has been a gradual yet inevitable demise of analogue formats over the last
decade or so, with wax cylinders, eight track and the chrome cassette tape all
now relegated to the scrap heap. Yet vinyl is making a comeback. Despite the
supposed superiority of the CD and the mp3, there is nothing as satisfying as
sliding your 12” LP out of it's card sleeve, carefully placing it on the
turntable, and the slight crackle when the needle first makes contact. And many
argue that the sound quality remains superior to digital reproduction,
particularly when listening to older recordings that were made using analogue
equipment in the first place.
company to truly embrace the vinyl collector culture is Death Waltz Records,
founded by Spencer Hickman of Rough Trade in London. They produce exclusive
vinyl reproductions of a massive array of cult film soundtracks and accompany
them with sleeve notes, newly commissioned artwork and coloured vinyl, and most
come with screen prints and posters too. They have recently put out the bizarre
electronic scores of Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the
Witch, both limited to 300 copies. This release coincides nicely with the
recent rerelease of both films on Blu-ray and DVD from Shout Factory.
Halloween III in particular has
been much maligned over the years, thanks in no small part to screenwriter
Nigel Kneale's much publicised dislike of the film. However you feel about it,
the soundtrack is superb. Both of these Halloween releases have
splendidly eerie scores which should on no account be listened to in the dark.
Both were composed by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth and build on the tones
and style that Carpenter developed on the first Halloween movie. Halloween
II also delivers a surprise when The Chordettes burst through the
synthesised shivers with “Mr Sandman”, an incongruity which fits well with the
ending of the movie. Halloween III contains the horrifyingly catchy
“Silver Shamrock” jingle, reminding children to make sure they are wearing
their new Halloween masks when the 'Horrorthon' starts later that night. Of
course, if you have seen the film you will know those are no ordinary Halloween
masks, and it is a night that will not end well.
you are a collector who wants everything in mint condition, the dilemma as to
whether you can actually play your vinyl once it arrives is a difficult one.
Even if you decide not to play it, each Death Waltz release makes a unique
piece of memorabilia.
recent development at Death Waltz Records will be of particular interest to
fans of British horror. They have gone into partnership with Hammer Films and
are intending to release several soundtracks on vinyl, some of which have never
been released before. Amongst the first will be Twins of Evil (1971) and
The Devil Rides Out (1968), Hammer's most successful Dennis Wheatley adaptation. The latter will
feature extensive sleeve-notes by James Bernard and all new exclusive
artwork. The package will come as a limited edition coloured vinyl with an A2
poster and 12 x 12 lithograph print . It will also contain a download link for
an interview with Christopher Lee and two unreleased cues. If you are a vinyl
collector, or a fan of Hammer horror, you had better start saving up now!