Top 10 Halloween Songs

[A right proper list of Halloween tunes from Brent Chittenden. – AC]

So, as you may have been able to guess from my past few lists, I rather like Halloween. A lot.

Halloween and Christmas are my two favorite times of the year. And with both events, there needs to be tunes. Now Halloween tends to sink into generic stuff like The Monster Mash and Thriller but I’m going deeper than that. These are some awesome tracks to get you into that spooky mode. Today we present you the Top Ten Songs For Halloween!

10) Amanda Palmer and Friends – Science Fiction/Double Feature

Okay, quick confession. I HATE The Rocky Horror Picture Show. HATE IT. My friends wants to watch it instead of something infinitely cooler like Near Dark or The Devil’s Rejects. That being said, I first heard this all-star version (Amanda Palmer, Moby, Stephin Merrit and author Neil Gaiman) at a wedding earlier this year (yeah, Shelly and Jordan are pretty cool) and I absolutely fell in love with it and has now made my yearly playlist.

 

9) The Misfits – Last Caress

It’s always a tossup between this and “Die, Die, My Darling” but what can’t be disputed is The Misfits really brought a sense of Halloween and horror to punk rock.

 

8) Skinny Puppy – Assimilate (remix from dystemper)

You can almost pick any Skinny Puppy song for a Halloween a mix tape but my go to year after year is this remix from Chris Vernna from the Dystemper remix album. There’s something about the slowed down pace along with the original samples and Oger’s vocals that just make this track kind of creepy and awesome.

 

7) White Zombie – I’m Your Boogie Man

Leave it to Rob Zombie and Company to take a disco hit from KC and The Sunshine Band and turn it into a something creepy and awesome.

 

6) Screamin Jay Hawkins – I Put A Spell On You

There a metric ton of covers of this song but it’s the original that makes this list. Hawkins vocals are just so primal (apparently due to the he and the entire band being drunk) that it makes what would otherwise be a fairly normal ballad for the time into an original masterpiece perfect for this time of year.

 

5) Echo and The Bunnymen – The Killing Moon

I believe the first time I came across this song was on an episode of Alan’s old radio program and I’ve always loved the sound of it since despite never being a big fan of The Bunnymen. This song always reminds me of fall nights and full moons, the perfect setting for Halloween.

 

4) Type 0 Negative – Wolf Moon

Now, your typical Halloween play list will usually call for Type O’s Black No. 1 but honestly, I think the bands ode to werewolves from October Rust makes a much better choice. Overall, I really think it’s the band at their creative peak and the teen in me is yelling “AND IT’S A SONG ABOUT F&#$ING WEREWOLVES!”

 

3) Alice Cooper – Welcome to My Nightmare

This is the song to have on as everyone is coming to the party. Alice Cooper no matter how establishment he seems to get (born again, golfer, owns a restaurant of baseball memorabilia), Alice just SCREAMS Halloween more than any other musician I know. As a side note, Cooper’s guest appearance on The Muppet Show is probably my favourite episode of The Muppets. He tries to get Kermit to sell his soul! How awesome is that?

 

2) Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand

A great song by a master song writer, this particular track about a mysterious stranger who likes to “help” people out is perfect for Halloween. Choosing a Bad Seeds song for this season is hard and I could have just as easily listed the entire album of “Murder Ballads” instead.

 

1) Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead

There are a ton of reasons this song is on the list. It’s an old school Goth anthem. It talks about the originator of 90% of the Dracula costumes you will see on Halloween, it was featured in the vampire movie The Hunger. This is just awesome music for Halloween.

Now, I know you guys have a ton of suggestions. Earlier this week I got a huge amount of feedback on Facebook and I can tell you a dozen songs that were all fighting to get on this list. Danzig’s solo career has yielded a few tracks that I play around this time of year like “Her Black Wings” and “How the Gods Kill”. As previously mentioned, many songs and even albums by Nick Cave fit. Warren Zevon and his “Werewolves of London” just got slightly knocked out of the list.

What did I miss? What’s on your personal playlist? Your mission, comment below and leave me your top ten Halloween songs!

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

7 thoughts on “Top 10 Halloween Songs

  • October 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm
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    Fantastic list, great stuff as always Brent, but where oh where is Ministry's (Every Day Is) Halloween? No arguments about your #1 pick though…

    Reply
  • October 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm
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    There is a Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds album for every mood and season!

    Reply
  • October 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm
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    I think this is a great list. There is so many songs that there could be a Top 100 countdown for sure. Or a Top 113 countdown! I would add Headstones Cemetery for sure. The video was shot by Bruce McDonald and Hugh Dillon has hair in the video!! Great track.

    Reply
  • October 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm
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    We have completely forgotten about the Psychobilly genre. The majority of their music is horror associated. Here are some of my favorites, of course pretty much any song by these artists are Halloween associated.

    Tiger Army – Incorporeal
    Zombie Ghost Train – R.I.P.
    The Horrorpops – Ghouls
    Nekromantix- Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend
    The Creepshow – Zombies Ate Her Brain

    Reply
  • October 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm
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    A couple I would add to the 'top 113':

    Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting
    Buck 65 – Zombie Delight

    Reply
  • October 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm
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    Three for me:

    The Ramones – Pet Semetary
    Depeche Mode – The Dead of Night
    Bruce Springsteen – A Night With The Jersey Devil

    The Springsteen song was released Halloween 2008 as a download only. It was free and had an accompanying video.

    Reply

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