of course is the man who made a career out of collecting comical flubs, spoonerisms, and malapropisms from the world over (supposedly even coining the term "blooper"), filling books, records, and occasional TV specials for decades.  In earlier years of the Internets, you could find volumes of his PARDON MY BLOOPER "party records" on blogs everywhere.  

The common criticism for these records is/was that they almost totally consist of re-creations, but owing to the early days of live radio and TV, this was unavoidable.  It did lead to a few infamous "urban myth" moments from time to time, and it seemed like you heard the same actors over and over on the six volumes of the PARDON series, which of course were later recirculated in other compilations.  By the 1970's and 1980's, blooper-archiving technology had much improved, and Dick Clark took the idea and ran with it (in fairness, he always acknowledged Schafer in the credits).

This LP apparently ties to a TV special, and while I couldn't tell you anything about the show, I can tell you that this is the most pristine record I've ever found in a thrift store.  Besides cleaning it, it needed nothing, and was pristine; like being played for the first time.  Can you imagine buying a comedy LP and never playing it? Then storing it for 51 years? That's like a blooper in itself.

Enjoy:  Blunderful World of Bloopers