There are a lot of reasons people get into collecting vinyl. None of them are exactly what one could call healthy. In fact, if you’ve ever considered delving into this expensive, excessively inconvenient past time, we’d advise you to also consider shutting your laptop now and forgetting you even started to read this article because Mondo is bringing the goods.
Some of their most beautiful posters were highlighted in this article a few weeks ago, but we believe the pop culture mecca of merchandising has found, perhaps, an even more attractive product in its run of extremely limited vinyl relases. In focusing primarily on the release of iconic cult soundtracks for vinyl (many of them being pressed for the first time ever), Mondo and their sister label Death Waltz have tapped into one of the hippest demographics ever identified: The audiocinephile. The artwork isn’t only evident in the covers and gatefolds housing the record, but also in the pressings themselves.
Take a look for yourselves and, if you really want to go down that road, you can start buying some of these incredible pressings in the music section of Mondo’s website.
“Jurassic Park,” JC Richard & Dan McCarthy
If we had this at the office it’d be John Williams, first thing, every morning. These two variants of his iconic score aren’t only beautiful, they’re basically the vinyl equivalent of Easter eggs.
If you don’t know what a Dilophosaurus is, then the first edition “Dilophosaurus Colored” pressing could easily be mistaken for some sort of rasta tie-dye tribute, which (though interesting) doesn’t really make sense in the context of Isla Nubar. The true fan, however, can identify the Dilophosaurus as that menacing little dinosaur which spews forth acid upon a bumbling Dennis Nedry in his failed attempt to swipe a vile of sweet, sweet dino DNA. They would also notice the colors of the vinyl match that of the lizard harbinger of doom’s frilled out neck.
The second variant, with artwork by Dan McCarthy, has a slightly more scientific vibe with a gatefold featuring a glow in the dark T-Rex skeleton. This is the “Amber” edition, pressed on translucent gold, complete with fossilized mosquito in the center.
“Scanners”/ “The Brood,” Sam Wolfe Connelly
“Studio Ghibli – Kokyo Kyokushu,” Tyler Stout
This has got to be the coolest (and rarest) of Mondo’s offerings. A compilation of songs from some of Studio Ghibli’s best films, including selections from “Princess Mononoke,” “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “The Cat Returns” and “My Neighbors the Yamadas” as performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
The release features three different cover art variants that buyers were given the task to choose from: “Howl’s Moving Castle” pressed on purple and pink vinyl, “Spirited Away” pressed on yellow and green, or “Princess Mononoke” pressed on blue and red. That’s a hell of a decision to make.
We’d have to go with “Spirited Away,” which is also (not coincidentally) the most expensive variant of the release listed on the online Vinyl marketplace Discogs.
“The Iron Giant,” Jay Shaw
It’s only fitting that this comes in an iron case, right? A pretty damn good soundtrack, too.
“Music for 2001: A Space Odyssey (The Original Score by Alex North),” Jay Shaw
Many people are familiar with the orchestral swells of Kubrick’s final soundtrack for 2001, but not many realize that up until the very last minute he was prepared to use another score. The original composer, Alex North, showed up to the premiere screening still thinking it would be his score accompanying the space epic. It would’ve been nice for Kubrick to give him sort of heads up ,but hey, that’s just Stanley being Stanley. At least now it can be heard on this slick, monolithic black vinyl, complete with an insane holographic gatefold reminiscent of Dave’s journey through the infinite and a pressing with tripped out colors to match.
“Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1,” Tyler Stout
While not as flashy as some of Mondo’s other releases, it’s no secret that “Guardians of The Galaxy” has one of the best soundtracks, well, ever, really. Whoever compiled this had a pretty large task ahead of them in attempting to select the 12 songs that most accurately represent the entirety of humanity, but, boy, did they really hit the nail on the head with this one.
Pressed, of course, on Purple Infinity Stone vinyl.
“Shaun of the Dead,” Jock
This is one soundtrack you definitely never knew you wanted before you saw it.
Featuring some awesome cover art by the illustrator Jock and complete with liner notes by Edgar Wright, the kicker for this release has to be the Winchester Ale Colored pressing, which harkens back to the very foamy brews of the pub being destroyed in the background of its majestic gatefold.
For the monochrome enthusiast, there is also a version steeped in blood red, black and white.
“Aliens,” Killian Eng
You might not listen to it much because its terrifying, but you can show it off to your friends because it’s beautiful. The first two editions of James Horner’s Oscar nominated score sold out in record fashion, but somehow you can purchase the even cooler “Newbury Comics” exclusive pressing here.
Jon Brion has scored some pretty great films (“Magnolia,” “Punch Drunk Love,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) but this might be one of his best. It perfectly captures the 80’s slasher throwback vibes that Mondo and Death Waltz have really started to zero in on with these releases.
The coolest part? Probably the “Glow In The Dark Splatter” vinyl that glows either red, blue or green depending on what pressing you end up with.
“Drive,” Tyler Stout
This is the one that started it all for Mondo vinyl and it’s not hard to see why. Cliff Martinez made soundtracks popular again with a dark, pulsating, neo-80’s score that drove fledgling EDM kids off the wall bonkers. The first pressing (on neon pink of course) sold out in less than 30 minutes. The cheapest price for this inaugural edition on Discogs is now a whopping $140.
“Halloween,” Ken Taylor
Potentially the most frightening cover we’ve ever seen. John Carpenter is a master of many things, but until recently (with the release of his critically acclaimed “Lost Themes”) people seemed to take for granted just how talented of a composer he is.
“Back to the Future” Trilogy Box Set, DKNG
6 LPS, liner notes from screenwriter Bob Gale, breathtaking artwork by DKNG Studios, and a plutonium case to boot. Great Scott, indeed.