31 Songs Of Halloween 2015




Alice Cooper: Feed My Frankenstein


It's that time of the year again when throughout the whole month, we will be posting Halloween themed songs, counting down to October 31st.

There's no better way to kick this off than Alice Cooper, with his 1991 hit from Hey Stupid which a year later was featured in the first Wayne's World movie.

We're not worthy...


The 2015 edition of 31 Songs Of Halloween begin here…





Ramones: Pet Sematary


Ramones had one of the biggest hits of their career in 1989 with this song which brilliantly scored the end credits of Stephen King's movie adaptation of Pet Sematary, and was also included in their album Brain Drain.

Although he is featured in the video, following the release of Brain Drain, Dee Dee quit the band. He had already recorded a rap record as Dee Dee King and it was clear that his mind was totally somewhere else. Times were strange for old punk rockers back then...




Fantômas: Rosemary's Baby


On The Director's Cut, the Mike Patton-led supergroup Fantômas covered iconic music themes from popular movies and TV, including the Twin Peaks theme, music from Cape Fear, The Omen, The Godfather and this amazing version of Rosemary's Baby.

Too bad there isn't a proper video for this...




Alkaline Trio: We've Had Enough


Chicago punk group, Alkaline Trio, had their first ever single to enter the Billboard charts in 2003 with We've Had Enough, the first single from the album Good Mourning.

The music video for the song was directed by Tomorrow's Brightest Minds (Robert Boocheck) who has also worked with Bad Religion, The Dandy Warhols and Death Cub For Cutie.





Southern Culture On The Skids: Zombified


North Carolina’s Southern Culture On The Skids go back as far as 1985, offering an entertaining amalgam of country, blues, rockabilly and southern rock, all wrapped up in punk aesthetics and rock n' roll attitude.

After many line up changes and a bunch of records, many of which became quick fan favorites, they released Zombified in 1998, an entirely horror themed EP (an extended version of which was later released as an album), as a tribute to the sleazy horror movies of the sixties and seventies.





The Cramps: Creature From The Black Leather Lagoon


There's no decent Halloween music list without The Cramps...

Creature From The Black Leather Lagoon was featured in their 1990 album Stay Sick, and it was also the title of an individual 5-song EP. The song was one of the few in the band's long career for which they shot a music video.





The 69 Eyes: Devils


In 2004 the Helsinki vampires signed to EMI and released their major label debut, their seventh album in total, Devils. The band had already had their breakthrough with their previous record, so the Devils' big success was no surprise, as they were already international stars. That year The 69 Eyes toured the UK with Wednesday 13 and played in fifteen different countries in support of the album. Their first ever US tour came in 2006, when Devils was still hot.

On Devils the band maintain a nice balance between the guitar driven sleaze rock of their early days and the gothic themes they incorporated into their act later. Artistically they've done better, both before and after it. Commercially, Devils is their highest peak.




Type O Negative: Everything Dies


World Coming Down was probably not Peter Steele's favorite Type O Negative album to execute live. From what he had stated, most of the music on that record was associated with the most difficult period in his life, dealing mostly with drug addiction.

On both Everyone I Love is Dead and Everything Dies, Steele mourns about the loss of loved ones, with the music video typically featuring a family whose members are slowly fading out.

World Coming Down was Type O Negative's fifth album.






Fleetwood Mac: Rhiannon


Stevie Nicks wrote Rhiannon a year before she joined Fleetwood Mac, after having read the book Triad by Mary Leader, in which Rhiannon is a female character who possesses another woman. Later Nicks found out that the character was inspired by a Welsh goddess and became even more fascinated with it, so she decided to write more about it, and began a project about Rhiannon that never got to finish.

Rhiannon was featured on the 1975 Fleetwood Mac album, their first to feature Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.




Allan Sherman: My Son, The Vampire



Allan Sherman used to mention his "sons" on his albums very often. My Son, The Folk Singer was a huge hit for him in 1962, followed by My Son, The Celebrity and his commercial peak My Son, The Nut in 1963. Even his posthumous compilations have such titles like My Son, The Greatest and the box set that came out in 2005 was titled My Son, The Box.

The 1952 British comedy horror movie, Mother Riley Meets The Vampire or Vampire Over London or My Son The Vampire was re-released in the US in 1963 under the title My Son, The Vampire featuring an additional introductory segment with Allan Sherman and this song.





Oingo Boingo: Dead Man's Party


Oingo Boingo started as a semi-theatrical music and comedy group in 1972 led by Richard Elfman under the name The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo, but in 1979 led by Danny Elfman (Richard's younger brother and at the time aspiring film composer) they reformed to become a new wave rock band, and shortened their name, first just to The Mystic Knights and then to Oingo Boingo.

By 1985 the band had become well known for their energetic live shows, they had released four albums and their music, as well as the band, had appeared on films. Their fifth album, Dead Man's Party, was their most popular one, with the title track included in the film Back To School and Weird Science in the John Hughes film of the same name. It was right about then that Elfman began scoring movies, starting with Tim Burton's Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

Oingo Boingo did three more albums after Dead Man's Party, until the split in 1995 following a big farewell tour that ended in a final performance on Halloween night. That show has been recorded and released on the double live album, Farewell.





Primus: The Devil Went Down To Georgia


The Devil Went Down To Georgia was a song written by the Charlie Daniels Band which became a huge hit for them in 1979. It's about a man who enters a fiddle playing contest against the devil and wagers his soul, so confident that he's the "best that's ever been".

Primus covered The Devil Went Down To Georgia in 1998 among other covers on their 9-song EP, Rhinoplasty, accompanied by the video album, Videoplasty which included the claymation music video for the song, directed by Mike Johnson.





Roscoe Holcomb: Graveyard Blues


Having been a worker, a coal miner and a farmer most of his life, Roscoe Holcomb began recording almost in his forties, but the quality of the work he left behind is enough for his legend to live on for many years.

The dramatic tales he delivers through his music, become alive in his falsetto voice, accompanied by guitar, banjo and/or fiddle. As one of the most important artists in the traditional Appalachian folk music, Roscoe Holcomb was unfortunate to have lived a hard life, as expressed vividly through his songs, but lucky enough to have been given a boost by folk music's popularity and its revival wave in the sixties. He quickly earned a place among the favorites of artists like Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton.





The Five Blobs: The Blob


The Five Blobs was a band put together by session musician, Bernie Knee, to record The Blob for the 1958 cult film of the same name starring Steve McQueen. The song was written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David (Hal's older brother), and the recording became an instant hit and an all time Halloween classic.

The Five Blobs went on to record and release a couple more 45s, and that was it for them.





The Ghastly Ones: Haulin' Hearse

 
The sound of The Ghastly Ones is pure Halloween: loud and creepy, horror themed instrumental surf rockabilly from California.

A Haunting We Will Go-Go was their debut album, released in 1998 on Zombie A Go-Go Records, heavily influenced by B-movies of the sixties, featuring packaging inspired by trading cards, board games and horror magazines. Since the band's founders were ex-special FX and movie make up artists, horror aesthetics and good taste is surely what anyone would expect from The Ghastly Ones.





Rob Zombie: Dragula


When White Zombie disbanded and Rob Zombie returned with his debut, Hellbilly Deluxe in 1998, it was uncertain what the future would hold for him as a solo artist. The movies hadn't happened yet and his notoriety hadn't spread as far as it did in the next decade. Hellbilly Deluxe was a smash hit which owed a lot of its success to Dragula, its first single and Zombie's trademark song.

Dragula was inspired by the drag racer DRAG-U-LA, featured in The Munsters in the episode Hot Rod Herman (there's a remix version of the song, entitled exactly that) where Grandpa Munster creates it to win back the Munster Koach that Herman had earlier lost in a drag race. Although the song borrows its title from the drag racer, in the music video Zombie is seen riding the Munster Koach. Both cars where designed by Tom Daniel for the show.





Sheb Wooley: The Purple People Eater


The Purple People Eater is one of the best known novelty songs of all time, composed and made famous by Sheb Wooley in 1958, and it's about an one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater who eats purple people and wants to be in a rock 'n' roll band.

The song inspired a sci-fi comedy film of the same name made 30 years after its release, and still to this day it's considered a Halloween classic.





The Horrors: Jack The Ripper




In 2006 at the start of their career The Horrors covered the classic Jack The Ripper, made famous by Screaming Lord Sutch in the early sixties. Initially they released it as a b-side to Sheena Is A Parasite and then included it in their breakthrough debut album, Strange House.

Here they are performing the song live in Norway in 2007, a couple of months after their first album came out.





The Meteors: Slow Down You Grave Robbing Bastard


Slow Down You Grave Robbing Bastard was the closing track on The Meteros' 1997 album, Bastard Sons Of A Rock 'n' Roll Devil and it was also released as a 7" single on Hellraiser Records.

The Meteors are considered the founding fathers of psychobilly, but their large fan base is much more extended than the followers of that subgenre. They have released more than two dozens of albums, many singles, EPs and live records, and Paul Fenech, the band's mastermind and only remaining original member, is also associated with many other projects, like his well received solo albums, The Legendary Raw Deal, The Surfin Dead, film music and much more.





Halloween: Lady Midnight


This band named Halloween has nothing to do with the heavy metal band of the same name which we included in the 31 Songs Of Halloween last year. They were a funk/disco band produced by one of their members, Motown's Jerry Macelino who also wrote their signature single, Lady Midnight, a song about a lady in black casting spells under the full moon.

The band released only one album in 1979, Come See What It's All About and disappeared, only to become a rare gem from disco's best era.





Hot Blood: Soul Dracula


Hot Blood was a German disco band which in 1977 released their only album, Dracula and C°, known in the US as Disco Dracula.

With a set of great song titles (Even Vampires Fall In Love, Terror On The Dance Floor, etc), Disco Dracula is entertaining and much enjoyable from start to finish and although as a soul record it can't be taken very seriously, as a Halloween record it's one of the best lesser known picks one can find.

They even reached German TV back then; the following footage is from a show called Top Monsters. 





The Dead Elvi: Creature Stole My Surfboard


It's hard to believe that it's already been 17 years since Halloween Hootenanny came out.

Creature Stole My Surfboard by The Dead Elvi is one of the compilation's highlights, also included in their 2001 album, Graveland. The animated video for the song was created by the acclaimed former Disney animator, Frank Dietz.

The song is available for free download from the band's website.





Blue Magic: Born On Halloween


Back to soulful Halloween music with an entry from Blue Magic's third album, Thirteen Blue Magic Lane.

Blue Magic's sound is textbook Philadelphia soul, and their first three albums are rightfully considered among the best the genre's ever had to offer. Born On Halloween was a great album cut alongside the LP's highlights like We're On The Right Track and Chasing Rainbows. By 1975 Blue Magic had steadily one foot on the sound of Philadelphia and the other on the disco movement that was still being shaped.





Bobby Brown: On Our Own


On Our Own, off the Ghostbusters II soundtrack was a chart topping single by Bobby Brown, as it hit the top spot in the RnB chart and peaked at #2 in the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of the most successful songs of 1988.

The accompanying video features everyone from SNL's Jane Curtin to Ramones to current hopeful Presidential candidate, Donald Trump.





The Jimmy Castor Bunch: Dracula Pt.II

 
Saxophonist Jimmy Castor was the leader of the amazing The Jimmy Castor Bunch, a band formed in 1972. They released a great series of soul/disco/funk records, many of which are considered landmarks for the genre.

On their 1976 album, E-Man Groovin', The Jimmy Castor Bunch included a song titled Dracula in two parts that closed each side of the record.





New York Dolls: Frankenstein


The 1973 debut album by New York Dolls is rightfully considered as one of the best the genre ever had to offer. The band that influenced both the punk explosion that followed and an entire movement of hard rock bands in the eighties and nineties may have only released two album during their heyday, but the legacy of those will live on as long as rock 'n' roll is alive.

Frankenstein was a brilliant album cut from New York Dolls, written by David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain.





Michael Jackson: Thriller


Thriller - the album, was comprised of 9 songs, 7 of which became insanely successful singles for MJ from 1982 to '84. The last one of those singles was the title track which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, quickly became one of the most popular songs of all time, certified by the fact that in 2013 the song re-entered the Hot 100 at #42.

The 14-minute epic video was directed by horror master, John Landis, as MJ was a big fan of An American Werewolf In London, and it was filmed in New York and L.A. Watching monsters and zombies dance to pop music, would never be the same after this. It's an amazing Halloween-themed music video and an all-time pop classic.





Brian Auger & The Trinity: Black Cat


Featured on Open, Brian Auger & The Trinity's first collaborative album with Julie Driscoll, Black Cat was a soul-rock gem sung by the great keyboardist himself who as a singer might not have been even nearly as good as Driscoll, but his dynamic voice ultimately delivers the goods.

This 1968 jaw dropping music video is off Bee Gees' television special on German TV, Idea, on which Auger, as well as Julie Driscoll and Lil Lindfors, were guests. On the show Driscoll also performed one of our last year's Halloween songs, Season Of The Witch. Look up the whole thing!





Dead Kennedys: Halloween


The final single Dead Kennedys ever released was called Halloween, a song off their classic second album, Plastic Surgery Disasters.

This amazing early live version of the song from Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco took place sometime in February 1980, followed by the studio version.







Misfits: London Dungeon


London Dungeon was the opening track of Misfits' legendary 1981 7-inch EP, 3 Hits From Hell. It was also included in the cancelled in 1980 - almost released in 2001 - album, 12 Hits From Hell, and it's supposed to be about Glenn Danzig's brief jailtime in Brixton, London, in 1979.

There is no wrong choice from those early Misfits songs for any Halloween related list; last year we ended our Halloween special with Halloween, this time they're in just a day earlier.








Ministry: Everyday Is Halloween


Everyday Is Halloween has been spelled differently over the years; with the parenthesis including either the words"Everyday Is" or "Is Halloween".

The song is an early single by Ministry, released in 1984, and it does not feature the band's trademark industrial sound, but it's rather a dark new wave song, appropriate for any gothic dancefloor, and of course perfect for any Halloween themed list.

Happy Halloween...







Note: 31 Songs Of Halloween 2015 was originally published as 31 daily individual posts throughout October 2015, and was later merged into a single article for ergonomic reasons.






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