Music Weekly: Top Ten of 2019!

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear….

Well here we are: Another year in the books, and honestly we want to thank every single one of you for supporting us throughout 2019. We couldn’t do this without you, and we are incredibly humbled you good folks came along for the ride with us again this year.

So while we have no new releases this week, we are celebrating with something new... This week we bring you the first Mondo Music Podcast. It’s a little rough around the edges as we had no agenda or firm plan when we recorded it, but we think it turned out pretty fun! If you'd like to pre-subscribe it will be coming through the same Podcast feed as our Mondo Monthly Mix (wherever you get your podcasts). It will be dropping later this week. Stay tuned to our socials for more information.

We hope you’ll dig this cool addition to our music newsletter and PLEASE let us if you want this pilot podcast turned into a series!

Also, for your reading pleasure we have our annual Top 10 lists in our blog. Click through to check it out - maybe there's something you missed that could be your next favorite record. 

We hope you have a great holiday season and a fantastic New Year! We can't wait for you to see what we have planned for 2020 (there are some teases on the podcast if you make it all the way through!)

Best wishes to you and yours,

Spencer & Mo

SPENCER'S PICKS OF 2019

GHOSTBUSTERS - Original Motion Picture Score 2XLP. Music by Elmer Bernstein. Artwork by Paul Mann. Featuring liner notes by Tim Grieving. Pressed on 2X 180 Gram colored vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $35

For me this is the world standard of '80s film scores, it’s an absolute dream come true that we had the chance to release this, and oh boy that Paul Mann artwork is something else.

TWIN PEAKS: Limited Event Series Soundtrack 2XLP. Various Artists. Pressed on 2X 180 vinyl (Disc 1: Cherry Pie Splatter & Disc 2: Machine Room Grey). Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $35

Huge thanks to Showtime and David Lynch for continuing to let me walk down the road that is TWIN PEAKS, I LOVED Season 3 and and I was thrilled to be able to release this record.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2XLP. This essential re-issue has been re-mastered at Abbey Road Studios for the 50th anniversary. Cut at 45 RPM and pressed on two vinyl discs for the very first time ever. Housed in a die-cut gatefold jacket featuring original artwork by Matthew Woodson and pressed on 180 Gram colored vinyl. Also available on 180 Gram black vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $40

What can I say? Kubrick is the greatest filmmaker of all time in my opinion and 2001 is arguably one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time with an outstanding score. We were lucky enough to be able to release the score on a double LP and it was the first time it has been remastered from the original sources. We have a couple of other Kubrick gems up our sleeves for 2020 so stay tuned!

BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2XLP. Music by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Walfisch. Artwork by Viktor Kalvachev. Additional design by Chris Bilheimer. Webstore edition pressed on 2X 180 Gram Teal and Pink colored vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $40

Oh man, BLADE RUNNER 2049 is one of my favorite sequels and the score from Ben Wallafisch & Hans Zimmer is not only a world builder but also a world beater. It’s dark, atmospheric and bombastic when it needs to be. I loved working on this and I for one am super excited to see Dune next year!

BABii - HiiDE. Mondo Exclusive ltd to 300 copies. 180 Gram Neon Green Vinyl, housed inside a White/Brown card sleeve with Matt Machine varnish and spot gloss. Comes with a download card and insert. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $25

Death Waltz Originals is our offshoot label dedicated to original electronic (non film score) music. When I first heard BABii I knew I wanted to release her record. It’s electronic pop with an esoteric edge and absolutely loaded with killer off kilter pop songs and incredibly assured production. It’s an incredible debut LP and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

TENEBRE - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Music performed by Simonetti - Pignatelli - Morante. Artwork by Randy Ortiz. Strictly one off pressing of 500 units on 140 Gram Transparent Rred vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $30

It’s Goblin but not Goblin! Legally the band were not allowed to use their original name for this score to Dario Argento’s incredible over the top Giallo TENEBRE. The score is absolute next level vocoder driven euro electro funk with prog rock flashes. If you don’t own this score then please remedy that right now and go and pick it up, also can we just take a minute to talk about the artwork by Randy Ortiz? I mean the art for this project is just jaw dropping on every level!

HELLRAISER - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Pressed on 180g ‘Uncle Frank’ Vinyl housed inside a 425gsm gatefold jacket. Artwork by Matt Ryan Tobin. Liner notes by Clive Barker. This repress is 500 units only. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $30

Christopher Young returned to score the sequel to Clive Barker’s mega hit HELLRAISER and to say he deliver in spades is an understatement! It's bigger, louder and far darker. This is one of my favorite horror scores of all time, Young builds on the themes of the first film and literally runs riot with them. Astounding stuff indeed.

THE WIND - Original Motion Picture Score LP. Music by Ben Lovett. Artwork by Candice Tripp. Pressed on 180 Gram "Desolate Demon" Vinyl. Gatefold sleeve with insert. Numbered edition of 666. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $30

Ben Lovett is one one my favorite composers working today from THE RITUAL to SYNCHRONICITY to THE WIND he can turn his hand to any style and has a fearless approach to film scoring, his work here is incredible, it’s atonal yet musical, it has a widescreen feel that fits the horror western of the film perfectly. A beautiful woodwind led score to one of the years most underrated films. 

SHOCK - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Music by Libra. Artwork by Eric Adrian Lee. Definitive vinyl re-issue split across 2 LPs including 12 tracks never before released on vinyl, all direct from the Cinevox/AMS archives. 2X 140 Gram LP. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $30

Another Italian banger for you here. Libra (6) were signed to Motown (!) before recording the soundtrack to Maria Bava’s SHOCK, this really is one of the GREATEST Italian soundtracks ever recorded fusing prog, funk & electronics, this edition features a bunch of previously unreleased tracks and is absolutely the definitive version of this score.

THELMA - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LP. Music by Ola Fløttum. Artwork by Candice Tripp. Pressed on 180 Gram White and Grey vinyl. Expected to Ship in January 2019. Ships Worldwide. $25

Our first release of 2019! and one of my favourite films of the last decade, seriously if you love LET THE RIGHT ONE IN you need to seek this film out immediately. A coming of age love story that features a heavy supernatural element. Filmed in Norway its snow ridden backdrop is haunting beautiful and otherworldly. The score is OUTSTANDING, honestly if you need an essential listen this winter it has to be this record. It is perfect from start to finish and if you don’t have this in your life then I’m sorry we can’t be friends!

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Music written and performed by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans. Package design by Jay Shaw. Pressed on 180 Gram Clear vinyl with Red and Blue Veins. Housed inside a triple gatefold sleeve and complete with a body bag. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $32

A true horror score! You can’t listen to this with the lights off! The packaging is as outrageous as the music and I love that we can champion newer films as much as older classics. This is currently sold out on our site BUT you should be able to find a copy at your local record store (we love record stores) so while everything else is available direct from us go pick this us locally and spread some bloody cheer this holiday season!

MO'S PICKS OF 2019

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: Once More With Feeling - Original Cast Recording LP. Artwork by Paul Mann. Includes "Slaybill" with lyrics and liner notes by series creator Joss Whedon. Pressed on 180 Gram Translucent Blue vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $25

There was an on-going joke on Twitter for several years... Everytime we posted a new release, some very lovely fan would post a gif of Sarah Michelle Gellar (the Slayer herself) giving us a look. We knew what that look meant: We had announced the forthcoming vinyl pressing of the musical episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, and we were certainly taking our damn time with it. 

Sometimes you just hit nothing but red lights. But you push on because you love the project so much (there's one project that I may have accidentally said too much about on my instagram this month, that has been in production for 3 years) That passion only makes it more exciting when you finally hold the finished product in your hand. Its better that then going through the motions (see what I did there?) and I personally think the finished product turned out quite lovely. 

Shout out to the unsung heroes of this one Chris Bilheimer and Eric Montes for making this package feel truly period accurate and to Joss Whedon for lending us his time and words.

LIQUID SKY - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LPArtwork by Jack Hughes. Mastered by James Plotkin. Pressed on 180 Gram Tricolor Starburst Space Splatter vinyl. Includes download card. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $30

This job is routinely educational. Both culturally, musically, artistically. When we got an email from a friend of Slava Tsukerman (director and composer of LIQUID SKY) about giving the Mondo treatment to this legendary film, I was unaware of it in every sense, and didn't know what to say. I try to watch everything we ever work on at Mondo, even if it's not for my project or department... not everything energizes me the way it does my co-workers, but LIQUID SKY was a revelation. A sublime piece of singular art that knocked me off my feet. I cannot say you will get the same experience out of it, but it just goes to show that there are still buried gems out there and ones that deserve to be highlighted... and we were absolutely honored to do so.

ADVENTURE TIME - The Complete Series Soundtrack Box Set. Featuring over 200 songs spread across 4X Colored Vinyl LPs, 1X CD and 1X Cassette. Artwork by JJ Harrison. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $75

This project is a miracle that couldn't have happened without three amazing humans. One, Tim Kiefer, who isn't the sole composer of ADVENTURE TIME but he was the person who helped curate, mix, and sequence a decade's worth of hundreds of songs down to this (still dense) compilation of material. Kristen Anderson from Cartoon Network who saw the work with did with OVER THE GARDEN WALL and trusted us with their crown jewel, something we never thought in a million years we would be able to do. And last but certainly not least, JJ Harrison who absolutely nailed every aspect of the artwork. If you've never had the honor, I highly recommend meeting JJ Harrison, who might be one of the nicest humans on the planet, and one of immense talents.

POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2XLP. Music by The Lonely Island. Pressed on 2X 180 Gram Black vinyl. Available in 4 different packages - "Thriller, Also," "Style Boyz," "Standing In Front Of Buildings," and "Donkey Roll." Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $35

The first time I saw POPSTAR, I was at a screening with The Lonely Island in attendance. They said, during their Q&A that a vinyl pressing of the album was forthcoming and that we should be on the look out for it. 

Well, I did look out for it, and when it never arrived (likely because the film's baffling underperformance) I began working towards putting out a version of the soundtrack that the film deserved. 

And by version, I mean versions... as I couldn't settle on just one. There are so many amazing fake musical acts and albums referenced in the film that my original vision was admittedly unwieldy (7-inches for "Turn Up The Beef," a Maxi-CD single for "Things In My Jeep," etc.) but once co-director and writer Jorma Taccone sent me over the actual art files for the fake albums in the film (Thriller, Also is still my favorite joke of this decade) I set out to make these feel as authentic and realistic as possible.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS - Expanded Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2XLP. Music by Howard Shore. Original artwork by Rich Kelly. Liner notes by Tim Greiving, featuring new interviews with Howard Shore and Jodie Foster. Pressed on 2X 180 Gram Moth Colored vinyl (Yellow and Black Swirl with White Splatter). Also available on 2X 180 Gram Black vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $35

Similar to the ADVENTURE TIME box, another project borne out of a long relationship that we never thought we'd be able to do. Many years ago we developed a relationship with Howard Shore's label Howe Records. We started a David Cronenberg / Howard Shore series (that is still technically on-going, wink wink) and while we would talk internally about pursuing other titles like this one, we sort of assumed that Shore's unequivocal masterpiece would be off the table.

Mr. Shore also became enamored with Rich Kelly's artwork for his Cronenberg titles NAKED LUNCH and CRASH, and asked for him specifically on this title. That little detail is something that I truly love about having done this for so long. That one of our favorite composers now knows one of our favorite artists by name. 

WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LP. Music by Alan Silvestri. Artwork by Stan and Vince. Pressed on 180 Gram Jessica Rabbit colored vinyl (Neon Pink with White Splatter). Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $25

While Alan Silvestri was busy composing the score to what would be the most successful film of all time (AVENGERS: ENDGAME), we were busy toiling away with our favorite of his film scores from 30 years prior. 

It was that the absolute top of my list with Disney when they first opened their doors to us for consideration of working on their catalog titles... and it took nearly 5 years to realize. And I couldn't be prouder. Stan and Vince did an absolutely incredible job with the artwork, and the plant did outstanding work with the vinyl color, and Walt Disney Records were the most incredible partners to work with. Not only one of my top 10 of 2019, but top 10 of this label period.

METAL GEAR SOLID - Original Video Game Soundtrack 2XLP. Music by Konami Digital Entertainment. Artwork by Randy Ortiz. Pressed on 2X 180 Gram Green Smoke colored vinyl. Also available in 2X 180 Gram Black vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $35

Another holy grail. After working on our CASTLEVANIA series, Konami asked us what we would want to do next. So we asked about METAL GEAR.. which felt like a shot in the dark. There was no way they would let us tackle their crown jewel. And yet, here we are. 

Beginning with the iconic PS1 title, and then working our way back to its origins (a convoluted structure that Kojima would be proud of) Working on METAL GEAR SOLID was an honor because it introduced us to the one-of-a-kind Rika Muranaka, who came out to San Diego Comic-Con to hang out with us, do a signing, and regaled me with stories of the production process. Because of the DEATH STRANDING publicity tour, we wound up meeting Kojima in the process as well. All in all it was a super surreal closing of a loop that started over 20 years ago when I played one of the greatest video games of all time.

LOST: We Have To Go Back - The Live Concert 3XLP. Music composed and conducted by Michael Giacchino. Original Artwork by JC Richard. Liner Notes by Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, Michael Giacchino, and Tim Grieving. Pressed on 3X 180 Gram Colored vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $50

What can I say about this that I haven't already gushed about on Instagram, Twitter, to my wife, friends, my cat for the last three months... 

I've been holding catalog number MOND-108 for years in anticipation that one day we'd be able to do something... anything LOST related (the same reason there is no MOND-007... yet) 

It all started when Maria Giacchino, very casually e-mailed me one day and asked if we would ever release a live album. The months that followed were an absolutely wild ride of the most flattering kind. The Giacchinos, on-top of being the kindest, most talented people I've ever worked with, wanted us to be their partner to present the music of LOST as Michael felt was its most fully realized form. This curated, expertly performed, and incredible sounding concert is a continued confirmation of the legacy of the show, and of Michael's achievements in writing for a visual medium. 

KNIVES OUT - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2XLP. Original Score Composed and Produced by Nathan Johnson. Layout and Design by Jay Shaw. Pressed on 2x 180 Gram Black Vinyl. Housed in a die-cut gatefold jacket, containing one of nine randomly inserted "Suspects". Expected to Shipin 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $35

Keeping the catalog number thread going for a moment: For those of you who pay attention to catalog numbers, you'll notice that while LOOPER is technically MOND-006, it came out somewhere around the same time as MOND-043. That's because when artist Jay Shaw came up with the concept for the packaging for LOOPER, it was so good we couldn't say no. But we also couldn't figure out how to do it without spending roughly 2 years developing, constructing and hand producing the finished product. 

While everyone was happy, it wouldn't have surprised us if the people behind that film and its music (Rian Johnson and Nathan Johnson, respectively) found the process a bit slow for their tastes. So when Nathan Johnson reached out to us about KNIVES OUT (before we had even seen the film) we were incredibly flattered, relieved, and also had something to prove. Not only could we deliver on the promise of 7 years ago, and produce a product worthy of its predecessor (albeit without the technical production complexities) and that we could deliver it in a more timely manner. I'd like to think we did both. 

Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2XLP. Music by Christophe Beck. Available for the first time on vinyl. Featuring 14 previously unreleased bonus tracks. Artwork by Phantom City Creative. Pressed on 2X 180 Gram Split Colored vinyl (limited to 1,000 copies) or 2X 180 Gram Solid Colored vinyl. Also available on 2X Black vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $35

Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROK - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2XLP. Music by Mark Mothersbaugh. Available for the first time on vinyl. Artwork by Yuta Onoda. Pressed on 2X 180 Gram Neon Swirl vinyl, or 180 Gram Thor vs Hulk vinyl. Also available on 2X 180 Gram Black vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $35

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 3XLP. Music by Ludwig Göransson. The complete score for the first time on vinyl. Artwork by Martin Ansin. Housed in a tri-fold Silver Foil jacket. Liner notes by Ludwig Göransson. Pressed on 3X 180 Gram Silver and Black colored vinyl. Also available on 3X 180 Gram Black vinyl. Expected to Ship in 7-10 Business Days. Ships Worldwide. $45

I know this is cheating (we do it every year, so maybe we should just not limit ourselves to 10 right?) but I couldn't single out any of these releases without talking about the others with equal amount of high regard. Its never good to highlight negativity, but for several years one of the shadows cast on the MCU was their soundtrack output. It was one of those collective hive-mind opinions that was formed and therefore considered fact amongst cinephiles: The MCU does film music poorly. I'm not here to tell you your opinion is wrong, but with these three stellar soundtracks nearly back-to-back-to-back in through 2017 and 2018, Christophe Beck, Mark Mothersbaugh and Ludvig Görannson each took turns redefining what was possible in this era of superhero films. We were privileged to be able to release each of these, and next year we have another 4+ titles that will continue this very discussion.