Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Godzilla appears courtesy of AA Wonderland Records"

Record albums sometimes list credits that can leave you scratching your head. Take the one in this entry's title. It is an acknowledgment printed in the Blue Oyster Cult LPs Spectres (1977) and Some Enchanted Evening (1978) and dutifully reproduced ever since. Both of those albums, as you might have guessed, feature the BOC signature tune "Godzilla".

Notice it says nothing about Toho there? My understanding is that Toho and BOC have some sort of deal (possibly brokered by Henry Saperstein back in the day?), but I don't know any specifics at all. However, it's interesting that BOC continues to perform "Godzilla" to this day, and Toho is never listed in the legal niceties.

Back to the credit for "AA Wonderland Records." Why? Well, this is why.

(via Wikizilla)

This gives a capsule history of Wonderland Records, and the reason for the designation "AA Wonderland Records" in the liner notes. Wonderland had a deal to put out a children's record with Godzilla (in 1977, no less, with Marvel's Godzilla #1 cover) and I would guess CBS/Columbia paid them a fee for usage to smooth over possible legal difficulties. Or maybe there were legal difficulties, and the fee came about as a result. I don't know - I've never read anything about it as far as I can remember.

I do like the wording of the credit, which makes it sound as if Godzilla is a guest artist on the records. And hey, who's to say he isn't?!?


  1. I found a Viewmaster Godzilla set long after Marvel's Godzilla comics had been cancelled, and it used artwork from a few issues, if I remember correctly. I wasn't impressed, and don't know what happened to it at all. Is there any mention of that?
    I'm sure they had to get Marvel's permission to use the artwork.

  2. According to this, BOC did pay Toho at some point.

  3. @David - I think the Wonderland record only used the cover art, and I really don't know if there's an acknowledgment of Marvel on it or not. I gotta believe that Marvel artwork making the rounds is due to UPA.

  4. @AMM - You know, I have that book (stored away), so that's undoubtedly where I picked up the BOC/Toho agreement factoid. But re-reading, it's pretty light on details, isn't it? I have a book dedicated strictly to the band, and I don't think it deals with the question at all.

  5. Upon closer reading, it appears that the source of the book's information is from the "Blue Oyster Cult Internet FAQ." Perhaps the webmaster (or Blue Oyster Cult themselves) could be contacted for further details?

  6. The FAQ is a no-go, as the guy who maintained it hasn't updated it since 2001. It's archived here. It does make mention of this, but the timeframe is still left ambiguous. And I don't think there's any mention of Wonderland Records (and any payment to them) at all.

    I don't know if members of the band would necessarily be forthcoming about details, but it's certainly possible!