10/14/09

Album Covers #9: Horror Themed Records

You just can't top Sounds to make you Shiver! (1974) as the greatest horror themed record of all time. From a child's perspective, it's got it all - especially for children of the 70's, who were completely monster crazy. Could you possiblly portray the joy of Halloween and with more enthusiasm than this? Sure, it's busy, but so were the Tales from the Crypt comic covers - kids like busy.  I mean, this is not a minimalist Bauhaus or Velvet Underground album - this is a kid's Halloween fantasy brought to life!

Jesus Harold Christ on rubber crutches! This one cover covers every childhood horror theme imaginable! There's a ghost, Frankenstein, a werewolf, a witch, a graveyard, Dracula, Quasimodo, bats, a hangman's noose, a mad scientist and his laboratory, plus other nameless monsters wandering around and locked within the bell tower.  Who cared what was on the record itself, 70's kids had the coolest LP in history!

Sounds to make you Shiver! is certainly the best there is of this type of record. But let's take a look at some more horror themed album covers, each great in their own way.. If you have some personal favorites not included, please comment!



Note: Last October, I wrote a post on the creepiest album covers of all time.  Records like Black Sabbath's debut and all those disturbing clown and ventriloquist covers were in that list.  The following is not a gallery of the scariest covers - it's simply a selection of album covers with a horror theme that I happen to really like.  As you probably know, I'm a huge fan of album art, and it's October... so, what better gallery to post? Let's get it started. (click on images to enlarge)


The coffin shaped frame is a nice touch. Plus, the image of the mummy standing among a happy crowd of hep cats is kind of alarming.

This one's by Jack Davis, who always delivers the goods. Of course, it's shouldn't be surprising that the former EC artist for Tales from the Crypt would make a fantastic album cover. Davis also did other covers including the Monster Rally records.

This one's a lot like the previous album, although, perhaps not quite as good. Milton Delugg was the band leader for The Gong Show and composed the score for Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.  I certainly recognize the artwork here, but the name of the artist is on the tip of my tongue (it's not Jack Davis, I don't think - but perhaps another MAD illustrator?) Somebody help me out.

Tasteful use of vinyl cheesecake and well designed; however, I'm not real sure what all those ropes are hanging around her neck.


This is what happens when psychedelia and horror mix. Faintly Blowing (1969) by the druggie folk rock group, Kaleidoscope, may be a far cry from an Iron Maiden cover, but it still achieves an element of horror - with a cool sort of Grimms Fairy Tales vibe.


This is a detail from the Halloween Horrors (1977) album back cover. It's absolutely incredible (and should've been on the front). My copy has the track listing and other text all over this mesmerizing image.  Branded in the 80's, somehow has the image with the text removed.

15 comments:

  1. The cover art for Music for Monsters is by Jack Davis,it is signed in the lower right corner beside the guy with the triangle.Thanks for a great site,I am a daily visitor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the clarification, anonymous.

    Fun covers,indeed - no Iron Maiden artwork on this list.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As a kid, I had the "Ghostly Sounds" record (with the top hatted vampire and chained monsters with goofy grins.) More recent, is Basil Gogos' art for the "Misfits meet the Nutley Brass."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, man. I forgot the Nutley Brass LP - an incredible album cover. Of course it was composed relatively recently, but the sound and imagery are pure RETRO. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are utterly glorious! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yep, great selections. They sure knew how to appeal to kids back then!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, wow, I've got that Halloween Horrors album! It's packed away in a box in the basement, and I haven't seen or heard it in years. My dad used to put speakers in our living room windows and blast it on Halloween night, to freak out the trick-or-treaters coming to our door.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just to be a bother- Frankenstein's Monster, not Frankenstein. But all excellent artwork regardless. :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. I still have my Sounds To Make You Shiver! record. It's my favorite Halloween album of all time.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Dor" is Rod McKuen before he became world famous as Rod McKuen.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sorry, but this was second rate to Disney's "Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House"

    Side one was filled with sound stories and side two were the effects alone.

    A classic for many years, the ghost screams can be heard today.

    http://forbiddencrypts.250free.com/DisneyChillingSounds.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Gotta concur with Wendel on the Disney Haunted House record. Not only did you get the record, but it came with an illustrated picture book as well--which used imagery right out of the real Haunted House ride in Disneyland. We had that one, so we never got the Shiver Sounds album.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It is certainly interesting for me to read that post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. you forgot Dracula's Greatest Hits by Gene Moss !! https://youtu.be/SmKoHbQdXqk

    ReplyDelete