According to legend, October is the month when the dead rise from their graves for one night on Earth. No, it’s not another Status Quo tour, it’s Halloween and just as these corpses get another airing once a year, so too should you dust off your best scary records and dance like you’re damned. Here are 10 of the best Halloween songs to listen to when you’re finding Ghostbusters grating.
Seattle’s Band of Horses open up this Halloween mixtape in epic style with the soundtrack to the best poltergeist film never made. As the song builds to a crescendo, you can almost hear the havoc caused by the supernatural intruder.
The sound of Lady Gaga’s throwaway pop single being possessed by demons as Alison and Will slow down the tempo until we are left with a haunting vocal line. When Gaga sings ‘Judas is the demon I cling to’, you’ll really believe it.
The Horrors’ early work has been near-forgotten as they’ve become prog-pop pioneers, and mostly for good reason, but this track is amongst a handful of great, early songs that sound like Halloween legend Screamin’ Lord Sutch in skinny jeans.
Any song that features ‘I want your soul, I will eat your soul’ as its main vocal hook is always going to be a little unnerving, but with Richard James’ twisted genius for industrial soundscapes and this video, it really should not be played after dark.
After the sonic bombardment you just heard, something a little gentler is in order. Listen as forgotten 90s band Space lust after a witchy woman over a kitschy keyboard riff, apparently written to patische the lead singer’s father’s bad taste in lounge music.
Malcolm Maclaren’s ill-fated follow up to the Sex Pistols really deserves more recognition than it gets. Sure, they were often exploitative and morally questionable but the songs are so good. The same goes for this tale of satanic seduction, with a killer drum track that Adam and the Ants would steal all the way to number one.
The Thin White Duke/Ziggy Stardust/D-Bo (by personal, favourite name for him) had previously played a character called Halloween Jack during his Diamond Dogs era but his best scary tune is this classic track from arguably the last, classic Bowie album.
Grace Jones in any song reminds us of a terrifying Amazon but that persona is played to its full potential on this track from her last album Hurricane. Here, Grace plays some sort of demon cannibal. I say playing, but this could believably be her real form.
The spookiest track on arguably her best album, Hounds of Love, (as reviewed in my post from last month on the highlights of her live, London shows) also features a voice screaming ‘you won’t burn, you won’t bleed.’ I’m going to say that this probably measures up with the one in Come to Daddy for the most terrifying family reunions of all time
Mixtape etiquette decrees that they should end on a really long song, so courtesy of Bauhaus, here I give you Halloween’s best 10 minutes. Building up gothic tension right through to its ridiculous vocals at 2:30 about the dead ‘Dracula’ star Bela Lugosi, this song, just like the actor, has been featured in some of the greatest vampire movies of all time.
(Published by Walloh)