Friday, October 16, 2015

'Hammer presents Dracula' LP

I sometimes used to listen to this in the dark or with candles on, the sound of Bill Nelson's deep voice on the Introduction and the creepy music added to the atmosphere of the darkened room and then Christopher Lee's atmospheric narration of the Dracula story with its eerie music and sound effects. The stereo on this album is wonderfully crisp and clear with sounds occasionally jumping from speaker to speaker; listen to it on headphones for that full effect. I won't go into the story on the album or any other highlights, that I think will be best for you to experience yourself. I am pretty sure that you will certainly enjoy this atmospheric version of the Dracula story written by Hammer films Don Houghton. Music on the album is composed by James Bernard and arranged & conducted by Philip Martell.

Side 2 is titled 'Four faces of evil' and contains theme music from 4 of Hammer films:

'Fear in the night'
'The Vampire Lovers'
'Dr.Jekyll and Sister Hyde'

Played with relish by The Hammer City Orchestra

'Hammer presents Dracula' was released in 1974 by Studio 2 Stereo/EMI Records Ltd and comes in a gatefold sleeve which comes with notes on Vampirism by Basil Copper. I understand a single sleeve copy of the record was also released at some point. Just recently the album has been re-released on vinyl as a 40th anniversary limited edition from Dust bug records. I understand that they will also be re-releasing the 2nd Hammer record that came out during the 1970s - 'Legend of the 7 golden Vampires' narrated by Peter Cushing with scenes from the film.

In 1992 Hammer presents Dracula was released by Silva Screen on CD under the title 'Horror of Dracula'. As well as this re-release the cd also contains music from Hammer's Dracula (1958) as well as 'Dracula Prince of darkness', and 'Taste the blood of Dracula'. The album doesn't contain the 4 themes that were on the original album release and also the titles to the Dracula story are also listed here on the cd that were not on the original album.

Track Listing:

1.Main theme - Dracula
2.Inside Castle Dracula/The lure of the vampire woman/Dracula's rage - From 'Dracula' (1958)

'Hammer presents Dracula'
   The Hammer house of horror
   The Lord of the Vampiric Hordes

4.'The Horror of Dracula' narrated by Christopher Lee
The Legend
Castle Dracula
The Kiss of the living death
The Blood splashed bride
The death of Dracula
The final horror

Epilogue- narration by Bill Mitchell

5.Funeral in Carpathia from Dracula Prince of Darkness
6.Romance at dusk
7.Pursuit/The death of Lucy
8.The victory of love [from 'Taste the blood of Dracula']

Tracks 1,2,5-8 conducted by Neil Richardson. These first appeared in 1989 on Silva Screen records.

If you want to know more about Bill Mitchell follow the link below which has a radio documentary about him.

Bill Mitchell Radio Documentary