Who Remembers? “Power Records” – The Comic Book with a Record!
The 1970’s was definitely the grooviest decade in history. After all, how many decades can lay claim to disco, bell-bottom pants, and Bi-Centennial fever? The 1970’s also had a unique assortment of novelty items (cue the obligatory Pet Rock reference). One of my favorite novelty items to come out from that decade was the Power Record Book and Record Sets.
Power Record Book and Record Sets were traditional sized comic books that contained a 45-rpm record (aka 7”) that would read the story aloud to you, and prompt you when to turn the page with a bell sound. The story wasn’t just read by a narrator, but actually performed by voice actors portraying the characters within the story. These were great for young kids still learning to read.
Although Power Records came in different formats, including several that didn’t come with the accompanying comic, my love has always been for the Book and Record set which featured the comic book with the 45-rpm record. Power Record Book and Record Sets produced numerous editions spanning several licensed properties including Marvel and DC Comics, as well as popular TV and movie properties like Star Trek and Planet of the Apes, to name a few.
I’ve managed to collect some great editions from the Book and Record sets, with the Planet of Apes being my personal favorite. I am certainly not a completist, and could live without some of the literary classic editions like Huckleberry Finn, Little Women, and Robinson Crusoe. That being said, there is one particular Book and Record set I’ve been looking to obtain for several years and have yet to find. That would be the Conan the Barbarian: Crawlers in the Mist #PR-31. Getting that would be the prize of my collection.
Regardless of what I am missing, these records are a lot of fun and packed with nostalgia. The comic books themselves are beautiful on their own. Several have incredible art talents credited to them, such as Neal Adams, Sal Buscema and Mike Ploog.
These Book and Records sets are hard to find in near mint condition. Most have been loved (aka destroyed) by their original owners. Even when the books are near mint, sometimes the records are missing, or warped or scratched. Having a near mint Book and Record set is definitely a rarity. I can boast that all of my Book and Record sets are indeed complete, and all of my records play with minimal surface wear. Still, the books are worn… mostly because I’ve worn them out. That being said, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still from time-to-time page through the books and put the records on. It helps bring back memories of an age long gone.
Thanks for reading!
Before the internet, before the VCR, before cable TV, there were Power Records. A fun yet short-lived novelty of a day gone by.
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