With All Hallows Eve on the horizon, we thought it fitting to list out our favorite tracks that best celebrate the holiday. Many, many songs were optioned for this list and the race was so tight we decided to eliminate all soundtracks or scores. It is a separate list for a different day because there are just too many good ones. Additionally almost every Odd Future or Tyler, the Creator track was discussed to the point we decided to just list him here as his own entity. Everything that man touches sounds like a nightmare, but one in which I frequently enjoy. So without further ado, I give you are favorite tracks for any Halloween or Werewolf Bar Mitzvah alike:
Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in 2012, but is really good for any Halloween.
10. “Halloween” – Dave Matthews Band
“Halloween” is one of Dave Matthews’ earliest songs. Since it’s origin it has taken on a few different forms and many different lyrics. Not until it finally landed on the bands third studio album did it lock down a somewhat consistent format, although the lyrics still seem to be ever-changing. A very dark song, loosely about stalking an ex-lover through the night. Very spooky-scary and still yet somehow segues perfectly into one of the bands happiest songs as seen in the above clip.
9. “Season of the Witch – “Donovan
Donovan gives you a little psychedelic spook for your enjoyment . This track slowly creeps along as it slowly builds to it epic chorus in which it unveils the problem in lies with the witches. Donovan really hit his stride with this track. There are moments where you can’t tell if its Lou Reed or Bryan Ferry. Then you realize its far from either. Nonetheless, this track makes wish every season was of the witching nature.
8. “I Put A Spell On You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
After watching that video, I have to wonder if this songs belongs higher on the list. This track really gives the name “Screamin’ Jay” its monies worth, and it has one of the creepiest vibes any song on this list. Especially when he just trips out and loses his mind at the end. This song also gets mad bonus points for being greatly featured in one of Halloweens, Hollywoods, and Bette Midlers greatest accomplishments, Hocus Pocus.
7. “Werewolves Of London” – Warren Zevon
Halloweens most fun song. Nothing is better than a bunch of dudes gathered around howlin’ like Zevon. The happy nature of the song is wonderfully juxtaposed with its dark and bloody lyrics. The poppy-piany helps disguise the fact that Warren is singing about ripping out lungs, mutilating old ladies, and worse, eating chow mein. Just a sick man that Zevon, and we love him for it.
6. “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.
“I ain’t ‘fraid of no Ghosts.” Ray Parker may sound like Tracey Morgan’s classic SNL character Brian Fellows while saying this line, but it makes for the second best line of the song … because “Bustin’ makes me feel good!” yeah, that clearly can’t be topped. With its synthy sax sounds and its electronic drums it is an iconically great 80’s tune. It was even nominated for a Grammy but lost to Stevie Wonders biggest blunder “I Just Called to Say I Love You”. Further proving our point as to how worthless the Grammy’s are.
5. “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
If this list were assembled based on music videos, this one would clearly be at #1. Even so, the top 5 is competitive enough that it was difficult to drop this Halloween staple so low, but felt it necessary still. This is one of many MJ masterpieces, but it still seems to stand alone as his greatest overall accomplishment. An epic music video, one of the more notorious dances in history, the greatest selling album of all time, and a helluva great track. “Thriller” is fitting for almost any occasion, but Halloween more than any other.
4. “Monster” – Kanye West
Kanye’s darkest track is a Halloween must. Before the song even actually begins the introduction takes you to the epicenter of hell and leaves you stranded. The dark atmosphere on the track makes it a perfect for a spooky-scary Halloween evening with grizzly growls, monstrous screams, and Nikki Minaj (is there anything scarier than a Nikki Minaj?). Jokes aside, she would have found her market eventually, but her single verse in this song probably jump started Nikki’s career more than anything.
3. “Halloween” – The Misfits
Power punk monsters, The Misfits threw together this quick sub 2 minute track to help everyone remember Halloween. The chanting of Halloween at the end gives the song its creepy edge. I’ve always dreamed of myself in a swarm of idiots moshing their souls out while dressed in Halloween garb to this song. Now that I’m 26, I’d say my maturity is at the point that this is the appropriate year to start the tradition.
2. “Wolf Like Me” – TV On the Radio
It’s a hard feat for us to keep this song out of the #1 spot, but lets face it, our #1 is just too much of a lock. David Sitek’s noisy brand of production and guitar stylings has never been used in a more perfect fashion to add a perfect moody ambience for this Halloweenesque masterpiece. The harmonious howls in the background of the breakdown take the track to another level. I was once privileged enough to see this song live. Before they played it, Kyp Malone removed his jacket to reveal the “Wolf Howls at Moon” T-shirt he had been sporting underneath. At that point I shat myself, and the dance floor turned into a nightmare. Also worth a shout out is the fantastic music video above.
1. “The Monster Mash” – Bobby “Boris” Pickett
Who knew that doo-wop and Dracula could mash-up so well … Bobby “Boris” Pickett, that’s who. This song is the end all/be all of Halloween party tracks. Unfortunately for Bobby “Boris” Pickett, this song was the highlight of his career. Fortunately for us it was a monstrous success and it is still the highlight of everyones Halloween. The video below is a shining example of the fact that Bobby may not have been the most versatile guy, but he sure did one thing right very right. Thank God for YouTube!
The “Just Missed Our List” List:
Wes: “My Body’s A Zombie For You” – Dead Man’s Bones
Is there anything Ryan Gosling can’t do? The answer is no. Especially when it comes to turning on Wes. This song gives that fact a lot of justification. It’s a sad one to leave off the list, but the running was just too tight for this one. Ryan’s deep voice combined with the children’s choir and haunting organ make for one horrific track.
Todd: “Boris the Spider” – The Who
The only thing creepier than John Entwistles face-slapping bass lines is his voice. This track is proof. Plus spiders are the scariest damn creatures on Earth, so the subject of the song makes it especially creepy-crawly. A weird eccentric track from one of the greatest bands of all time.
Austin: “Phantom of the Opera” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
Even with the stipulation we had made of no scores or soundtracks, Austin deemed it mandatory to make sure Andrew Lloyd Webber found his place on this list. One fact you may not know about Austin is that he has gone as The Phantom of the Opera for Halloween every year since he was four years old. Every year. Sometimes he even has a tendency to wear the costume as he listens to the soundtrack on vinyl while sipping brandy alone in his room late at night. Always an awkward moment to walk in on.
So there is the list. Let us know what we unforgivably missed, or got right, but still feel free to just rip on us in general …