October Takeover: Scary Music

~ posted by Daniel S.

Only two holidays have an entire genre of music associated with them. For instance, can you even name a Thanksgiving song? Christmas, of course, hogs all the glory, but Halloween truly excels by its inclusiveness. All Hallows’ Eve music doesn’t have to name drop anyone or anything in particular in order to be seasonally appropriate. A dark mood or a creepy sound is all you need for a piece of music to fit right in at a costume party.

Sure, there are some staples that everyone expects around this time: “Monster Mash,” “Ghostbusters,” “Werewolves of London,” and so on. Our catalog has several Halloween-themed collections if that’s what you’re after, and each one has something unique to recommend. Music for Vampires has the good taste to include the Ministry song “(Every Day Is) Halloween.” Creepy Classics features classical music pieces that were not necessarily intended to be spooky at the time they were written, but have taken on an air of the macabre in popular culture. Halloween Hits contains the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins staple “I Put a Spell on You.” Now That’s What I Call Halloween has the best selection of modern pop songs, and gets bonus points for “Somebody’s Watching Me.” And finally, Halloween Classics has most of the expected tunes, including “Don’t Fear the Reaper” in case you find cowbells terrifying.

What I’d also like to highlight are some selections from the catalog that might not immediately spring out at you as Halloween music, but in fact really do work because of their inherent darkness.

The album Walk Among Us by New Jersey’s finest purveyors of punk-rock evil, Misfits, is crawling with scary, campy imagery, and will give your Halloween a jolt.

Australian singer Nick Cave has a voice made for the season, and his album Murder Ballads will put you in the right mood. Also look for the song “Red Right Hand” from the album Let Love In. It’s become the go-to music for any montage involving serial killers!

John Carpenter is the mastermind writer/director behind such films as Halloween and Prince of Darkness. But did you know he also composes and performs the iconic music for his films? His Lost Themes don’t belong to any of his movies, but they easily could.

Songs the Lord Taught Us by The Cramps is full of sleazy, filthy goodness that somehow just feels right for a certain kind of costume party. The song “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” pretty much hits all the right notes.

A compilation of singles from the band Bauhaus, 1979-1983, features the perennial seasonal favorite “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” and the rest of the tunes are just as dark.
Are you hosting a haunted house this year? Do you need a soundtrack for the room where the chainsaw-wielding psycho killer lurks? May I suggest Slayer’s Reign in Blood, turned up to eleven? As a bonus, you can use this album to stun small household pests.

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