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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Brian's Got Some Halloween Treats!

All right, I said a year ago I was gonna do it, and here it is...
It's five discs of Edgar Allan Poe, read by none other than Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone!

This five disc set by Caedmon Audio is a combination of two periods of material. Rathbone's tracks were originally released in 1954 and 1960, while Vincent Price's were recorded in 1974-75. Here's Discogs links for all the original albums....

But back to this set; it's just extraordinary. Having these best of the Poe tales and poems read by these consummate actors is a joy to hear. While Vincent is known as a horror guy, his precise elocution lends itself to some lesser-known - and not necessarily horrifying - Poe tales. In "The Gold Bug", Latin phrases just tip-tap off his tongue. He talks for almost an hour, and he never loses my interest. In "Ligeia", not only is the narrator's insanely burning love for the titular character made plain, but also Poe's utter love of the English language...

Basil Rathbone's tracks are undeniably the heart of the material here. Not only does he do many of the "greatest hits" as it were, but the guy was just so damn good at it! Having already worked in radio and film for 25 years at this point, he had a spellbinding voice. Imagine an English John Carradine, without the ponderousness.

HisPERFORMANCE of "The Pit and The Pendulum" is the definitive one, full of encroaching doom and terror. His "Masque of the Red Death" is equally entrancing. Many other great ones, too. Cannot recommend these enough.

AND, because my old link has long expired, I'm reposting my disc of Orson Welles's 1938 War Of The Worlds broadcast.DOWNLOAD it, light a pumpkin, and listen.


  1. POE

    Disc 1
    Disc 2
    Disc 3
    Disc 4
    Disc 5


  2. Fantastic work again Brian! Thank you. Any John Carpenter treats for us? Can I request that here?

  3. Give me a few days, I can put something together.