Written by 7:00 am Audiophile, Audiophile Music

The Rocky Horror Picture Disc: Halloween Vinyl Fun

Mark Smotroff doesn’t just dream it, he makes sure to be it…


AR-RockyHorrorPicDiscNew450.jpgGosh folks… After all the darkness that 2020 has brought to the world, the notion of getting excited about genuinely spooky-scary Halloween stuff is almost anti-climactic. 

But… I can get jazzed about fun Halloween sounds that may cheer up this year’s festivities… 

Topping the bill this year is a fun new picture disc of the soundtrack to The Rocky Horror Picture Show movie. Yes, I’m reviewing a picture disc (not the first time actually, here on Audiophile Review).

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Now celebrating its 45th anniversary (!), the disc features the iconic image of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (aka Tim Curry) on side 1 and a fun collage of movie theaters celebrating Midnight showings of the cult film, a joyous parody of classic and B-grade horror and science fiction films of the first half of the 20th century.  

In case you are not familiar with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it began as a musical in England (beginning in 1973). But really it was the creation of a film version that unfortunately bombed at the box office which created the phenomenon we know and love today.

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Over the years, the film caught on as a popular Midnight movie destination at boutique theaters around the country — first starting in New York’s Waverly Theather in Greenwich Village — with fans even dressing up as characters in the movie and even acting out parts on stage (yes, in front of the screen and in the aisles of the theaters). 

A series of fan-adopted on-screen cues prompted increasingly fun mad audience interaction (such as throwing physical slices of toast around the theater when Dr. Frank-N-Furter declares “A toast!”). 

If you don’t believe me, click here to read about them on the official Rocky Horror fan site.

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The wiki says that The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the longest-running theatrical release in film history. And this whole phenomenon happened decades before the Internet, spreading by classic word of mouth.  

This new release is not the first The Rocky Horror Picture Show picture disc — there was one in 1975 in the UK and 1979 in the US both featuring a different image of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. 

I could have sworn there was another version with the iconic lips on it but I have not found any images of it on the Interwebs (go figure). Whatever….

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I suppose some of you are wondering how this new picture disc sounds?  Actually, it is remarkably good fidelity wise! This is clearly a remastered version so there is a much brighter sheen to it than my original US pressing, much closer to the crisp mastering of my UK edition. But if you are expecting a noisy picture disc, this isn’t it, I’m happy to report! Like the Bowie disc I reviewed several years ago (click here) this disc is quite thick and I think that has allows the manufacturer to craft a vinyl disc that can do a proper hot stamp pressing without suffering the surface noise of the paper images embedded in the disc.

So if you want to update your Rocky soundtrack, this new edition may be the way to go.

You can find The Rocky Horror Picture Show picture disc at your favorite independent record stores or online via Discogs (click here, sorry, haven’t found  it on Amazon as of yet).

AR-RockyHorrorPicLips450.jpgIf you want to stream Rocky Horror, you can find it in CD quality on Tidal (click here) and on Qobuz (click here). And having just read the credits on Discogs, I want to hear the Los Angeles cast of  The Rocky Horror Show as produced at the Roxy Theater (circa 1974!) as it has many legendary Wrecking Crew musicians in the house band including Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn, Larry Knechtel, Dean Parks and Tommy Tedesco!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show picture disc is a feel-good release to help lighten up this dark year. What are you waiting for?  

Don’t dream it. Be it. 

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