These Soundtracks Are a Treat for the Eyes With ‘Mondo: The Art of Soundtracks’

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For a decade now, Austin-based pop culture company Mondo has been putting out genre soundtrack albums, first by themselves, and then in partnership with former “friendly rival” Death Waltz Recording Co. I’ve been covering Mondo for GeekDad for awhile now; some of you may recall that their 3-LP soundtrack for Black Panther appeared in my Mondo Christmas gift guide from last December. Now Insight Editions has published a coffee table book commemorating the original artwork of Mondo’s soundtrack releases.

What Is Mondo: The Art of Soundtracks?

For the last ten years, Mondo has been regularly issuing soundtracks featuring original commissioned artwork along with often special color treatment for the record vinyl itself. These soundtracks range from genre horror films, to animated series, to major motion pictures. Each release is treated with equal attention, creating a uniquely curated package, such as “the soundtrack to Gremlins in an ultraviolet-sensitive gatefold jacket that reveals additional artwork when exposed to moisture and sunlight.”

While there is a foreword, preface, and introduction at the opening of Mondo: The Art of Soundtracks, with this book it’s all about the art. So I’m going to share some of it with you, and let it speak for itself:

Horror Films

Mondo’s first soundtrack was for the 1980s film Maniac, and they have a rich tradition of horror releases.

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Family Films

Mondo has hardly restricted itself to horror, though. Here are a few of the family films that they’ve made soundtracks for:

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Video Games

Video game soundtracks provide Mondo’s artists with a lot of inspiration:

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Mondo has also released soundtracks for different television shows such as Adventure Time and Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

Adventure Time soundtrack. Image by Paul Benson.
Art from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More With Feeling. Image by Paul Benson.

Blockbuster Films

Mondo has covered a ton of genre films that are box office titans.

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Why Read Mondo: The Art of Soundtracks?

If you’re a fan of great pop culture artwork and/or a fan of soundtracks, this celebration of 10 years of Mondo soundtrack artwork is a feast for the eyes. There’s a little something for everyone in these pages. I’ve just scratched the surface of what’s available inside the 216 pages of the book.

As Mondo soundtracks are limited releases, many of the releases featured inside are no longer available. But with Mondo: The Art of Soundtracks, you can still enjoy the gorgeous artwork created to accompany those soundtrack LPs.

Mondo: The Art of Soundtracks is written by Mo Shafeek and Spencer Hickman, with a foreword by Michael Giacchino. It is 216 pages, and published by Insight Editions. It retails for $50, and can be purchased on Amazon and from other book retailers. 

Note: Insight Editions provided me with a copy of the book for evaluation, but had no input in this review.

Detail of the book cover, which actually has textured grooves like a vinyl record. Image by Paul Benson.


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