Friday, October 31, 2014

The 2 Early '70s "Monster Mash" Reissues: A Few More Words

I've already said a few words about the early '70s "Monster Mash" revival in these pages. Here are a few more: A #1 US hit in 1962, the single (originally on Garpax but reissued on Parrot) had a slight Billboard chart resurgence in 1970 thanks to its popularity in the San Diego market, according to Herb Goldfarb of London Records (who distributed for both Parrot and Garpax).  In 1973 the single got hot again in Milwaukee, prompting London to repackage the 1962 album (minus a few tracks) and to push the single in both the US and UK. It had never been a chart success in the UK before '73 - the BBC had apparently banned it for being too morbid, while a 9/29/73 New Musical Express article on Pickett by Rob Finnis said it had been "too banally American" for the '62 Brit kids.    

This NME article was called "Monster Mash and the Junk Store Syndrome," and touched upon the troubled era's acute American Graffiti-tinged pangs of nostalgia - on both sides of the pond - that brought old records like Pickett's back to the airwaves.  The article also talks about how Pickett got the idea for the song when one of his early groups, called the Cordials, would perform a version of the Diamonds' "Little Darlin'," in which Pickett would deliver its spoken recitation in the voice of Boris Karloff.  "Monster Mash" was such a "graveyard smash" in 1973 Britain that it reached #3 on the UK charts, while peaking at #10 in the US. (The photo of Pickett above accompanied both the NME article and the back of the repackaged Original Monster Mash album). 

Bobby (Boris) Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers - "Monster Mash" (Billboard #91, entered 8/29/70). Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi. Produced by Gary Paxton. 45: "Monster Mash"/"Monsters' Mash Party" (Parrott 1970). LP: (No album appearance for 1970 reissue).
Bobby (Boris) Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers - "Monster Mash" (Billboard #10, entered 5/5/73). Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi. Produced by Gary Paxton. 45: "Monster Mash"/"Monsters' Mash Party" (London 1973). LP: The Original Monster Mash (London 1973); Monster Mash (Peter Pan 1973).

(Yes, this links to the same song as above.)


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