"I think he's the Spike Jones of Horror Music." - A Fan
Note to Frankie fans! The five Frankie Stein LPs are now available on a two CD set. Click here for more information!
How I met Frankie Stein
Back when I was a wee tyke about the age of nine (1967) I came across my first Frankie LP. It was in a Goldblatt's department store hidden way in the back behind the many classic rock albums of that time. I knew I had to get one the minute I seen those covers. This store had all five of the albums & I spent a good amount of time trying to decide which one my feeble amount of allowance would permit. Eventually I decided on the swamp creature one (Monster Dance) & rushed home to hear this mystery music for the first time. See I was a huge monster movie fan back then. Had posters & model kits of all the famous celluloid creatures. But just what was I going to hear when I played this new addition to my collection. The cover said dance music, but with that frightening cover art there had to be something more than just some rocking dance music.
Well I was right. I dont remember the feeling I had when I first heard Frankies tunes, but I do know that I remember listening constantly to it, over & over again. What really turned me on were those sound effects, the screams & the wackiness. Unbelievable as it was these LP's were aimed for children with all these blood curdling sounds & screams. I just had to have more. Unfortunately when I returned to the store the next week for another one I was saddened that they were all gone. I never found the rest of those albums & so I continued to play the one I had over & over again. It became a childhood favorite of mine for years, and only recently while I was getting rid of my record collection did I decide to take another listen, to hear my old friend again. It still held up, it still had that wacky magic. This was when I decided to seek out the other LP classics. I took a chance & searched Ebay for good ol Frankie & low & behold there he was. But to my amazement they were going for unusually high prices. There were other fans of Frankie out there! I wasnt the only demented kid who became hooked by the Steinster, I wasn't alone! I decided to do some research on these five albums but for the life of me I couldnt find a thing about them.
These LPs were going for extremely high prices on Ebay yet there was nothing out there in the web universe about them. Frankie was a fleeting mystery.
Well folks, here is where I come in. As a tribute to Frankie Stein I decided to create this remembrance of the master. Ive searched around the best I could & found very little. But a little is more than nothing.
What little did I find? Well in my search for the completion to my set I started to ask the bidders on EBay what they thought of Frankie & what, if any, information they had on who this 'Frankie Stein' really was - Who was the brains behind the creation of these LP's.
Well as I stated above most knew nothing. But one early email I received returned to me with this info.
Mr. C states...
The last 6 weeks or so
I've been corresponding with another LP collector who claimed to know something about
Frankie Stein. How much, exactly, is still unclear..., But according to Mr. J. J.
"Frankie N. Stein
1st used that pseudonym on the rarest of monster/comedy records- MONSTER RALLY (Starring
Hans Conreid & Alice Pearce. ) alas, poor Alice died last year. Conreid was best known
to TV fans as "Uncle Tanoose" on the old Danny Thomas show: Alice as the Nosey
neighbor in the "BEWITCHED" TV series.
P.S Frankie Stein is really .......................Joel Herron & Fred Hertz (?).
Joel Herron was the conductor for the JIMMY DEAN TV show on WCBSTV in the 1950's. Fred Hertz is/was a writer/Director/ Composer in the same circa; I'll send more data as I uncover same. By default do you think that makes Herron FRANK N. STEIN ?? I will check my other albums to see."
Now I don't wanna dispute ol' J.J. here---But I managed to get a hold of a Frankie Stein 45...an' according to it, GOON RIVER was written by Joe Thomas, and the flipside WEERDO THE WOLF is credited to Dewey Bergman. Seems to ME that if Frankie Stein is supposed to be two people...well, you do the math.
Also, not to further Mr. Casale's credibility suspect, but I specifically asked him repeatedly about whether or not the F.S. LPs he had to sell were Mono or Stereo. He kept changing the subject. Finally after about six e-mails he responded:
"Frank N. Stein is in Mono (Made by Syinthetic plastics in Newark, N.J.- so I'll probably come across a lot more !! I'm not positive that they made STEREO records- as it was a secondary cheap label."
So, there you go. My e-mail back was as follows:
YES, all the Frankie Stein LPs were released in both mono AND stereo versions... I assume the mono versions were released first.
I've noticed that some of the same songs are on more than one album with different TITLES. Just as often the same music bed is used from album to album with alternate sax and harmonica solos. The stereo process used is, in my opinion, TOO separated on the first LP but by #340 (Monster Melodies) I think it becomes actually preferable. (Could be I'm prejudiced--Since 70% percent of #340's music beds
are Beatles Songs).****
Anyway, there you have it from Mr. C. - Shortly I received a mail from Mr. Hertz with some info
Just received a forward of your piece on Frankie Stein (of whom I'd never heard). Frank N. Stein was the obviously fake alias used on on the RCA Victor "Monster Rally" LP (ca 1957 or 8 cited by Mr. Casale). He is correct in his notes on Composer Joel Herron and Me, the lyricist on ten songs in the album. It was later a collector's item, not so much for the contents as for the cover art by the noted Jack Davis. Good luck on your search. Fred Hertz
Slowly I'm receiving little bits of information about the great Frankie. And whenever I do I'll be sure to place it up here on this page.
Here's an interesting tidbit from fan Julian...
About 10 years ago I worked in a comic book store and one day I was playing my FS tape. This guy in the store stopped and said, "That sounds like Frankie Stein." I was floored! Well, not only did he recognize Frankie Stein, he told me that he always buys records with the Synthetic Plastics name on them because apparently they put out other "dance" records that consist of FS tracks without the sound effects! I know it's true because he later gave me a cassette with a bunch of those songs on it. Unfortunately, the cassette doesn't include any LP or song titles so I don't know what those other albums are called or under what name the Ghouls issued those non-horror tracks, but they're out there somewhere!
So it looks as if ol' Frankie's music was out there without all those screams & sound-effects. This is really becoming a mystery!
Another bit I've come across is that Frankie music was available on a 45'. Below is a photo of one of them (were there any others?).
Thanks to Frankie fan Julian for the information. Click on Frankie's eyes below to stop by the website where he occasionally writes articles on Frankie & other Cool & Strange Music!
If anyone can shed any more information on the master please let us fans know!
Other Received Frankie News!
12/25/02 - From Karta: Hi, Great Site, Very original, I enjoyed it very much and will visit in the near future. So the info that is not really known or believed when i tell people is that there are purple power stereo versions using different sound effects + some weird electronic ones + even new ones as well. Other news I have heard from a very reputable source in the music business and also is credited on a professionally done CD compilation is that these Frankie Stein Lp's were done by none other than Al Kooper, Sun Ra and a host of other people famous people. That's my news for now, the more research i do on these Lp's the more interesting the whole mystery becomes! Thanx Again, Karta
But Then I Got...
Roger, My brother in law heard from Al Kooper who denies all involvement with the Frankie Stein recordings. He feels the rumor may have started due to the fact that there was an album called "BATMAN - The sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale" released in 1965 which was actually the Blues Project with SUN RA filling in for Al as he could not make the session. Don't know if you know that Mr. Kooper has since gone blind. I'll keep digging to see if I can find out who was, in fact, Frankie Stein - Be well, Paul!
01/06/03 - Eric E. checked in to notify us that a band called Monster Party has done a cover version to the Frankie tune 'Dr. Spook'. You can check it out & listen to it by clicking Frankie's eyes -
03/09/03 - Hi, I wanted to write after reading your information on Frankie Stein. I'm writing is because I have a record that I bought as a kid on the Peter Pan label. It's a 45 rpm EP titled 'Dinner With Drac'. The title song is a remake of the John Zacherle song. The other three songs are 'Witch Doctor' (a remake of the David Seville hit), 'All Choked Up' and 'Elbow Twist'. Being a 49 cent children's record, there are no composer credits but the descriptions that you give of the 'Choked Up' and the 'Elbow Twist' tracks on the Frankie Stein LPs lead me to believe that these are the same recordings. Peter Pan also issued EPs under the titles 'Witch Doctor' and 'Monster Mash' and if memory serves, one of these records contained the songs 'Be Careful, It's My Throat' and 'Saturday Evening Ghost'. Peter Pan records were manufactured by Synthetic Plastics at the time, and they had a series of children's records out in the 70s and 80s under the label 'Power Records'. So I guess all this ties in together somehow.
I had a 45 as a kid too of the 'Batman Theme' credited to The Fantastic Guitars of Dan and Dale on the Tifton label. Scanning the internet for information, I've discovered that Dan and Dale was really Sun Ra, Al Kooper and other famous rock studio musicians. The Dan and Dale 'Batman' album has since been issued on CD. Karta mentions that Al Kooper and Sun Ra are believed to be among the musicians on the Frankie Stein records, so perhaps the Stein records and the Dan & Dale records were produced by the same people? Thanks for a great site, Dave
04/01/03 - I have two compilation CDs on Marginal records entitled "Monster Sounds and Boppin' Tracks" which cannibalise original Frankie Stein artwork and include three Frankie tracks on volume 1 and two Frankie tracks on volume 2. These tunes were my introduction to the mad world of Mr. Stein and both compilations are highly recommended for enthusiasts of horror/monster rock n roll of the 50s and 60s.
By the by: has anyone found any general websites for fans of not only Frankie Stein but also Bobby Pickett, Zacherle and all of those other more obscure crazy horror rock n roll artists and tunes? That's my favorite stuff!
Well, there's a bit of "Frankie on CD" news for you. Entirely unconnected is the hilarious UK cartoon character Frankie Stein, star of 'Shiver and Shake' comic. Check him out! Also entirely unconnected is the fact that my band The Special Agents (top secret instrumentals from Sheffield, England) is working on a Frankie Stein cover. All the best, Agent Chris.
More Frankie Fan Messages Below!
The Famous Five
Below is a rundown on the five Frankie LPs. Ive written little reviews & viewpoints of each tune letting you know what I like about them (running times may very). Im sure you the fans have your own memories & thoughts on these tunes. Now remember, I'm no music critic, but these records have a wacky place in my life & below I'm just having a bit of fun with these reviews. I am more than welcome to add your comments to this tribute as well, so come on, lets hear your stories!
Lets keep Frankie Stein alive!
Rog From The Basement
"Was this guy
ever interviewed? It would have to be pretty wild to listen to the methodology of why he
got into music, and created this style of horror.
Were the girls that did all the screaming have credits on the albums? Again, I have a hard time imagining how this was all put together. The proposal to the record company... auditioning actors or voices of the victims... and the mindset that says for example... I'd like to write a song about twisting someone's arm so badly that they scream in excruciating pain while I play music in the background." - Steve
Introducing Frankie Stein And His Ghouls
(Power Records 339)
The first LP in this set has the most comical artwork for its cover compared to the other four. With its bright yellow background & Frankies name in big red type we see the artists conception of the ghoulish musicians. A red curvy arrow swings down to point out our lead Frankie himself. His head sewn up like the top of a sneaker he sits cross-legged & strums away on his guitar, his mouth open wide as if singing (or is he screaming)? The other green colored members of the imaginary band surround Frankie. A large angry fellow with the cello, the jolly guitar player with the ring in his nose, and tickling the ivories that beatnik looking character. Only the name Berger is the signed credit to these comical musicians & I have no other information on who he is. Has this artist created a decent representation of Frankie & his Ghoul band? I think its pretty good, but when listening to these LPs I imagine all sorts of things, both frightening & funny. Im sure anyone listening to these can imagine all sorts of their own mind visions. As the cover states, The Ideal Party Record indeed.
1) Weerdo The Wolf (Twist) 2:24
Starts off with a howl & grooves you into the music of the Stein man himself. After the initial guitar strumin & organ that famous Frankie mouth harp kicks in. Followed by his trademark sound effects of bangs & screams, this is a timid tune in the Frankie collection, but a nice start. Do we imagine a whacked out werewolf wearing blue jean overalls dancing around to the music howling & laughing, then ripping out the throat of a victim near the end? I do.
2) Goon River (Swim) 2:27
Frankie starts off by growling Lets Swim & as kids we probably did. More sound effects this time including some favorite whistles, pops & some bubbling liquid of the Goon River itself no doubt. At one point I imagine eyeballs being scooped out of some sockets. Yummy!
3) A Hearse Is Not A Home (Frug) 2:35
Dig that crazy sax while listening to a helpless young thing being stretched on the rack. Well at least thats what I see. Ah that girl screaming, and these were for kids folks. Then one of my favorite sound effect. Those clanging metal things. Like something with large pieces of silverware getting ready to eat. Is that girl on the rack dinner? Dont know but those screams at the end dont sound too good.
4) 3 Little Weirds (Monkey, Lindy) 2:31
Picking up the musical pace here as the little weirds start chattering away. I dont know but I picture 3 little rats doing the chattering. Whatever they are they continue on as slipping whizzing sounds pop in now and again. The little laughs & giggles enter in & out & at the end three loud bangs of their rat doors close, or were those giant weights squashing them?
5) Lullaby Of Ghost Land (Fox Trot) 2:10
The coffin lid opens & my favorite Frankie tune begins. Dont know why but I just love this one. I even used it as part of a stage show & produced. It just sounds sneaky & detective like, like something youd hear in an old dark house mystery where ghosts are spooking the houseguests. A few whistles & cranky effects within including a mysterious laugh. Great sax & organ!
6) Knives And Lovers (Swim) 2:20
Side Two starts off with a few female screams and your basic sixties styled sounding tune kicks in. Lots of spooky laughing & more screams throughout, and some rockin guitar here folks. It really makes you want to get up & dance!
7) Little Ghoul Blue (Mashed Potato, Shimmy) 2:30
Ah, time to take it easy on this one. Things finally slow down & you can rest those feet. Whoever the main vocal talent on these LPs is really does some cool stuff. From the goofy or spooky laughing to the odd conversation like jibber here again makes these tunes priceless & in a place of theyre own. That juice harp comes in at the perfect time near the end. Yeah man can you feel it?
8) Ghoul Days (Watusi) 2:11
Sharing the same name as a Draculas Greatest Hits classic a wacky whistle & some ghostly moans begin this cool beat. A swift little ditty complete with laughs, silverware, & agonizing moaning. Ends ghostly and sounds as if the spirit takes off in a plane or is that a buzz saw?
9) Little Brown Bug (Hully Gully) 2:50
Something is being twisted to death at the beginning of this thing (sounds like a duck bird) only to lead way to a stupidly simple tune by sax & organ. Ah but it does seem to contain everything here from silverware, screams, & more cranking sounds, and is that a train I hear at the minute mark? Just take it & enjoy it.
10) Neck Twist (Twist) 2:50
Were on our way to wacky territory. Someone loves to laugh here as we hear large footsteps walking around. I imagine a Frankenstein monster groovin to the music. Again some killer sax here. A gentleman screams & some final laughs is a great way to end this first album of the great Frankie Stein. See you next time!
(On Lullaby of Ghost Land) "The sound effects from the first album were often used on WITI-TVs "Nightmare Theatre" show in Milwaukee. They also used some of the songs as intros to segments. A popular one was your favorite song, Lullaby of Ghost Land." - Dick Nightlinger ( http://www.milwaukee-tv-horror.com/ )
"First heard of Frankie way back when my neighbors had a haunted house in their shed. Later they out grew monsters (I never did) and gave me 'Introducing', I lost it. Just found a copy of the swamp monster record though (Monster Sounds & Dance). I did a sort of Halloween record myself, I have it on d.a.t. and want to get it released. I am Dr. Destruction horror host out of Kenosha, I heard about you from Dick Nitelinger. Very cool." Dr. Destruction ( http://drdestruction.tripod.com/ ).
Shock! Terror! Fear!
(Power Records 340)
What a perfect Halloween type painting. The skull with a snake slithering through its eye socket & a ferocious spider waiting in its web for an unsuspecting meal. This is the first of the cool Frankie cover art paintings (the first being comical). These last four in the series to me make the Frankie Stein albums truly unique. Like misfit artwork from the Night Gallery, they are all frightening & I wonder just how many parents refused to buy them because of the covers alone! But inside Frankie was back, but to me not quite up to his best.
1) Whos Afraid Of Weerdo Wolf (Watusi) 2:16
Starting with a howl & were off with Frankies second album. A few great screams here & the harmonica sounding like a train. Sorry, doesnt do much for me.
2) Bodies Under The Bridge (Swim, Twist) 2:53
Do I hear seagulls? Hey wait a minute Ive heard this tune before. This was Neck Twist on Frankies first. He added new sound effects but its the same song. Ah well.
3) Slay Boy (Fox Trot, Hully Gully) 2:44
I dont know but I love these tunes with that guy singing along. He just sounds like hes having such a good time. Makes me want to hop into my rod & run some people over. A rockin good time!
4) Horror Staccato (Monkey, Lindy) 2:20
Watch out! Hes coming up the stairs! Too late. Its another repeat tune of Frankies. This one was 3 Little Weirds on the first LP. A chipmunk, the groans of no no, someone drops the cymbal, & a girl gets her bones twisted. Still a cool tune.
5) Ankle Twist (Twist) 2:43
The cranking gets us started at the beginning of this cool little ditty. A few cranks here & there & a Frankie growl are all effects here. Sax baby, sax.
6) Doom At Midnight (Frug) 3:00
A peaceful bell leads to a bloodcurdling scream & were off! The vocal going along with it is pretty funny here. Ya ya ya ya!
7) Stoned (Monkey, Watusi) 2:07
The storm has begun but the partys on. Very light on the sound effects but a nifty tune with a cool beat.
8) Stoned Again (Monkey, Watusi, Lindy, Twist) 1:52
Kind of an odd one, which doesnt seem to fit anything, even the beat. Not a sign of effects here.
9) The Ghostman Rings Twice (Mashed Potato) 2:16
Hey, get the phone. Back to that cool Frankie sound here with some slippy sounds & a familiar organ riff. Cool man, cool.
10) Doomsday (Fox Trot) 3:49
The last one on this set starts off with a few bangs but then becomes another Frankie repeat. First heard as Little Ghoul Blue but this time accompanied by some maracas. A pretty slow way to end & I feel this is the worse Frankie LP of the bunch.
"White Front was a chain of gigantic multi-department discount stores that flourished from around 1960 onward, kind of a cross of Costco and Sears. They always had all the Frankie Stein records! My first was SHOCK !TERROR! FEAR! which I loved...I used to hook up every speaker I had and play DOOM AT MIDNIGHT on New Year's Eve...at the stroke of 12, of course. And I was batshit about the use of extreme stereo separation!!! Until SGT. PEPPER or ARE YOU EXPERIENCED, it was the greatest use of panning and separation as a novelty effect. (I had no Esquivel records at that time, or I would have added LATINESQUE as another fine example). The artwork seemed to fit in with the whole Aurora model kit box art by James Bama. In fact, the art looks like the work of Ron Cobb, but you'd have to ask him. Check out his art in Famous Monsters early issues...#3, I think, has a Frankenstein From Space story that I swear has the same style. MONO??? I never once saw any Stein records in Mono, anywhere! Sacrilege. It has to be Stereo. Oh, I still have my LP's, but would welcome more...how about a reissue? Someone did that with SHOCK, terror in HiFi recently...scratches and all, of an LP disc. Keep the faith! Thanks for the great website and memories!" - Douglas
(Power Records 340)
To me this LP has the most frightening cover. That horrifying white face, eyes wide in fright & that green claw digging its sharp nail into the eye socket, blood just starting to drip out of it. A horrifying painting & I really wish I knew who the artist was. Nowhere on the cover is a name but believe me, this image has been burnt in my gray matter for almost my entire life. Ever since I seen it displayed on the back of my first Frankie album Ive wanted to have this one just for its cover. The title word Ghoul drips with green ooze above it & is very basic with a white background, again making that damn horrifying face just stand out even more. Thats all on this one, cant look at it anymore.
1) What Kind Of Ghoul Am I (Mashed Potato) 2:44
Ah something fresh & new from Frankie. After something makes its way down the steps to our helpless damsel that sly beat kicks in. Trademark silverware, whizzys, a laugh & a boom are included inside.
2) Mummys Little Boy (Monkey, Twist) 2:38
Man is the opening of this pretty creepy, I still cant get over that these were aimed for children. A cheerful ditty with some scary laughs & cries. Slap that bad monster!
3) Good Noose (Fox Trot) 3:08
A car crash? Do Ghouls drive? Well they certainly mumble in this bumpy tune. Slippy whizzys, silverware, & some cranks. It amazes me that the creator of these tunes just decided to add whatever sound effects wherever he wanted. Thats Frankie for ya!
4) The Wrist Twist (Twist) 2:22
Frankie says Everybody twist & we do. Did we as little kids actually dance to these records back then? The thought of six or eight kids dancing away to this at a childs birthday party really makes me wonder.
5) Shoot-A-Nanny (Swim, Surf) 2:00
Everythings ducky with this cool little toe tapper. A really cool melody here & Mr. ducky dancing away!
6) Elbow Twist (Twist) 2:17
"Twist Twist! TWIST!!!!", and then that scream. Man, this is why I like Frankie. A cool boppin song here along with some twistin & a screamin. A great one to drive along with with the windows down. Just watch those reactions.
7) Fly Me To The Goon (Hully Gully) 2:26
After a whistle & some silverware, this tune (I use that word a lot) sounds kind of like a Beach Boy hit throughout. Not to much added except a few whistles but still a kickin Frankie hit all the way! Wheres my surf board?
8) Chained (Swim) 2:26
Look out, a monsters getting loose! But after follows a basic Frankie Sax & guitar number. Cool but forgettable.
9) A Taste Of Poison (Surf)
Someone's gurgling down that poison throughout this smooth winner. With a harp lead with some booms, zips, & clangin silverware. Bubbly bubbly!
10) Monster Motion (Watusi)
Frankie ends this cool LP with a peaceful shakin ditty. Starting with a bell, a scream that leads to some cool drumming & were on our way. Some cranks, pops, & even some very quiet singing (do do's). I love that moan that pops in now & then we get a nice little scream at the end.
Fans Comments"I stumbled across you website by accident. As a child (now 33 yrs old) I had a 45 rmp record that troubled me as a youth. It had 4 songs, I don't remember the one side, but the other had "Witch Doctor" like the Alvin and the Chipmunks version, and the second song was called "Elbow Twist" After reading you website I realized who the artist is now, before I had no idea because it wasn't listed... It was only a PeterPan Record. Needless to say that I read your review of the song... "Twist Twist! TWIST!!!!", and then that scream. Man, this is why I like Frankie. A cool boppin song here along with some twistin & a screamin. A great one to drive along with with the windows down. Just watch those reactions. I still get chills when I think about that scream. I kept the 45 record and I'll play it once and a while... I even put in on mp3. It's kind of like a car wreck... it's ghoulish but you stare when you drive by... it's kind of the same thing. I've often wondered about the recording session when they recorded it. Who did the screaming? How did they get it to sound so gut-wrenching? Anyway... I also read your review for "Kiss of Death" which has me curious, so now I must go find that. I hope it's better than "Elbow Twist" -Steve
(Power Records 341)
Ah the Mummy, the Creature & that hairy gorilla fellow. Looks like theyre checking out what they got for Halloween in the candy bowl. Mmm a yummy spider. Pretty basic & boring cover if youd ask me, but it is still a pretty nifty artwork, again by that unknown artist. Anyone? Anyone?
1) Doctor Spook (Twist) 2:04
A haunting ditty starts off Frankies fourth album after a blood curdled scream, then continues with a snappy snare beat. Some Frankenstein feet are heard walking along at the end of this short number.
2) In A Groovy Grave (Watusi) 1:59
Another blood curdling scream begins this basic tune & a bit of silverware is heard. Then at the minute 20 mark Frankie starts blubbering to the music. Really has me laughing everything I hear it. "Dead Dead Dead."
3) Frog Frug (Frug) 2:07
Boing boing boing boing. Frankie certainly had a way of making his music different. After the springing opening, the chug-a-chug beat keeps you bouncing while the harp plays on. Not much but a really hoppin number!
4) Melancholy Monster (Hully Gully) 2:10
Is something spanking a child at the opening to this one? This is one of my favorite Frankies due to the fact that I heard it first on his last album (the first in my collection). A bit of Frankie saying yeah, a whizzy, & some silverware is a great mixture for a great hit. Yeah.
5) Haunted Mouse (Slow Rock, Surf) 2:40
A sad Moon River sounding ballad that contains a few whizzys, silverware, & even some crying. Pass me a tissue please.
6) Ghoulish Heart (Hully Gully, Twist) 2:14
With a pop pop pop bang, another cool Frankie tune begins. Really cool & I love the Whoo hoo hoo singing. Again these are the ones that I like the most. Frankies singing is a gas.
7) Dressed To Kill (Fox Trot) 2:12
Its raining again & Frankie slow things down a bit. With that demented laugh & the silverware clanging it looks like that squeaky duck might be dinner.
8) All Choked Up (Surf) 3:17
Man the screaming at the start of this one really creeps me out again. Do we have another girl on the rack? A bouncy ditty here with sax & whizzys moves things right along. A bit longer that most of Frankies compositions & ends kind of abruptly. Hmm?
9) Swingin Head (Swim) 2:34
A duck, an ghost (or owl), & a couple bangs starts this mediocre tune. It reminds me of the tune King of the Hill. Contains ghosts, clattering, & cranking.
10) Aint Got No Body (Mashed Potato) 2:10
Okay, is that sound someone on a pogo stick, or a couple making it in bed at the beginning of this one? A fairly decent tune to end this album. Complete with whizzys. Oh & how bout that Beatles She Loves You riff?
Monster Sounds And Dance Music
(Power Records 342)
This was my very first Frankie LP, the one that kicked me in the noggin & made me search out the rest of these little musical masterpieces. You have to understand now, I love all of the tunes on this one. Its the first & only album of Frankies Ive had. As a kid of 8 yrs old I used to play this album over & over & stare at this cover. The green swamp setting, the swamp creature looming nearer with its claws up & ready. I always thought his cheeks were too fat & looked goofy, like a hamster hiding food in its mouth. But who am I to complain about a monsters look, Im a goner if this guy got a hold of me, and believe me he did haunt my nightmares from time to time. The foreground used to confuse me back then. I knew that claw had a skull of some sort in its grip but what the heck kind of skull was that? Belonging to another creature with the nastiest elongated teeth Ive ever seen. Yikes, maybe that isnt a skull at all! Im out of here!
1) The Creep (Twist) 2:22
Ill never forget hearing this LP for the first time. That thing walking down the long brick stairway & then that scream. Believe me, as a kid it always frightened me. I love this tune. Hearing it always just brings me back to being the demented child I was. The girl moaning & Frankie growling, throw in some silverware & its a hit. Yeah baby.
2) Be Careful Its My Throat (Frug) 2:00
Bangs & a scream starts the next Frankie tune. This has most of it including some cool jibberish by the man himself.
3) Dreamin And Screamin (Mashed Potato) 2:13
A fun whizzy hit that makes you dizzy. Love it when that mouse starts squeaking. Some coffin creaks, laughs, cranks included.
4) Chills (Hully Gully) 2:18
Hey did someone goof up? This is a Frankie repeat on the same album! Its The Creep again! Ah well, its so good that its okay to put it on twice.
5) Dance Of Doom (Monkey, Watusi) 2:19
The banging alarm goes off & the killer shrews are on the move. Thats what I picture when listening to this, harry dog like creatures running through the forest in search of some warm flesh. Some cool effects here with hoots, boos, & cow bells. Another fave. Hooot.
6) Mummys Little Monster (Hully Gully) 2:03
Heres another Frankie repeat. Its originally Melancholy Monster but it doesnt have the spanking child at the beginning. The above comments say it all.
7) Kiss Of Death (Slow Rock, Shimmy, Twist) 3:10
Oh my god. This is the one. The one that gave me the most horrifying nightmarish visions in my young frail mind. That slow dreamlike lullaby, the crying girl, & that creature torturing her. I just imagined he was slicing off pieces of her flesh to eat when I heard those silverware sounds. Slapping her to keep her conscious. I even believed I heard him choking on her eyeball. Somebody please turn it off!
8) Body Twist (Twist) 2:12
A Frankie repeat from album four, Ghoulish Heart.
9) Bat And Cat (Fox Trot) 1:45
A Frankie repeat from album one, Lullaby of Ghost Land. But I do like the opening to this one & for the life of me I cant make out what theyre saying. Anyone?
10) Saturday Evening Ghost (Surf, Twist) 2:02
The last Frankie hit plays off & throws everything in for its final swan song. Cranks, screams, silverware, & a wicked sax. Frankie Stein is king!
(On 'Kiss Of Death') "Well... I have to say that yes... this is very disturbing... A sickly sweet song with such morose overtones. A normally delightful melody grotesquely contorted by sounds of unimaginable pain and suffering. What vivid imagery the imagination is capable of conjuring while listening to such a song... It makes you paint a picture of what is actually happening. The perverted part is that you actually create a scene as you imagine it to be and it puts you there at the event which makes you a participant in the story. Why am I here? Am I in a cage waiting to be next? Why am I not stopping this? Am I one of the ghouls too? Like a snowflake no two interpretations will be the same. What I can tell you is that bad dreams are made of these... When you listen to this for the first time... be prepared for it lingers like a bad aftertaste that takes awhile for it to go away. Good thing MTV wasn't around for these songs... hello insomnia." - Steve
Coming Soon - Frankie Stein Music Samples!
Frankie Fan Message
09/28/02 - I stumbled across you website by accident. As a child (now 33 yrs old) I had a 45 rmp record that troubled me as a youth. It had 4 songs, I don't remember the one side, but the other had "Witch Doctor" like the Alvin and the Chipmunks version, and the second song was called "Elbow Twist" After reading you website I realized who the artist is now, before I had no idea because it wasn't listed... It was only a Peter Pan Record. Needless to say that I read your review of the song... ** "Twist Twist! TWIST!!!!", and then that scream. Man, this is why I like Frankie. A cool boppin song here along with some twistin & a screamin. A great one to drive along with with the windows down. Just watch those reactions."** I still get chills when I think about that scream. I kept the 45 record and I'll play it once and a while... I even put in on mp3. It's kind of like a car wreck... it's ghoulish but you stare when you drive by... it's kind of the same thing. I've often wondered about the recording session when they recorded it. Who did the screaming? How did they get it to sound so gut-wrenching? Anyway... I also read your review for "Kiss of Death" which has me curious, so now I must go find that. I hope it's better than "Elbow Twist" -Steve
10/18/02 - Just wanted you to know, I've started a new surf instrumental record label (MAN FROM F.E.Z.), first 45" to be released early 2003 (Satan's Pilgrims Versus Dr. Frankenstein - 2 GREAT highly regarded surf instro bands on one blood red vinyl E.P...ALSO the LAST recording ever by the famed Pilgrims! Check out their "Creature Feature," CD they USE Frankie Stein artwork!)...AND the next project?!? Drum rollllllll please! A tribute CD by today's best new surf instro super-groups, called (tentatively): "MY GHOULISH HEART: A TRIBUTE TO FRANKIE STEIN AND HIS GHOULS" - I hope to have it ready and on the shelves by Halloween 2003 - so far I have the Dynotones (www.dynotones.com) outta Californi-A doing a GREAT version of "Goon River" (just got it - mind-blowing!)! They specially requested they be track 13! Well, I'm trying my hardest to do my small part to keep "Frankie" (whoever the hell he is! I can't find ANYTHING on this maniac!) alive/undead! I'm also going to include a mini-comic documenting the "mystery" of Frankie Stein by popular comic artist Dr. Alderate out of Spain - ot's quite shocking! Yer Fiend, -Eric
11/03/02 - Holy mackerel! Somebody else knows about this stuff ? ! ! ! I have the album 'Ghoul Music' ; actually 2 copies. The first was purchased by my mother sometime in the mid 60's and over the years wound up in bad shape. She bought it for laughs. I recall listening to it at around age 10 and it's had a hold on me since then. It was a big influence on me in my experience as a musician. (I like 'The Ventures' too.) I bought a clean copy a few years ago from a record dealer/collector. Not cheap, either. He said he could get other albums in that series but the second one I bought appeared to be a cheap knock-off, sort of a 2-in-1 album and I declined to buy anymore. The music did not not appeal to me as did 'Ghoul Music'. Almost 20 years ago, I tried to contact 'Synthetic Plastics' or 'Power Records' by telephone to find out something about the music. Some guy named 'Tex' said that those records were made with studio musicians who, after being paid, probably went on their way. The song 'Shoot-a-Nanny' is probably my favorite on the record but the 'licks' of all the other songs are etched in my head. Thanks for this web page. -John
Copyright ©2002 Roger B. Domian