June 27, 2016

20,000 Vinyl LPs 59: Dark Shadows @ 50

Dark Shadows TV soundtrack
vinyl lp record
front cover photos
and Gloria Stavers
photo of album cover by Styrous®

Fifty years ago today, on June 27, 1966, the quirky soap opera, Dark Shadows, made its appearance on the TV sets of unsuspecting Americans and nothing was ever the same.      

I was working at the time with a regular 9 to 5 job so I didn't get to catch it from the beginning. It aired during regular soap times, 11 am to 3 pm, but I was hearing about it from my friends who didn't work and my curiosity was peaked. By the time I finally did get to see it, Jonathan Frid (aka Barnabas Collins) had made his appearance on the show. He was perfect in the role of the 175-year-old vampire.   

Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid)
photographer unknown

The show was a blend of sex, romance, mystery and occult with its ghosts, werewolves, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, and even verged on Sci-Fi with time travel and a parallel universe. All of it guaranteed to titillate the audience. The show depicted the lives and loves, trials and tribulations of the wealthy Collins family of Collinsport, Maine. Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) was the head of the family.     

The acting was melodramatic, hammy and, I suppose, even dreadful but most of the soaps of that period actually were. I really thought it was a take-off, parody or satire on them. 

Dark Shadows TV soundtrack
vinyl lp record
back cover photos by Holly Cobert 
photo of album cover by Styrous®

The music for the series was composed by Robert Cobert. The music is totally weird, eerie and frightening with an ethereal (what else?) theremin soaring over and through the music (link to music on YouTube below).   

Cobert was later to compose the music for the TV mini-series The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Together, the scores for these constitute the longest film score ever written for a movie.

His early work included the score for the 1972 TV movie The Night Stalker, together with The Night Strangler, which became the pilots for the TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. His other scores include the horror film Burnt Offerings (1976), and the TV movies The Norliss Tapes (1973), Dracula (1973), Scream of the Wolf (1974), Melvin Purvis: G-Man (1974), The Turn of the Screw (1974), Trilogy of Terror (1975) (Karen Black was sensational in three different roles), Curse of the Black Widow (1977) and Trilogy of Terror II (1996).       

Dark Shadows TV soundtrack
vinyl lp record, side 1
photo by Styrous®

Dark Shadows was distinguished by its vividly melodramatic performances, atmospheric interiors, memorable storylines, numerous dramatic plot twists, adventurous music score, broad cosmos of characters and heroic adventures. The original network run of the show lasted for nearly five years to amass 1,225 episodes.    

Dark Shadows TV soundtrack
vinyl lp record, side 2
photo by Styrous®


Side 1:

A1     Opening Themes: 1. Dark Shadows 2. Collinwood - omposed by Robert Cobert - 2:44
A2     I'll Be With You, Always - composed by Charles Grean, Robert Cobert,  
                                                   Narrator [Narration by] Jonathan Frid - 2:22
A3     Josette's Theme - composed by Robert Cobert - 1:19
A4     A Darkness At Collinwood - composed by Robert Cobert - 3:25
A5     Meditations - composed by Robert Cobert, Narrator [Narration By] Jonathan Frid - 2:29
A6     Night Of The Pentagram - composed by Robert Cobert - 2:42
A7     When I Am Dead - composed by Robert Cobert - 1:42
A8     No. 1 At The Blue Whale - composed by Robert Cobert - 2:22

Side 2:

B1     Shadows Of The Night (Quentin's Theme) - composed by Charles Grean, Robert Cobert,       
                                                    Narrator [Narration by] David Selby - 2:06
B2     The Secret Room - composed by Robert Cobert - 2:29
B3     Epitaph - composed by Robert Cobert Narrator [Narration by] Jonathan Frid - 1:56
B4     Seance - composed by Robert Cobert - 1:18
B5     I, Barnabas - composed by Charles Grean, Robert Cobert,    
                                                     Narrator [Narration by] Jonathan Frid - 2:12
B6     Back At The Blue Whale - composed by Robert Cobert - 2:10
B7     The Old House - composed by Robert Cobert - 2:21
B8     1. Epilogue 2. Dark Shadows - composed by Robert Cobert - 1:56

Companies, etc.

    Record Company – Mercury Record Corporation
    Produced For – Curtis Records, Inc.
    Copyright (c) – Curtis Records, Inc.
    Published By – Curnor Music Publishing Co.
    Recorded At – Regent Sound Studios


    Arranged By, Conductor – Robert Cobert
    Engineer [Recording Engineer] – Hal Dreeben
    Photography By [Cover Photos] –
Gloria Stavers    
    Photography By [Other Photos] – Holly Cobert
    Producer – Charles R. Grean*

The Robert Cobert Orchestra* Featuring Jonathan (Barnabas) Frid* And David (Quentin) Selby* ‎– The Original Music From ABC-TV's Dark Shadows

Label: Philips ‎– PHS-600-314
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1969
Style: Soundtrack


Net links:         
Dark Shadows Storylines         
Dark Shadows theme on YouTube           
Dark Shadows episodes on YouTube

Styrous® ~ Monday, June 27, 2016

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