Vinyl Vlog 397

Vinyl Vlog 397

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More with Feeling
Original Cast Recording

Growing up on a tropical island in the Caribbean in the 90s has its benefits and drawbacks.  The benefits are that you’re on a tropical island in the Caribbean and there’s no way your puny developing brain will be able to comprehend how good you have it for several more decades. The drawbacks (maybe?) are that, culturally, you might be a little deprived. Sure, far be it for me to call Western or American culture more developed than what we had on the island, but honestly, there was so little to consume that it was no wonder we felt thirsty all the time. There was the real physical thirst, of course, but also a thirst of the mind.

Then American cable happened to us and everything changed. I could go on and on about what the effect of prime time programming, TGIF, and late night comedy had on my upbringing, but I’ll just say that the next day at school, during recess, we would discuss mostly two things: late night comedy, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I say “mostly” because there was the WB lineup, like Dawson’s Creek, and this strange thing called Mystery Science Theatre, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer was our main dramatic outlet. We would compare notes, interpret character developments, recount plot points, etc. Buffy’s formula was so cool. It was really a show about growing up, trying to fit in, dealing with responsibilities, finding love, and coping with loss, all in the silly backdrop of vampires and demons. And I’ll tell you, rewatching the show decades later, it’s quite remarkable how well it has aged and how easily the viewer can still get sucked in.

One thing that set Buffy apart was the risks it took. Nowadays, musicals seem like a standard run of the mill thing, but it’s pretty tame compared to when Buffy did its musical episodes. The sheer undertaking sounded absolutely insane and the fact that they pulled it off so well is astounding. Once More with Feeling has some incredibly catchy songs and dance numbers and simply raised the show to a higher plane. Remember, this wasn’t a cast assembled for their singing prowess, so the risks are noteworthy, and the payoff that much more worth it. This was no throwaway episode either: the plot point was vital in the context of the show and the characters go through some major emotional breakthroughs.  Once More with Feeling was an instant classic when it came out, and showed that Buffy the Vampire Slayer meant business. Decades later, it’s still considered one of the greatest episodes of television ever.

One of the things that makes Mondo Tees so cool as that they know what their audience wants. And a vinyl release of this soundtrack hits the sweet spot. It’s available of 180g red vinyl, with beautiful broadway-esque artwork in a gatefold sleeve, including a Slaybill contained creator and writer Joss Whedon’s notes on the show and the episode. It’s a must-have piece for fans of the show, soundtracks, musicals, and TV history. This one is a no brainer.

Get it from Mondo.

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