• Batman score reissued on deluxe vinyl in new 30th anniversary edition

    By | November 9, 2018

    Sounds from Tim Burton’s iconic 1989 film return.

    The original score for Tim Burton’s Batman is being reissued in two new versions to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary, via Mondo this November.

    Its music was composed by Danny Elfman, who also created the music for Burton’s Batman Returns in 1992 – which was reissued by Mondo last year.

    Batman stars Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jack Nicholson as Joker, and Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale.

    The film followed Burton’s success on Beetlejuice, which also stared Michael Keaton in its titular role.

    Batman will be available in two versions – a standard variant on black and purple 2xLP, and a deluxe expanded edition with one yellow/black “Batman” coloured LP and one purple/green “joker coloured” LP.

    Check out the tracklists below.


    Batman Expanded Motion Picture Score

    Side A

    1. Main title
    2. Family / First Batman / Roof Fight
    3. Jack Vs. Eckhardt
    4. Up Building / Card Snap
    5. Bat Zone / Axis Set-Up
    6. Shootout
    7. Dinner Transition / Kitchen Dinner / Surgery

    Side B

    8. Stair Kiss / Face-Off / Beddy Bye
    9. Board Meeting
    10. Roasted Dude
    11. Vicki Spies (Flowers)
    12. Clown Attack
    13. Bruce Contemplates / Photos/ Men At Work
    14. Paper Spin / Alicia’s Mask
    15. Vicki Gets A Gift
    16. Alicia’s Unmasking
    17. Batman To the Rescue / Batmobile Charge / Street Fight
    18. Vicki Hides The Film

    Side C

    19. Descent Into Mystery
    20. Batcave / Paper Throw
    21. The Truth
    22. The Joker’s Poem
    23. Sad Pictures
    24. Dream / Challenge / Tender Batcave
    25. Charge of the Batmobile
    26. Joker Flies to Gotham / Batwing I
    27. Batwing II

    Side D

    28. Batwing III
    29. Cathedral Chase
    30. Waltz to the Death
    31. Showdown I / Showdown II
    32. Finale
    33. End Credits

    Batman Original Motion Picture Score

    Side A

    1. The Batman Theme
    2. Roof Fight
    3. First Confrontation
    4. Flowers
    5. Clown Attack
    6. Batman To the Rescue
    7. Roasted Dude
    8. Photos / Beautiful Dreamer
    9. Descent Into Mystery
    10. Batcave
    11. The Joker’s Poem

    Side B

    12. Love Theme
    13. Charge of the Batmobile
    14. AttacK of the Batwing
    15. Up The Cathedral
    16. Waltz to the Death
    17. The Final Confrontation
    18. Finale
    19. Batman Theme Reprise

  • Judging A Cover By Its Cover: This month’s best record sleeves

    By | November 6, 2018

    A sideways glance at the month’s most striking vinyl visuals.

    Each month we will be hailing the joys of music packaging as we celebrate innovative and awe-inspiring sleeve design. Walking with you will be designer and author John Foster as he discusses imagery, typography, layout and finishing techniques of the finest artistic talents in the music industry. Occasional forays into classic albums and general pop culture nonsense come at no additional charge. Now, get those eyeballs at the ready as we cue up the opening number…


    Bruce Broughton
    The Monster Squad – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    (Mondo)

    Artwork: Gary Pullin

    This was my first Halloween writing this column and I think we all know I could have filled every slot here with the various classics that have been reinvigorated on vinyl by the fine folks over at Death Waltz and Mondo. Mondo has pulled no punches in celebrating the holiday. While we have to wait until January to celebrate Alan Hynes’ work on the Halloween 3 soundtrack, we do have a chance to embrace the lighter side of these films courtesy of the ’80s cult classic The Monster Squad. An early Shane Black script about a group of suburban kids tangling with a who’s who of monsters, it served as an over the top update on the old Sunday matinee, entry-level horror film.

    A parallel is the pulp comic books and monster movie magazines of the ’60s, right down to the inky advertising pages that filled out the back matter with enticing offers for kits to “build your own monster”. Who better to bring this vinyl beast to life than “ghoulish” Gary Pullin? His modern take on that campy illustration style perfectly straddles the line between scary and just plain fun. Pullin always incorporates a strong sense of design to compliment his heavy line work, and here he also has a pile of witty copy to sink his teeth into.


    Makaya McCraven
    Universal Beings
    (International Anthem Recording Company)

    Artwork: Damon Locks
    Insert Design: Craig Hansen
    Photography: Michael Handler, Sean Owens, Fabrice Bourgelle, Mark Pallman, Joe Mault

    Working from several live recordings in a fashion that only he can, Makaya McCraven has produced what is probably my favourite jazz record of the year, both musically and visually. While it was recorded in four different cities, everything about the packaging for the album is soaked in Chicago, where McCraven and International Anthem reside. Illustrator Damon Locks is also a local and his work is intensely informed by his urban surroundings.

    McCraven has shown his skills in “post-producing and re-composing” his music from improvised tapes, and Locks draws on photography, ink, pencil, Xerox, printmaking to get his message across. Also stepping behind the mic, Locks has frequently collaborated with other artists and organisations in tackling social issues, and it is the full force of all of those experiences that inform his work.

    Applying his mixed media style to the huddled masses, as apartment buildings lurk in the background and the trains run alongside them, Locks captures an intense humanity in the forms and faces. The slightly slumped shoulders as someone sits down on the edge of the group, or the arched brow looking back as the crowd pushes forward – Locks captures it beautifully. Surrounding it all with hand-rendered typography, smudges and paint drips brings everything together in an imperfect perfection.


    Gaika
    Basic Volume
    (Warp)

    Design: 12:01- Office of Hassan Rahim
    Photography: Joshua Gordon

    Gaika has emerged as a startling voice, straddling genres where claustrophobic mixes haunt his unique vocals. Covering his visuals in a little haze and noise feels like the perfect touch. Upon closer inspection, nothing seems to be what it originally presented itself to be. Inverted portraits from Joshua Gordon are paired with heavy sans serif type, anchoring blocks of razor thin serifs. They all run along an OBI strip that somehow manages to feel like a history of v23 designs for 4AD, buzzsawed by trip-hop heads and stacked vertically for your viewing pleasure. 12:01 always delivers on this front, and the evolution of both Gaika and the packaging the studio is delivering leaves me excited to see how this pairing grows.


    Matthew Dear
    Bunny
    (Ghostly International)

    Artwork, Design: Michael Cina
    Photography: Brett Carlson

    “I’m calling this one Bunny,” Matthew Dear explains. Why Bunny? “Fundamentally, I love the way the word looks and sounds.” Continuing his run of jaw-dropping work for the Detroit-based producer, designer Michael Cina takes that mode of thinking directly to heart. “The design process was very long and changed courses many times,” Cina admits. “We explored so many routes, it would be hard to list them all, but the main thing was to keep our focus.”

    That focus was ultimately on the word itself and getting the most impact out of that one simple thing. “I drew out the letters and we had no technical issues. I draw type for a living (22 years now!) so that is the least of my worries!” he laughs. “Just making sure it was true to the form and lined up as planned,” provided the effect desired. Cina makes it all sound like a breeze, but the truth is something like this is incredibly difficult to pull off. Only with such an assured and trusted hand can it be accomplished with such brilliance.


    Sonnenzimmer
    Puddles
    (Self released)

    Artwork and Design: Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi


    Few studios are as inspiring as the Chicago duo known as Sonnenzimmer. In this instance, Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi 
manage to make something brilliant and unique out of discarded music. These LPs are one of a kind, yet produced from mass manufactured old LPs.

    As Butcher and Nakanishi explain: “our Puddles series of unique, playable record objects was initially conceived for a 2018 exhibit at the Gelbes Haus in Lucerne, Switzerland. The original exhibition showcased 12 casted records of original music embedded with fragments of found LPs. (We call them puddles). Each record is housed in a mono-printed gatefold sleeve.” They are quick to add: “yes, these records play and they sound very weird.” The combination of the playable objects and the wonderfully loose, one-off gatefold sleeves leaves you with the feeling that you just acquired two distinct pieces of art, all thanks to the duo’s obsession with recorded material, ink and sound.


    Fatima
    And Yet It’s All Love
    (Eglo Records)

    Artwork: Monica Kim Garza

    I want to give a special mention to Monica Kim Garza’s painting that adorns Fatima’s And Yet It’s All Love LP. Garza’s paintings never cease to delight, and her nude studies manage to enthral on multiple levels, mixing intimacy with very public display, not unlike Fatima’s music.

    Similarly, the artwork is at once both a throwback to paintings like the classic studies of women by Matisse, and something that is absolutely hyper modern, much in the same way that Fatima references old soul and R&B, but does so with a cutting edge.


    John Foster is the author of Album Art: New Music Graphics (Thames & Hudson), New Masters of Poster Design (Rockport) and numerous other books. As principal of his design firm Bad People Good Things he has designed hundreds of record sleeves for everyone from Teenbeat to Warner Bros.

  • The Mission: Impossible soundtrack is being released on vinyl for the first time

    By | August 6, 2018

    Danny Elfman’s score pressed to green and red vinyl.

    The soundtrack to Brian De Palma’s 1996 blockbuster Mission: Impossible will be released on vinyl for the first time in October, via Mondo.

    Read next: A journey through Italian Cinema soundtracks with Modula

    Based on the pulp fiction TV series of the same name, the film was soundtracked by Danny Elfman, who adapted the recognisable theme of Lalo Schifrin’s original score, and set the benchmark for the subsequent franchise.

    Mission: Impossible is the latest in a string of summer announcements from the label, who will also put out soundtrack releases of Big Trouble In Little China, the second season of Luke Cage and a special Halloween box set.

    The Tom Cruise action flick will be pressed to limited edition split red and green vinyl and a standard transluscent red edition, with liner notes by Brian Satterwhite.

    Pre-order your copy direct from Mondo here ahead of its release in October and check out the variants below.

  • John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China soundtrack reissued for the first time

    By | July 9, 2018

    Music from the 1986 cult classic.

    Director/composer John Carpenter’s 1986 soundtrack for Big Trouble in Little China is being reissued for the first time, via Mondo this July.

    Read more: The inexorable rise of vinyl soundtrack releases

    Big Trouble in Little China stars Kurt Russell – who Carpenter had already worked with on three previous films: Elvis (1979), The Fog (1980), and Escape From New York (1981) – as truck driver turned underworld crime fighter Jack Burton.

    Though the film failed to achieve critical or commercial success when it was released, it has since gone on to become a cult classic.

    Big Trouble in Little China has been remastered from its original tapes by James Plotkin for its first ever vinyl reissue.

    Mondo has yet to reveal the track list for its deluxe, 2xLP release, but it will available in two variants: “clear lightening bolt” available exclusively at Mondo’s Comic-Con booth in San Diego 19th – 22nd July, followed by a red variant later this summer.

    Head to Mondo for more info, and watch the original trailer below.

  • Batman Returns score reissued on limited 3xLP for the first time

    By | October 31, 2017

    The haunting sounds of Tim Burton’s iconic superhero film.

    Danny Elfman’s 1992 score for Batman Returns is being released in a limited triple vinyl set this November by Mondo.

    Burton’s film brought his unique, macabre style to the Dark Knight series, with a cast rounded out by Michael Keaton as Batman, Michelle Pfeiffer bringing feline evil to Catwoman and Danny Devito’s inimitable turn as Penguin.

    Elfman and Burton have worked together on every film Burton has released since their first collaboration, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985.

     

    Elfman’s otherworldly score, widely regarded as one of his finest, features the composer’s signature orchestral tracks mixed with sweeping chorals.

    The package comes on grey, black and white vinyl, is limited to 2,000 copies worldwide, features original artwork by Killian Eng, liner notes by John Takis, and a Gotham Globe newspaper insert.

    Batman Returns 3xLP set will be released exclusively via MondoCon, with leftovers available online the following week. A 2xLP version will also be available online and in record shops.

    Head here for more info and listen to the intro music below.

  • 1979 Alien soundtrack reissued on limited edition coloured vinyl

    By | August 25, 2017

    The inner sleeves document the life-cycle of the Alien.

    To celebrate the Alien sci-fi franchise that started back in 1979, Mondo unveiled an extraordinary reissue of the original film’s soundtrack.

    Jerry Goldsmith’s dissonant soundtrack will be released as a monster 4xLP set on 180g colour vinyl. Created by Tyler Stout, each disc sleeve has different artwork, charting the evolution of Alien, from egg through to its final Xenomorph form.

    Each set also comes with a randomly inserted screen-printed handbill:

    If you weren’t able to nab a copy before pre-orders of the 4xLP package sold out, Mondo are also releasing a 2xLP set with artwork by Kilian Eng on 180g “acid blood green” or black vinyl.

    Last year, Mondo marked Alien Day with a liquid filled vinyl release, limited to just 75 copies.

    Pre-order a copy of the 2xLP set here ahead of its 29th September 2017 release, and check out the track list below.

    Tracklist:

    Side A

    01. Main Title
    02. Hyper Sleep
    03. The Landing
    04. The Terrain

    Side B

    05. The Craft
    06. The Passage
    07. The Skeleton
    08. A New Face
    09. Hanging On
    10. The Lab
    11. Drop Out

    Side C

    12. Nothing To Say
    13. Cat Nip
    14. Here Kitty
    15. The Shaft
    16. It’s A Droid
    17. Parker’s Death

    Side D

    18. The Eggs
    19. Sleepy Alien
    20. To Sleep
    21. The Cupboard
    22. Out The Door
    23. End Title

  • Ennio Morricone’s rare Space: 1999 score is being released on vinyl for the first time

    By | August 9, 2017

    Out of this world.

    Composer Ennio Morricone’s Spazio: 1999 score is being released for the first time on limited-edition coloured vinyl by Mondo.

    Read more: 10 essential records that show how Ennio Morricone revolutionised the film soundtrack

    Spazio: 1999 was an Italian feature film cut from three episodes of British sci-fi television series Space: 1999 and turned into a full-length movie. Its entire score was created by award-winning composer Morricone.

    This limited-edition, double-LP package comes with artwork by Chris Bilheimer and liner notes by Nick Williams (Fanderson). Disc one is orange and black, disc two is orange and white.

    Head to Mondo to nab a copy and listen to the Space: 1999 original theme below.

  • Check out the exclusive vinyl releases at Comic Con 2017

    By | July 14, 2017

    Logan, Deadpool, Apes and more.

    Arguably the biggest day of the year for the nerdiverse, there’s more vinyl on offer than ever before at the 2017 San Diego convention. Running Thursday 20 July – 23rd July, here’s what’s been announced thus far. We’ll continue to update this post as new vinyl is revealed.

    Read more: Charlie Brown on record collecting: The very best Peanuts vinyl comic strips

    Mondo

    Following their 2016 sell-out 4×7” Inside Out singles featuring Phantom City Creative artwork and vinyl soundtrack for the Cartoon Network miniseries Over the Garden Wall, the soundtrack specialists have just announced one vinyl so far – the Contra Original Video Game Soundtrack LP – teasing at more to come on their website. Update: the Hot Fuzz Cornetto vinyl has also been announced.

    The Nintendo game music by Konami Kukeiha Club, comes on Tri-Color (Yellow, Orange, Red) vinyl and is limited to 1,000 Copies. Available from Preview Night at San Diego Comic-Con 2017.

    To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hot Fuzz, Mondo are releasing David Arnold’s score for the first time on any format, available only at Comic Con. The package comes with Cornetto coloured vinyl with chocolate scented insert and is limited to 10000 copies.

    This blurry ‘mystery’ release is scheduled for Saturday.

    Fox Home Entertainment

    Fox is bringing five limited-edition vinyl packages to the convention. The exclusive sets include: Logan, Deadpool, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

    The Deadpool set is pressed on red double-vinyl, and Logan features a special ‘noir’ version of the film, plus vinyl picture disk. Alongside the records, each package also includes Blu-ray discs, DVDs, digital versions of the movies, plus expanded art. Available from Friday 21 July.

    La La Land

    The 2016 event saw a Star Trek 50th anniversary die-cut insignia gold vinyl, as well as a Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary 7” picture disc from small LA movie music hub La La Land. (No relation to Blah Blah Bland film.) With a booth at this year’s event, they’ll undoubtedly have some unique offerings in store.

    If you missed the action last year, you can still cop the Star Trek 12” on their site now.

  • Jaws soundtrack to get “first-ever” official vinyl release

    By | July 3, 2017

    John Williams’ 1975 score given the Mondo treatment.

    Up there with the most iconic film soundtracks of all time, John Williams’ acclaimed Academy Award-winning score to Steven Spielberg’s squaloid smash Jaws is getting its first official vinyl release via Mondo.

    But wait a minute, we hear you say, the Jaws soundtrack was released on MCA in 1975, has received dozens of pressings, including a reissue on Geffen just two years ago.

    All true, but as Mondo clarify, “the Grammy-winning 1975 MCA album was a re-recording,” whereas Mondo’s new 2XLP edition “presents the entire Academy Award-winning score as composed and recorded for the actual film in its first-ever vinyl release.”

    How different that is remains to be seen, but what you can be sure of is that this edition has been restored, edited and mixed from the original studio elements by co-producer Mike Matessino, and features Mondo’s signature refreshed artwork, this time provided by Phantom City Creative.

    Pressed to black and ocean blue vinyl, the soundtrack will ship in late October, although you can pre-order your copy here.

  • The Fifth Element soundtrack set for first ever vinyl release

    By | April 21, 2017

    Mondo teases release of the cult sci-fi score.

    The soundtrack to Luc Besson’s 1997 sci-fi epic The Fifth Element looks set to get its first ever vinyl release.

    Read next: The 20 best soundtracks of 2016

    Teasing the prospective artwork with a quote from Bruce Willis’ Korben Dallas character via its Instagram account, Mondo will oversee the release and doubtless give it the full treatment, following extensively packaged reissues of the Fight Club and Gremlins soundtracks last year.

    Written by Éric Serra, who is also responsible for the Goldeneye soundtrack, music in The Fifth Element appears in close to 90 per cent of what has been called an “intrinsically musical” film, moving between classical orchestration, reggae, fanfares, hula music and opera.

    There is little more information about the soundtrack available at present, but you can check out what could well be the artwork below:

    You have one point left on your license. #Vinyl

    A post shared by MONDO (@mondotees) on

    Update 12/5/17:

    Mondo has revealed more details of the soundtrack, which will be released via the Mondo website on 17th May and features two editions – an orange-striped white vinyl reminiscent of Leeloo’s outfit, the other a “Super Green” pressing limited to just 500 copies.

    “The Fifth Element is essential science fiction cinema,” said Mondo Record Label Manager Mo Shafeek. “Not only is the soundtrack responsible for a wildly vast tonal spectrum – you’d be hard pressed to name another film that bounces from comedic montage to straight-faced opera to action-adventure in the span of 15 minutes – but he makes it feel and sound effortless. It is a truly unique listening experience.”

    You can check them out, as well as artwork by London-based designer Shan Jiang below.

  • Mondo to release Creed soundtrack on tri-colour vinyl

    By | January 26, 2017

    “For the true film score fans.”

    The soundtrack to 2015 Rocky spin-off Creed is getting a limited edition vinyl release via Mondo.

    The soundtrack specialists known for their extravagant presses – like the recent water-sensitive Gremlins and self-destructing Fight Club releases – have mixed their red, white and blue pellets for a tri-colour vinyl edition that will hit their online store on 8th Feb.

    Created by Swedish composer and Childish Gambino collaborator Ludwig Göransson, the score is billed as a “Composer’s Cut,” without dialogue tracks. It includes four bonus tracks that were not featured in the film.

    “I’m so excited to finally have my score for Creed on my favorite format,” Göransson said. “I’m also excited to share this new version with only the instrumental score for the true film score fans.”

    Limited to 1,000 copies, Creed will be released via the Mondo online shop on 8th February or at a special screening of the film at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin, Texas on Saturday, January 28th, if you happen to be in the area. Find out more here.

    Tracklisting:

    Side A
    Juvy (2:20) Adonis (2:28)
    Your Daddy Died In The Ring (2:20)*
    Meeting Rocky (3:46) Conlan (Redemption) (1:28)
    First Date

    Side B
    Moving In With Rocky (1:20)
    Front Street Gym (3:23)
    Pre-Fight (1:16)*
    The Sporino Fight (4:34)
    Liverpool (1:58)*
    I Got You (1:02)
    Rocky Falls (1:26)*

    Side C
    Rocky Is Sick (2:17)
    Caught In The Shadow (1:21)
    If I Fight, You Fight (Training Montage) (4:54)
    Boxing Shorts (1:44)
    Conlan Fight (6:22)

    Side D
    You’re A Creed (4:26)
    You Can See The Whole Town From Here (2:11)
    End Credits – Creed (3:08)
    Creed Suite (2:36)

  • Mondo is releasing a pair of Spider-Man slip mats

    By | December 1, 2016

    Spider-Mat.

    Having gone rogue on the new packaging for their recent Gremlins and Fight Club reissues, soundtrack connoisseurs Mondo are channelling their vigilante spirit on a new set of slip mats.

    Tying together their string of NY-based superheroes from recent releases (Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage), Mondo took inspiration from fellow city-dweller Spider-Man to design a pair of iconic slip mats that will make your decks shine.

    Featuring two classic Spider-Man logos, the slip mats will ship in January 2017 and you can pre-order your set here.

    spiderman2

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