Johnson Smith Novelty Company "Horror Record" (Johnson Smith Co, 32071, 1973)
As a kid the Johnson Smith Novelty Company seemed like just about the coolest thing in the world to me, and their ubiquitous ads in most early to mid '70's comics really stoked the flames for my nascent love of stupid crap (not to mention total junk). Given that I was also obsessed with all things Halloween, by far one of the most drool-worthy ads for me was this one:
So you can bet that I ordered off for that "Horror Record" as soon as I could scrape together the required cash (along w/ the U-Control Ghost, but that's another story). When it finally arrived though (as a 7", not the full LP I'd pictured) it was, like nearly all things ordered from comic books, something of a letdown. I think I'd truly imagined that once I dropped that needle down my entire bedroom would suddenly become a haunted house or something, but if any record could manage THAT trick, this wasn't gonna be it. To be fair side one wasn't so bad -- pretty much just 7 minutes of the usual Halloween sound effects I'd come to know already -- but on side two they tried to piece together some sort of semi-cohesive storyline which is where the whole thing fell apart. The narrator's attempts at a sinister voice were risibly lame (he stammers a few times & seems to be making most of it up as he goes along), and as something of a horror purist (I wanted your classic array of ghosts, werewolves, vampires, zombies, witches & ghouls) I was morbidly aghast by the end of the thing when the cartoon voiced "Krishtor the Moon Monster" arrives to blow the world up (this after an extended flogging scene!). To be honest though, I STILL played the living hell out of this record and quickly grew to prefer the cheapo feel it wallowed in much more than if they had pulled things off with slicker results (a preference that would screw up my tastes for the rest of my life). Now through the magic of the internet you too can share in the glory of this B-Grade 70's horror vibe, and as an added bonus I'm sticking up an entire LP released in 1960 that was culled from the identical audio library (it even features the same damn Krishtor scene but in extended/ dorkier form; this time the bit ends with some goofy sounding beatnik guy reciting a poem). Like, boo.
(most of) Side Two of the Johnson Smith Horror Record comes to life! In animated form! Boo!