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!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Planet of the Apes - Battle of Two Worlds



Another POTA TV show-centric plot, another stunning Neal Adams cover. The audio adventure is pretty good, and features some grisly moments that were hallmarks of the Apes franchise, despite it being aimed at, and sold to, children. It still distracts me that the guy who plays Peter Burker was also Peter Parker on the Spidey records. Now...Spider-Man on the Planet of the Apes, that would be something!

Another thing: the first time I looked at it, I really thought that one ape was angrily biting a banana.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spidey Super Stories LP


I had absolutely no idea this thing existed until I saw it on sale on eBay a few weeks ago...a "new" Spider-Man Power Record, titled Spidey Super Stories! it's not a Power Record, exactly. I guess Peter Pan Records wanted to slightly differentiate these Spider-Man stories, culled from The Electric Company TV series, from the slightly harder-edged ones they had been producing via their Power label, so that familiar logo is nowhere to be found. Still, I was so jazzed to find this, since it was all new to me!

The narration is by, yes, the Morgan Freeman (who of course was Easy Reader on EC). The cast is different than the usual stable of actors you heard on the Power Records, so it's safe to assume Peter Pan just bought the contents lock, stock, and web-shooter and put it out. I love the constant references to the Electric Company within the stories themselves...nice marketing, fellas.

After listening to the tracks, I had a weird feeling of deja vu. I felt like I had heard these stories before, so...maybe I did have this record as a kid? I have zero memory of it, but it's possible the record got lost over the intervening decades, along with the memories. Either way, these are goofy, corny fun!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Spider-Man LP Original Art

When I first saw this beautiful piece of John Romita art, I assumed it had been created expressly for the Power Record The Amazing Spider-Man LP, seen above. But upon closer inspection, it's more likely that it was used for some other purpose (Romita being Marvel's go-to guy for iconic stock art shots of its characters) and then re-used for the LP. Although...

Now that I look at it again, I see that the Spidey logo looks like a recent addition to the paste-up, since it has not browned with age like the rest of the piece. So maybe that was added later, and then signed by Romita to make it more valuable on the original art market. Whatever its origins, it's a beautiful piece, perfect for the album sleeve, promising the buyer classic Spider-Man adventures!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Heroes World Ad

I found this ad on Google Image, but it had no context so I can't be sure where it originally appeared. Judging by the wonky letting and DIY aesthetic, my hunch is its from one of those Heroes World catalogs from the 1970s and early 80s.

I know the ad is not suggesting this at all, but who do you think would win in a fight, Spock, Spider-Man, Captain America, and Dracula vs. Superman, Batman, Hulk, and Man-Thing? My money's on the latter!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fantastic Four/Captain America Cassette 2-Pack



Over on the Power Records Facebook page, Power Pal Rockwell Jay Pugglesworth sent a bunch of really cool images, mostly of stuff we have yet to cover here on the blog. Case in point, this 2-pack featuring cassette versions of Fantastic Four: The Way It Began and Captain America: And A Phoenix Shall Arise!

As you can see, Power Records put in Mego-like effort sometimes, simply slapping a sticker with the word "cassette" over the cover, rather than re-printing. Clearly, they had inventory lying around, and Pete Pan realized that vinyl was dying off, so repurposing for cassette was the financially prudent thing to do. Maybe I simply stopped being interested in these by the early 1980s, because I don't ever remember seeing a single one of these Power Cassette sets for sale at the time.

We now have photographic evidence of three Marvel-based cassette sets, there must be more. Perhaps Superman or Batman? Until we can find them, thanks Rockwell!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Power Records Podcast, Episode 7: More Monsters!

sgThe Fire and Water Podcast Presents: THE POWER RECORDS PODCAST, Episode 7

It's Halloween time, and that means Monsters! Hosts Rob Kelly and Chris Franklin talk about two spooky Marvel Monster records, "The Monster of Frankenstein!" and "The Curse of the Werewolf!"

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Opening and closing themes courtesy Peter Pan Records.

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wonder Woman - The Secret of the Magic Tiara Original Art

sg sg
Here's the beautiful original art for Wonder Woman: The Secret of the Magic Tiara book and record set by the legendary Rich Buckler. About as iconic as it gets, weird capitalization notwithstanding!

If you look close, you can see some very minor tweaks made to Diana's face for the printed version--it seems editors just can't resist fiddling with final art after it comes in, no matter who is doing the work. Man, have I been there, and I'm not Rich Buckler or John Romita!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Avengers - Captain America Joins The Avengers!

This gorgeous custom Power Records book-and-record set is courtesy the always engaging Dial "B" for Blog...but there's more!

In the late 1960s, Marvel teamed with an outfit called Golden Records, which issued four LPs called "Marvel Age Comic Spectaculars", that featured audio adaptations of classic Marvel stories (for the, uh, record: Fantastic Four #1, Amazing Spider-Man #1, Journey into Mystery #83, and The Avengers #4), accompanied by reprints of the comic--in this case, the aforementioned Avengers #4. Almost impossible to find now for less than a small fortune, they were the forerunners to the Power Records.

Dial "B" decided to create the custom Power Record cover, also adding "Ani-Motion" to the comic book portion, so you can watch your heroes move (sort of) as they discover the Sentinel of Liberty encased in ice. It's a lot of fun, and the audio adaptation is pretty darn good. In fact, I'm not sure why Peter Pan just didn't license the four Golden Records and repurpose them for the Power Records line, it would have been great to have The Avengers and Thor added to the roster!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Star Trek - Dinosaur Planet


Dinosaur Planet


Dinosaur Planet is another of the later period, Star Trek: The Motion Picture-inspired book and record sets. Like the previously covered adventure The Robot Masters, Dinosaur Planet is perfectly fine, if a little dull, comic book, but the audio portion is pretty good. The writers get the interaction of the characters pretty spot-on, and of course the dinosaur-centric plot is something the actual show could have never afforded to do!

Though I will say, while the idea of using photos of the actors makes sense from a marketing perspective, jeez do they look cheezy when paired with the comic book-style backgrounds!

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