Halloween seems to have become a big deal in the last few years, no more of the dunking of apples and the meagre traditions of our youth…at least we have a great soundtrack to blast through the night at our LTW! Halloween party…
1. Dead Kennedys ‘Halloween’
The title makes it easy but the slide guitar and the relentless nature of the song also make it SOUND like Halloween. This is arguably the best thing the Dead Kennedys ever released. With typically funny and manic lyrics from Jello Biafra about dressing freaky on Halloween only but not the rest of year and about conservatism.
2. Bobby Pickett And The Crypt Kickers ‘Monster Mash’
I always loved this song. I can remember when it was an unlikely hit in 1973 on its re-release- one part hokey and one part genuinely weird, it has a dusty and strange atmosphere all of its own and is perfect THE Halloween anthem. The Boris Karloff impersonation is faultless and is an exquisite re-creation of the Mashed Potato dance craze that was then big in 1961 when the song was first released.
3. “I Put A Spell On You,” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Originally written as a song about a women who would not give the manic singer any time, ‘I Put A Spell On You’ turned into something else- with it’s manic, lurching backing and leering and quite insane vocal (Tom Waits owes him a thing or two…) it’s a total classic.
4. The Misfits ‘Last Caress’
The original Misfits were a genuinely dark band with a comic book edge. Virtually unkown in the late seventies they have become one of the biggest cult bands of all time. Then vocalist Glenn Danzig’s singing is the key to the band’s darkness.
5. “Out Of Limits,” The Marketts
A surf rock cover of the theme from the ‘Outer Limits’ TV show, this has the right theme and also the right level of manic darkness for this list plus surf rock at its twanging best is unbeatable..
6. Talking Heads – ‘Psycho Killer’
Genuinely creepy slice of classic college rock…
7. The Horrors ‘Sheena Is A Pararasite’
It’s become hip to dismiss the Horrors first album but their shart and sharp garage rock shakes were ghoulishly brilliant and are definalty worth a return listen. This was the world’s introduction of the band and as a sign of how far they have travelled it sounds like a different group.
8. “Little Red Riding Hood,” Sam “The Sham” and the Pharoahs
With their turbans and the classic ‘Wooly Bully’ this band have earned their place in rock n roll history, they also released this a leering, dirty song of lust that gets to the heart of the matter of the original Little Red Riding Hood story…
9. Rammstein ‘Sonne’
When German band Rammstein started they were genuinely dark and scary but also with a very wicked dark sense of humour like o this video which is perfect Halloween fare…
10. Michael Jackson – ‘Thriller’
This video was on Top Of The Pops every week, even when the single went down the charts they would still show it. It’s not very scary.