Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Incredible Hulk - At Bay


The Incredible Hulk At Bay!

For some reason, Power Records re-purposed some of their Spider-Man and Hulk book-and-record sets. They retained the inside contents but gave them new, generally less Marvel-y, covers. The mustard-colored background really brings the excitement!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Power Records Podcast Episode 8: Six Million Dollar Christmas!

sgThe Fire and Water Podcast Presents: THE POWER RECORDS PODCAST, Episode 8

It's Christmas time again, so Chris and I take a listen to four holiday-themed audio adventures starring Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man! We wrap up with your Listener Feedback!

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Opening and closing themes courtesy Peter Pan Records.

Thanks for listening! Drop the needle and turn the page!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Space: 1999 - 3 Exciting Stories



Death's Other Dominion
Mission of the Darians

Like The Six Million Dollar Man, Space: 1999 was a property I was only vaguely familiar with as a kid. To my memory, I never had any of the book and record sets, and this second LP of adventures was completely unknown to me until recently. This certainly has to be the only Power Record recommended by Dr. Wernher von Braun--though to be fair, I bet he would have recommended this Wonder Woman 45" if he had had the chance.
Audio-wise, these adventures aren't bad, but they suffer an overall dullness that I thought marred the show, and kept me from really getting into it, in those dark days before Star Wars. Still, the sleeve makes it all look very exciting!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spider-Man - The Abominable Showman


The Abominable Showman

Another Spidey 45", featuring signed cover art by Bill Gow. Art-wise, this is one of the better sleeves, with Spidey taking a real beating courtesy the Showman's giant robot!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wonder Woman: The Secret of the Magic Tiara Original Art

A page of Rich Buckler's wonderful original art to the "The Secret of the Magic Tiara" book and record set. Be careful of that Mitch fella, Wonder Woman!

I (ahem) wonder why the page is noted as "Wonder Woman #35"?

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Beastie Boys - Brr Stick 'Em

I mentioned on Wednesday that I found it remarkable that, considering how massively popular The Six Million Dollar Man was in the 1970s, that it hasn't come back in some major way. The property is still very beloved by those who grew up with it.

Case in point: The Beastie Boys sampled a section from Power Records' Six Million Dollar Man audio adventure "Bionic Berserker" for their 2004 song "Brr Stick 'Em", which appeared as a B-side to the "Right Right Now Now" single. Check it out below, it kicks off the song:

Did one of the Beastie Boys have some Power Records growing up? Age-wise it's more than possible. This seems like a subject that should be addressed in that Power Records coffee table book I want to write!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Six Million Dollar Man: Volume 2


Boy, did I give ol' Steve Austin short shrift on the first iteration of this blog. I covered the first LP of course, and I mistakenly assumed that was all there was. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Not only did Power Records issue that first LP in two different sleeves, but they also put out an all-original Christmas record, multiple 45s, and this second LP full of another set of audio adventures! That puts the Six Million Dollar Man up there with Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man in terms of how many different Power Records are out there with Steve Austin as the star. 

Considering how big The Six Million Dollar Man was in the 1970s, its sort of amazing that he hasn't returned to the pop culture landscape, considering nearly everything from that era has (including The Bionic Woman). I know there's been a reboot movie script floating around Hollywood for years, I wonder what the hold up is?

Audio-wise, these four stories--which I'm hearing for the first time--are pretty solid. There's a different actor playing Steve, and he dropped the attempted mimicry of Lee Majors that the other performer went for. I kinda miss it, really!

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Six Million Dollar Man - Alternate Cover


I guess Power Records thought re-issuing their Six Million Dollar Man LP using photos from the actual show was a good idea, just in case Neal Adams' original failed to hook potential buyers.

Of course, no sooner do I say that I've never seen Power Record issue a "variant", then I find this. Happy to be wrong!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Star Trek: To Starve A Fleaver

Another of Power Records' dull as dishwater re-releases to tie in with Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Having worked in graphic design and dealt with licensed properties, I'm guessing that Peter Pan was sent a batch of stills from the movie by Paramount to use for the sleeves, so they could only do so much: almost all the images seen on these re-releases are boring as all get out. Not that ST:TMP had a whole lot of action scenes to pick from, but it seems like whoever was in charge really went out of their way to find as many "Crew of Enterprise standing around" shots as possible.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Six Million Dollar Man: 4 Exciting Christmas Adventures


Christmas Lights
Elves' Revolt

The Kris Kringle Caper
The Toymaker

How big was the Six Million Dollar Man as a property? Power Records gave him his own Christmas-themed LP, something not even Superman or Batman got!

I didn't have this as a kid, so I was hearing these stories for the first time when preparing this post. "Elves' Revolt" excepted, they're fairly straightforward action adventure stories, and I imagine they were fairly satisfying if you were a fan of the show. I do find it curious why the classic "na na na na na na" sound effect, the show's most lasting contribution to pop culture, is never used. Maybe it was considered copyrighted to the show only?

I can't quite place the art on the front sleeve, but I'll eat a Holo-Man 45" if the back cover isn't by longtime Batman artist Irv Novick. That portrait of Oscar Madison is a dead ringer for his work.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Batman LP Original Art

Here's Neal Adams' original art to the 1976 Batman LP featuring "Gorilla City" and "The Mystery of the Scarecrow Corpse." Nice coloring, though I don't get the idea behind that big white stripe down the center.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Star Trek: Passage to Moauv

Power Records reissued most (all?) of their Star Trek audio adventures with new front and back covers to tie in with the 1979 movie. Some of them were pretty god awful ugly, but this one isn't too bad, if a bit generic. Could the story title be done in a less exciting manner?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Superman: The Man From Krpyton



Spider-Man of course wasn't the only Power Records star whose adventures were re-purposed across multiple formats. Superman got the honor with "The Man From Krypton", featuring an all-new cover, which looks to me like re-drawn versions of work by Rich Buckler and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (PBHN).

This seems a little odd to me, because from what I understand JLGL didn't start producing the classic DC stock art until 1983 or so, and I thought Power Records had given up the ghost by then--or at the very least, had stopped issuing new releases of any kind. Yet here it is!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Six-Million Dollar Man: Elves' Revolt


Elves' Revolt

I was never that into the Six-Million Dollar Man as a kid, so I never fully grokked just how popular he was in his heyday. Case in point: not only did Power Records license the character for his own LPs, but he was picked to headline a Christmas-themed adventure, an honor not even granted to Spider-Man or the cast of Star Trek!

This adventure is pretty painfully silly, though I appreciate the voice actor playing Steve Austin trying to approximate Lee Majors' particular way of speaking. It helps if you think of this record as a prequel to The Night The Reindeer Died.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Power Records Multi-Packs

Another amazing Power Records discovery courtesy Power Pal Rockwell Jay Pugglesworth! In addition to the cassette twin-packs, Power Records also issued their audio adventures on hanger cards, with up to four(!) stories crammed onto one cassette.

The Star Trek ones are, like the movie they're plugging, pretty dull, but check out the Spider-Man and Wonder Woman packs seen on the back of the cards! Not only do they feature art heretofore unseen on any Power Record, but they feature some nifty die-cuts which really must have helped them pop off the stands. Not only that, but as you can see from the product list, the combos were real head-scratchers: Hulk and Superman? Captain American and Star Trek? You'll never see the likes of these again.

Great find Rockwell!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Superman Wonder Woman Batman: Exciting Christmas Stories


Light Up The Tree, Mr. President
Christmas Carol Caper
The Prisoner of Christmas Island

The only instance I can think of what we nowadays call a "variant", Power Records issued the same Christmas-themed LP featuring original stories starring Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman with two different covers, swapping the background color and changing the title treatment. I can only assume they were released different years...why they felt the need to change the cover art is a mystery probably lost to the ages.

I never even knew they did this at all until my POWER RECORDS PODCAST co-host Chris Franklin mentioned to me that his copy had the red background, while mine has the green. The things you learn!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Spider-Man: The Invasion of the Dragon Men



Invasion of the Dragon Men

Power Records issued a couple of their adventures in yet another format, a refitted book-and-record set that came with a 45 rpm record. I can't be sure just yet, but I believe they also used this cover when putting it out on cassette, which is why they changed "book and record" to "book and recording", which covers all bases.

The artwork looks like it was traced from Marvel comics/style guides--it's a little loose for the House of Ideas, but also tighter than the work of Bill Gow, who did the sleeves for a lot of Spider-Man 45" records.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Power Records Sci-Fi Display

A very fun display stand Peter Pan records sent out to stores, highlighting their sci-fi releases on their header card (which could presumably be swapped out for others, since I'm betting the base--featuring all the Power Records stars--stayed the same).

It's interesting that at the very top it says "Star Wars", as if there was some famous movie with a similar name that Power Records did not have the license for. Thanks once again to for finding this gem!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Star Trek: Passage to Moauv Original Art

Neal Adams' beautiful original art to Star Trek: Passage to Moauv. It's interesting, because if you look closely, Kirk and Spock don't really look like Shatner and Nimoy, yet somehow look even more perfect the way Adams renders them.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Planet of the Apes: 4 Exciting New Stories



This was another one of those Power Records that I completely missed as a child: it wasn't until recently that I had any idea there were original POTA adventures, not just the movie adaptations.

For some reason, only three of the adventures found here were released as 45s, with "Volcano" being only found on this LP. The sleeve neatly represents the two different visual approaches Power used sometimes--the front looks like the work of the Fillipino artists that Marvel used in their comics and on the movie adaptations, while the back is cartoonier (the work of Bill Gow again?), presumably being done in-house. Zap!

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